SPORT ON THE RISE IN ITALY
The “niche” sport that is sweeping the nation Since 2000, Italian golfer enthusiasts have shot up more than 50%
Statistics show that Italians are ever more inclined to pick up golf clubs: according to the official figures from the Italian Golf Federation (FIG), 2016 memberships top 90,000.
Over the last 50 years, golf has become less niche, growing more popular day by day. Consider this — in 1954, golf in Italy had a peak number of 1,220 association members, 7,000 in 1970 and slightly less than 60,000 in 2000, culminating into 101,817 in 2011. In recent years, constant increase of users on FIG’S Italian social network — Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram — highlight a certain golf appeal. A fascination that is also reflected in increasing television coverage, starting with the Rio 2016 Olympics, broadcast by state television RAI, with an 8.55% viewership increase due to the event. The triumph of Francesco Molinari at the Italy Open kept the wheels turning and finally, the Ryder Cup in
From north to south, in mountains or at sea, on the Peninsula and off, one can find a wide variety of greens set against spectacular backdrops, and characterized by significant cultural, artistic and enogastronomical histories.
Minnesota kept the viewers riveted. Over one million people watched the challenge between USA and Europe, aired on Sky Sport during the three-day competition. That number is expected to triple for the Ryder Cup finals, which will be held in Italy, 2022. Along with the number of memberships, the Italian sector is growing, as is the market, according to the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), held in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) in 2016. Twenty-six foreign exhibitors and representatives from of 125 Italian clubs attended. Thanks to IGTM’S 2014 edition (Villa Erba, Como) and the to-be-held Ryder Cup 2022, Italy has finally found a welldeserved and accurate spot in the golfing world.