All About Italy (USA) - - Contents -

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.

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