More than 16 million people in the UK and Ireland played some form of golf in the past 12 months, according to research commissioned by the Professional Golfers' Association.
That equates to around 30% of adults using driving ranges, pitch-and-putt facilities, adventure golf, simulators, or being out on the golf course.
A further 6.1m people engage with golf through the media.
"This has been an enlightening exercise for us," said PGA boss Robert Maxfield.
"It has confirmed our expectation that golf has changed irrevocably, and that there is huge scope for the golf industry to be more inclusive of different forms of the game and the people who play them.
"The report gives us detailed insight and is a ground-breaking look into just how far the game has come, and how big the opportunity is to tap into a huge population of people who are already engaged in golf that we haven't had sight of in the past.
"It gives the industry the chance to diversify the sport's fan base and user base, and that is hugely exciting."
A total of 22.4 million people are engaged in golf with 4.9m playing traditional golf on courses and 11.4m experiencing the sport away from courses.
The research, carried out by Ipsos, forms part of a 'Golf for All' project, which is aimed at better understanding the landscape of the sport in the UK.