Golf is one of the sports that struggle in the Soccer Country. Even though the number of golfers are growing, this activity is still only practiced and enjoyed by a tiny share of the population. This article will give an overview of the Brazilian golf market.
The Brazilian Golf Confederation, also known as CBG, was created as an association in 1958. Nowadays, there are eight federations of the sport, a small number when compared to the 26 Brazilian States.
Most Brazilians have little or no knowledge on the rules of golf or its currently best-ranked players. The sport is seen as an elite activity. The average Brazilian golfer is almost 40 years old and is part of the richest layer of the population.
Some growth has been noticed, though, especially after golf was once again considered an Olympic sport, returning to the Olympic Games in 2016, when it will take place in Rio de Janeiro.
According to the Golf Federations from Brazil, this sport generates an average of BRL $400 million per year. This amount is really tiny when compared to the potential of other nations. Globally, golf generates an average of USD $40 billion.
CBG states that the number of players — amateurs and professionals — grows at a rate of 12% in Brazil. The entity stipulates that there are around 15,000 golfers in the country.
The Brazilian Golf Confederation has a project, in partnership with large companies and sponsors, to stimulate the training of young golfers. The expectation is to reach 250,000 kids through this project until 2016.
Brazil has a very limited number of local golf brands. One of the pioneers in this area is Golfer, which was created in 2007. Most of the equipment is still imported and sold online, in specialized stores, or even in shops located inside golf clubs.
Some examples of foreign brands that are currently active in Brazil are TaylorMade, Ping, Callaway and Titleist.
Main Regions for the Golf Market
Brazil frequently hosts golf tournaments, even though they are not officially a part of PGA Tour. In 2014, “PGA’s Brasil Champions” took place in São Paulo. The city and the areas close to it are also responsible for hosting other international competitions, such as the “Brazil Open."
The choice of São Paulo to host the few international tournaments taking place in Brazil isn't random. According to the CBG, São Paulo State has 47 golf fields in its territory, by far surpassing the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná and Rio de Janeiro, which respectively have 14, 13, and 10 golf courses.
Some other examples of states with courses are Bahia, Pará, Minas Gerais, Amazonas and Espírito Santo. Many of the Brazilian golf fields are located inside luxury hotels or condos in the countryside. There are also some country clubs that offer holes for the practice of this sport.
Famous Brazilian Players
The Soccer Country may have not produced a global golf superstar yet. This is one of the arguments from those stating that the sport clearly lacks incentive. The current position of Brazilians in the Official World Golf Ranking, which has the acronym WGR, somehow shows this situation.
One of the most famous Brazilian golfers to ever play the game is Jaime Gonzalez, who is now retired. He won one professional tournament in a European Tour in 1984.
The only Brazilians in the WGR, at the date of this article's publishing, are:
- Adilson da Silva - currently World Number 271
- Alexandre Rocha - currently World Number 532
- Fernando Mechereffe - currently World Number 638