Over the past 25 years the concept of sport tourism has taken on numerous forms and broadened tourism and sport research tremendously. Hui, Wan, and Ho (2007) indicated that the global tourism industry has become increasingly competitive, and golf tourism, as a subcategory of sport tourism, has received more recent attention within the tourism industry. Thus, it is becoming more important for golf courses and golf destinations to identify the variables which attract and retain their golfing clientele. The identification of common characteristics and travel motivations among golf tourists could provide useful information to golf destination marketers in targeting their marketing efforts. Therefore, the aim of this paper is twofold, first, to provide a general overview of the golfing tourists, second, to determine the travel motives of golf tourists who travel and play golf.

The data for this study were acquired from an on-line survey. The study was created to develop a profile of those persons who had traveled to play golf within the past two years. A survey consisting of 22 questions was used, the statistical analysis included inferential and descriptive statistics. The final data set consisted of 288 usable surveys.

The results revealed a strong relationship between travel, personal escape and interpersonal seeking motives related to golf tourists. In addition, findings related to golf travel and non-golfing activities show that when planning a golf trip/vacation, the golf course itself, not the location of the golf course, is the most important factor, however, visiting a beach or water front area was an important non-golfing activity for respondents. The findings of the study provide important theoretical and managerial implications.


tourism, motivations, marketing, golf, sport tourism