The results of a survey looking into the pace of play have been revealed by The R&A.
The survey sought to identify and investigate the issues that are affecting golf and their impact on participation.
Among golfers within the 25-44 years age bracket, 21 per cent said that golf would need to take around one and a half hours less time if they were to play more often. 19 per cent of the 8,468 respondents from this age category said they would welcome the chance to play a nine-hole format more frequently.
The two biggest factors that are preventing people from playing golf are work commitments (34%) and family commitments (29%), with time taken to play (16%) ranked third.
Other factors mentioned included alternative hobbies, cost of play, difficulty of play and equipment costs.
According to the report’s findings, 70 per cent of golfers are happy with the duration of their rounds, while 60 per cent said they would enjoy golf more they played in less time.
The R&A will be hosting a forum later this year which will see contributions from a number of golfing organisations on how best to address the issue of pace of play and examine the key areas such as player behaviour, management approaches and golf course issues.
“This survey is the first step for us in examining, in detail, the wide range of issues currently affecting participation in golf,” said Duncan Weir, executive director, Working for Golf at The R&A. “There is plenty of anecdotal evidence available but we conducted the survey to obtain accurate data on how much of an issue pace of play is for golfers and to give us an insight into what they see as the main factors contributing to slow rounds. We feel that the next step in this process is to engage with our partners throughout the golf industry to look at these findings and invite them to contribute their views to these important discussions. Our forum later this year will provide the opportunity for these discussions to take place.”
The full report can be accessed here.