By Design – Issue 63, Fall 2023

7 The number of nine- and 18-hole golfers has risen by more than 10 million since 2016, according to research by the R&A, which analyzes 146 countries in its ‘affiliated markets’. The data comes from a new ‘Global Golf Participation Report’ and covers Asia, Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania all together for the first time. According to the R&A’s research, there are 39.6 million people playing on, either nine- or 18-hole courses in the regions covered (which does not include USA or Mexico). “Golf’s popularity has surged in recent years, which is reflected in a significant increase in the number of people playing the sport in both traditional on-course and alternative formats,” said Phil Anderton, chief development officer at the R&A. “Millions are now engaged in golf through many other alternative formats, such as driving ranges, which are so vital to the growth of the sport.” Download the R&A Global Golf Participation Report 2023. Participation rises by a third since 2016, finds R&A with subsurface drainage added throughout to enhance growth and facilitate better drainage. Trees that do not align with the original 1962 Jack Fleming design will be removed. The planting of native species, such as California oaks and sycamores, aims to contribute to a reduction in water usage. Reforestation efforts will also showcase the existing native oaks. Other work includes cart paths, installing a new irrigation system and expanding recycled water storage capacity by undertaking a project on the irrigation storage lake. Golf Projects International will be responsible for construction and project management. The club expects work to be completed by late fall 2023, with the course reopening by early summer 2024. Images: Harris Kalinka Visualizations of Todd Eckenrode’s plans for Sharon Heights in California. The course is expected to reopen in summer 2024