By The Numbers: Alcohol Consumption on the Golf Course

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Golf and alcohol have a long standing connection which goes back to virtually the first time a Scotsman whacked a wee stone with a crooked a stick into a hole on a sheep pasture and celebrated with a nip or three of the golden nectar.

The accepted reason for why a golf course has 18 holes?

Well, it seems During a discussion among the membership board at St. Andrews Golf Club in 1858, one of the members pointed out that it takes exactly 18 shots to polish off a fifth of Scotch.

By limiting himself to only one shot of Scotch per hole, the Scot figured a round of golf was finished when the Scotch ran out.

Having an 'adult beverage' or two is a pretty commonly accepted part of playing a round of golf and therefore becomes something that is calculated on the business of golf side of things. 

Recently the hierachy at British Columbia Golf did a little research through their members to get a better idea of some of the habits with relation to alcohol consumption on the golf courses of B.C.

Here are some of those numbers, courtesy of Jim Lee from the BCGA (British Columbia Golf Associaton):

Research with our members conducted in July identified some interesting information on our members consumption of alcohol when golfing.  

  • Most (40.8%) members of British Columbia Golf don't drink alcoholic beverages while on the golf course, while about the same percentage (40.3%) say they occasionally have a drink on the course. 
  • Only 7.3% say they drink most rounds, or almost always.
  • As there are approximately 55,000 British Columbia Golf members who golf on average 62 rounds per year, a lot of alcohol is consumed on the golf course.
  • If the 60% of golfers who admit to having a drink on the course consumed just one drink each round, then there would be just over 2 million drinks consumed by British Columbia Golf members each year while golfing.
Of importance to the industry is where these drinks are purchased.
  • Just 7.2% say they bring their own alcohol to the course, with 61% saying they purchase drinks on beverage carts.
  • If 90% of beverages were purchased at the course, at an average cost of $5, then the total expenditures for alcoholic drinks is $9.2 million annually.
Jim Lee
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