Numbers of people playing golf are up over last six months

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The number of people in England playing golf at least once a week is up by over 69,000 compared with six months ago.

The surge in popularity is shown by the latest figures from Sport England’s Active People Survey and reflects a growing national enthusiasm for sport as the London Olympics draw near.

For the first time, more than 15 million people in England, aged 16 and over, are playing sport once a week, every week. That’s 500,000 more than six months ago and 1.3 million more than in 2005/6 when London won the Olympic bid.

Golf is among 21 sports which have shown a positive trend over the past six months and the results indicate that the long-term, downward trend in golf participation may be reversing.

The sport is reaping the benefit of the work of the England Golf Partnership (EGP) and its network of County Golf Partnerships which reach out at grass roots level to attract new golfers and returners to the game.

The EGP is a partnership of England Golf, the new amateur governing body which represents both men and women, and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). It is supported by the Golf Foundation and funded by Sport England.

Roger Moreland, the Partnership’s chief operating officer, said: “Golf is heading in the right direction.”