Nearly one-in-12 adults in the United Kingdom played golf on a full-length course in 2011 and the number of UK rounds played last year was the highest since 2006, according to new research.

The SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC golf participation report and UK rounds played monitor surveys found that four million British golfers aged 15 and above, approximately eight per cent of the population of that demographic, played on an 18-hole course in 2011. This figure is consistent with a similar poll carried out in 2009.

The research also found there was an increase in the number of golfers who play 12 or more times a year. However, there was a drop in the number who play at least 52 times a year – a trend that is likely to impact on golf club membership levels.

“This highlights an issue facing the sport,” said a spokesman for SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. “It is clear that the nomad golfer is playing an increasingly important role in the success of a golf club and in turn for the whole industry.

“It is encouraging to note that golfers are still out there, it is just how they play and regard golf membership which is changing.”