Scottie Scheffler, the current Masters champion Image Credit: AP

Sporting Insights – formerly known as Sports Marketing Surveys – has undertaken a study of 21,000 international golfers on their feelings about the current state of the professional golf tours and their predictions for the future direction the pro tours are heading in 2023 and beyond.

The study, Future of Professional Golf 2023, was conducted with golfers in 13 different countries, including England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Australia, USA and Canada.

The upcoming season is widely regarded as being a pivotal year for the future of professional golf. As well as LIV’s first full season and investment into the Asian Tour as part of the International Series, this year also sees innovations like the PGA Tour’s Elevated Events and new developments emerging from the strategic partnership between the DP World Tour and PGA Tour. The Challenge Tour, LPGA Tour, the Ladies European Tour and the Legends Tour have all announced record prize totals for 2023.

Attitudes to women’s and mixed golf are among the topics covered in the study, along with a wide range of other subjects, including: Tour interest; attending golf events, LIV Golf; pro players; sponsors, legal issues, tour predictions and preferences, and the media.

Sporting Insights Director Richard Payne said: “With distinct differences emerging in the attitude to different tours in different markets, it is important that those considering their marketing and sponsorship strategies take note.”

“It was important for us to try to cut through the strong responses to golf tours that have been very apparent in recent months. While those strongly held convictions are important, and are covered within this study, we also wanted to take a look and understand at a more granular level exactly what golfers may enjoy or object to as the fabric of professional golf changes. And that word ‘enjoy’ is important, because while we do look at negative perceptions of different elements of different tours, we also look closely at what people do want – whether that’s mixed events, match play, team play or alternative formats.”

A sample size of 21,000 international golfers sourced from Sporting Insights’ golf specialist partner panels makes the results robust and gives users confidence to take decisions based on the data. Reporting is available through an online dashboard that makes it easy to tailor the data by market, age, gender, and play frequency – delivering specific granular insight for the markets that matter to different businesses.