The current golf boom is worldwide, according to figures compiled by the 1989 Golf Digest Almanac. Continental Europe leads the way, with a 231 percent increase in number of golfers over the past 15 years, followed by Asia (140 percent), Australia and the Pacific islands (123 percent), North America (87 percent), Africa (63 percent), and the United Kingdom (33 percent). The problem of building enough courses to accommodate all these players is also a global problem. Figures indicate that while the world's golfing population has just about doubled, golf courses have increased only 16 percent.
Perhaps the best example of how hard it is to find a place to play - and how much some people will pay for the privilege - was a recent transaction on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where a membership in an exclusive golf club traded for more than $3 million.