Golf is currently the most financially significant sport worldwide. According to recent data, the golf industry market was 22.74 billion dollars in 2022 and is expected to reach 42 billion USD in 2030. The largest share of the world golf tourism market is held by North America, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific countries.
Scotland has been named the world's best golf destination for 2022. Vietnam has also been recognized as the best golf destination in 2019 and 2021 due to its significant investment in golf tourism in recent years.
Portugal is also a leading golf destination, with over ninety golf courses and award-winning designs by renowned architects that use the natural terrain and coastline. Golf tourism is vital to Portugal's overall tourism sector, contributing significantly to the country's economy. In 2022, golf revenues in Portugal reached a record-breaking 154 million Euros, increasing by 6 percent compared to the last year before the pandemic (2019). This growth was driven by 3 million golf rounds played during the year. However, the actual impact of sports on the Portuguese economy is expected to be much more significant.
Golf is popular worldwide, with over 60 million players yearly. Out of the 38,081 golf courses across the globe, 80% are open to the public or visitors in some way, while only 20% are private. UK has the highest concentration of golf courses per square mile, with one golf course per 22.8 square miles. Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales also have a higher concentration of golf courses than their available area. Despite having many golf courses, the United States has only one golf course for every 235 square miles due to its vast size.