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KPMG study: Strong foundation and clear future for golf in Austria

Story published at 11:31, Friday, November 13th, 2015


KPMG Golf in AustriaKPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice is proud to present the Golf Benchmark Survey in Austria 2015. This report provides invaluable information, including figures, to key stakeholders in the golf industry, and an in depth look into Austria as a 2022 Ryder Cup contender. This is the first time Austria has put itself forward to host the world’s largest golfing tournament, a testament to its devotion to and development of the sport.

KPMG’s research process comprised surveying the Austrian Golf Association’s affiliated courses throughout the country. Austria’s long tradition of golf has been growing since its first golf course opened in 1901. Over the last 20 years, it has witnessed a 98% increase in its supply of golf courses.

Austria has a healthy amount of local demand. In its favour, and given the nation’s standard of living, membership fees in Austria are relatively low compared to other countries in Western Europe.

The overall number of registered golfers in Austria has tripled in the past two decades, surpassing 100,000 players affiliated with the Austrian Golf Association. Austria, together with Germany, has the highest concentration of women golfers in Europe, at 35%. Meanwhile, an average Austrian course has approximately 753 members.

In terms of generating more participation in the sport, many clubs have agreed to partake in the Austrian Golf Association’s “Hello Juniors” youth programme to encourage children under the age of 12 to play golf, and to promote golf in the eyes of their parents. Currently, there are 100 affiliated golf clubs in Austria that participate in this programme, which gives this important segment the opportunity to play for free or at a discounted price.

Operationally, nearly 70% of all surveyed facilities report a positive gross operating profit (GOP) in 2014. Furthermore, nearly three-quarters of surveyed course operators report planning to make capital investments in the near future, and over 60% indicate they have positive expectations for their business.

Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice in the EMA region, said: “Our study reveals that Austria offers the game of golf a strong foundation to take itself forward with the next generation of golfers and development. Our analysis has also demonstrated that there appears to be significant additional development opportunities for golf in Austria. Certainly, winning the right to host the 2022 Ryder Cup would further boost the development of golf in Austria and the enthusiasm of industry stakeholders in the country.”

Mr. Sartori added: “I would like to thank the Austrian Golf Association and the course managers who participated in our research for their valuable input.”

Together with other industry research materials, KPMG’s ‘Golf Benchmark Survey in Austria 2015’ is available for download on www.golfbenchmark.com.

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