Golf charity totaled $3.9 billion in 2016, according to data released by Golf 20/20, a collaboration of leading golf organizations. The National Golf Foundation says that sum that is greater than the charitable impact of the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL combined.
Of course, golf has a great advantage over those leagues. Golf charity extends from the PGA and LPGA tours, down to weekend hackers at their local muni. I spend several days each season playing charity “outings” for various charitable causes. I could easily spend every day of the week in southeast Michigan playing in summer golf outings. Along with collecting cans for the deposit change, golf outings seem to be one of the area’s principle
The National Golf Foundation study says that golf fundraising involved:
- 12,700 golf facilities (84 percent of U.S. total, 8 percent increase from 2011
- 143,000 events
- 12 million participants
- $26,400 average per function
- 1 percent of all U.S. charitable giving (totaled $373 billion in 2015)
“Charity is at the heart of the U.S. golf industry,” says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation, administrator of GOLF 20/20. “Golf is a key driver for charitable giving and takes pride in hosting charitable events to improve millions of lives through causes that are mostly unrelated to golf.”
Most common charitable golf event beneficiaries include health, youth, education and cultural groups nationally, regionally and locally.
The majority of the ones I participate in involve local youth sports. I have also played in golf outings for church, veterans and some health-related projects.
Golf 20/20 reports that more than 85 percent of organizations conducting golf events find them important for the exposure and networking opportunities in addition to the money raised. They’re great places to meet people with interests similar to your own.
The findings are based on qualitative calls and data collection from a coast-to-coast sampling of public and private golf facilities, and non-profit organizations producing golf events, conducted on behalf of GOLF 20/20 by the NGF.