Korea’s golf course market has recently grown rapidly and has grown to a level similar to that of Japan, and the golf population has slightly overtaken Japan. However, the cost of golf was three times more expensive in Korea than in Japan.
According to the ‘Comparison of Golf Course Industries in Korea and Japan’ recently announced by the Korea Leisure Industry Research Institute, the size of the golf course market (including green fees + cart fees + food and beverage expenses + caddy fees) was 8,553.3 billion won last year, accounting for 98.5% of Japan’s 8,685.7 billion won. It has been shown to have grown to a level Korea’s golf population was 5.64 million in 2021, slightly overtaking Japan’s 5.6 million.
As of last May, green fees for public golf courses in Korea were 173,700 won, which is 3.1 times higher than 55,800 won (5,621 yen) in Japan.
Korea’s golf course market has grown rapidly thanks to the golf boom. Korea’s golf course market, which was only 3.967 trillion won in 2011, has grown 2.16 times to 8.5533 trillion won in 2021, 10 years later. On the other hand, the size of the Japanese golf course market shrank from 922 billion yen in 2011 to 834 billion yen in 2021, a decrease of 9.5 percentage points in 10 years. In the case of 2021, when the golf boom arose again due to the coronavirus infection (Corona 19), Korea and Japan grew by 21.6% and 16.2%, respectively, from the previous year.
Comparison of golf populations in Korea and Japan (unit: 10,000, data = Korea Leisure Industry Research Institute)
However, the size of Korea’s golf course market excluding caddies was 6,959.9 billion won last year, 19.9% less than Japan’s. More than 90% of golf courses in Japan implement a no-caddy system, but if a caddy is used, the caddy is a full-time employee and counts as golf course sales.
On the other hand, Korean golf courses consider having a caddy compulsory, but caddy fees are excluded from golf course sales. Therefore, it may be appropriate to compare Korea and Japan on a market size that does not include caddies.
Last year, Korea’s golf population surpassed Japan’s by 40,000 for the first time ever. The golf population increased from 2.93 million in 2009 to 4.7 million in 2019, and surged to 5.64 million in 2021 as the Corona 19 incident occurred. On the other hand, the number of golfers in Japan decreased from 9.6 million in 2009 to 520 in 2020, and only increased by 400,000 to 5.6 million in 2021.
If you look at the golf participation rate among the total population, Korea has twice as many as Japan. In Korea, golfers accounted for 10.2% of the population over the age of 13, whereas in Japan, the participation rate among the population over the age of 15 was only 5.7% in 2021. In other words, in Korea, one out of 10 people play golf, but in Japan, it is interpreted as one out of 20 people, half of Korea.
The number of golf courses used annually in Korea increased by 0.5 times from 2019 to 8.8 times in 2021, and Japan also increased by 2.3 times from the previous year to 17.2 times in 2021. This is because Korean and Japanese golfers played a lot of golf, a relatively safe outdoor sport, due to the Corona 19 crisis. The number of golf courses used in Korea is only half that of Japan, and this is mainly due to Korea’s exorbitantly expensive green fees.
Comparison of green fees between Korea and Japan (2011 = 100 data = Korea Leisure Industry Research Institute) In
terms of costs, it was found that the weekday green fees of public golf courses in Korea are 3.1 times more expensive than those in Japan. The weekday green fee for public golf courses in Korea was 173,700 won as of last May, which is 3.1 times higher than the weekday green fee of 55,800 won (5,621 yen) for golf courses in Japan.
Looking at the green fee increase rate during the week from 2011 to 2022, the green fee of public golf courses in Korea soared by 57.8%, while Japan fell by 14.7%. The Leisure Industry Research Institute analyzed that while green fees declined in Japan due to an oversupply of golf courses and a decrease in the number of golfers, in Korea, the golf boom has continued. In particular, after Corona 19, the green fee increase rate in Korea skyrocketed by 33.3% on weekdays and 24.5% on Saturdays, while the difference was not large in Japan. 스포츠토토
In addition, the gap in golf course fees, including cart fees and caddy fees, widens. Self-play is common in most Japanese golf courses, but when accompanied by a caddy, the caddy fee is around 3,000 yen per person, and cart fees are rarely charged. As of last May, the weekly fee per person for a public golf course in Korea was 230,000 won, which is 3.9 times more expensive than the 58,800 won (58,800 won) for a family with a caddy.
Seo Cheon-beom, director of the Leisure Research Institute, said, “Korea’s golf population has overtaken Japan’s, but Korea’s golf course green fees are more than three times more expensive than Japan’s.” said.
In addition, Director Seo said, “As the sales of Korean golf courses increased by about 10% compared to last year and the value of the yen fell, the Korean golf course market (including caddy fees) is expected to overtake Japan this year.”