Features

200.000 Landmark
Spain now has 200,000 officially registered golfers. The milestone was reached during January, when María Mercedes Moreno, a 28-year-old Argamasilla de Alba (Ciudad Real) resident who plays at the Media Legua club, registered with the Royal Spanish Golf Federation.

GROWTH OVER PAST 20 YEARS
Year Federados Increase
1982 23,542 10.5%
1983 25,332 7.6%
1984 27,739 9.5%
1985 30,783 11.0%
1986 35,193 14.3%
1987 39,863 13.2%
1988 45,780 14.8%
1989 52,352 14.4 %
1990 58,202 11.2 %
1991 65,525 12.6 %
1992 73,203 11.7 %
1993 80,450 9.9 %
1994 89,139 10.8 %
1995 98,263 10.2 %
1996 108,915 10.8 %
1997 121,916 11.9 %
1998 136,937 12.3 %
1999 153,938 12.4 %
2000 177,409 15.2 %
2001 199,516 12.5 %

The game has experienced exceptional growth over the past decade, becoming the third most popular sport after soccer and basketball – (i.e. on the basis of number of licensed players). In 1966, just 2,500 players were registered with the federation. This grew to 10,000 in 1974, 25,000 in 1983 and 50,000 in 1989, then a “boom” in the game doubled the figure to 100,000 within seven years (Alicante golfer Leandro Cerezo becoming the 100,000th “federado”) – and now to 200,000 (201.606 at January 31, to be exact: 200, 538 amateurs and 1,068 professionals). At the start of 2001, the number of registered golfers in Spain was 177,409.

Nevertheless, even taking into account the increase during 2001, Spain remained in 15th place in the international ranking of officially registered golfers at the end of the year. US led the way with more than 25 million and Japan was next with just over 20 million, followed a long way back by Canada (5.2 million), Australia (1.9 million) and the United Kingdom (1.2 million). Also above Spain – in Europe – were Sweden, Germany, France and Ireland.

In number of golf courses, Spain was 13th with 250. Again, the US led the way with nearly 17,000, followed by the United Kingdom and Japan (both over 2,000), and Canada and Australia (each with more than 1,000). Italy joined Germany, France, Sweden and Ireland with more courses than Spain.

Federation Breakdown

All regional federations experienced increases in the number of registered golfers during 2001

Federation December
31, 2000
December
31, 2001
January
31, 2002
Andalucía 27,333 30,947 31,081
Aragón 2,681 3,022 3,077
Asturias 4,877 5,500 5,596
Balearics 5,626 6,102 6,140
Canary Isles 3,929 4,418 4,470
Cantabria 4,677 5,344 5,404
Castilla-La Mancha 1,636 1,956 2,074
Castilla y León 6,853 7,988 8,108
Cataluña 36,112 40,328 40,728
Ceuta 87 94 94
Extremadura 1,758 1,858 1,879
Galicia 5,869 6,906 7,041
La Rioja 453 658 685
Madrid 45., 08 51,517 52,256
Melilla 61 128 134
Murcia 2,484 2,709 2,704
Navarra 2,665 2,813 2,815
Basque Country 10,978 11,976 12,065
Valencia 13,055 14,167 14,170
Honorary 16 17 17
Total amateurs 176,429 198,448 200,538
Professionals 980 1,068 1,068
Total 177,409 199,516 201,606