Alistair Tait at Golfweek.com reports on a European Tour study designed to look at the number of golfers in Europe by no focusing solely on those who are members of clubs.
Shockingly, they found that if you count those are just range rats or play non-traditional 18-hole courses, the numbers pretty much skyrocket.
The Tour claims several shorter formats of golf are encouraging people to engage in golf, many of them juniors. Formats include: driving ranges (3.1 million active users); pitch and putt courses (2.3 million); nine-hole courses (2.2 million); putting greens (1.7 million); and par-3 or short courses (1.2 million).
The report also cites the emergence of non-traditional formats encouraging active participation, such as adventure or mini-golf (2.7 million active users); computer games (1.9 million); and golf simulators (0.4 million).