Golf is hailed as one of the oldest sports in the world, and players in every corner of the globe enjoy it. This is evident when looking at the rankings of professional players and seeing names such as Jordan Spieth (USA) and Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) on the Men’s side and Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Inbee Park (South Korea) on the Women’s list. Having been played for the better part of five centuries, golf has spread from being a game played in the United Kingdom to being the sport of choice for juniors and adults all over the world. Whether you are just beginning your golf career or are already enrolled at a junior golf academy in the United States, learn about golf’s popularity and how the sport abroad compares to what you are used to at home.
One look at the schedule of events for the PGA Tour shows that it can truly be called “The World’s Game.” While it is no secret that no matter where you go in the world you will find a golf course, you may be surprised by golf’s popularity in various regions. Topend Sports analyzed search traffic for the term “golf” and found that it is most popular in Ireland. The United States ranked fourth, behind Canada and the United Kingdom, before being followed by South Africa and Australia. New Zealand (7th), Denmark, Finland, and Switzerland rounded out the Top 10.
Golf is a rare sport, in that you can play competitively nearly your entire life. It is unlike other popular sports around the world, such as soccer, rugby, and hockey, because you are not limited to playing competitively or professionally based on your age. Whereas a baseball or football player may play professionally into his thirties, golfers can continue to enjoy the game they love for decades beyond that. From the time you are a young child, you can begin working on your mechanics and enroll in various golf camps to help you get stronger as a player.
Kids all over the world go to camp or attend a golf academy, where they further develop as a junior golfer, and begin to compete in local and regional events. In the United States this can lead to a collegiate career and a shot at the PGA or LPGA, which brings together all of the best golfers from around the world on the same stage, week in and week out. No matter where you go in the world, you will be sure to find golf courses, training facilities, and shops dedicated to helping spread the popularity of the sport and attracting new players.
Another way that you can see where golf is popular around the world is to take a look at the number of golf facilities there are in various countries. A recent report published by The R&A found that by the end of 2014 there were 34,011 golf facilities located in 206 countries around the world. This report, produced by the National Golf Foundation (NGF), also found that there are nearly 700 additional golf courses under construction or in advance planning, and 80 percent of these are in Asia, Europe, and North America.
If you ever have the opportunity, you can create a lifetime of memories by playing a round on one of the world’s most iconic golf courses. Since many are private courses and super exclusive, it would be a mistake to pass up the chance to tee off at these clubs. Here are just a few of the courses that are held in the highest regard by golfers, in no particular order.
If you prefer to stay in the United States, you will have no trouble finding world-class courses to play, as well. In fact, many of the most famous courses, and those that host top-flight tournaments, are in the USA. Whether you are a casual golfer or are enrolled in a top junior golf academy, you are likely familiar with these courses and their features.
You can learn more about how golf is played around the world, as well as some of the most iconic courses that you can play, by contacting the International Junior Golf Academy. Located in Hilton Head, South Carolina, IJGA strives to have a positive transformational impact on young golfers as they develop. Get in touch with a representative at (888) 452-6642.
The International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) is the premier destination for middle and high school golfers as well as graduates seeking a competitive advantage amongst their peers. IJGA’s unique programs deliver customized golf training, tour competition, performance training, character building and an elite college preparatory education – in a close, family environment in Hilton Head, South Carolina.