National Golf Day Celebrates Golf’s Economic Impact
The golf economy totals $84 billion in direct activity and $191.9 billion in total economic activity, including some 1.89 million jobs and $58.7 billion in wages and benefits, according to We Are Golf, an industry coalition. The study, by TEConomy Partners, highlights 2016 data. To bring these statistics to the attention of policy makers and the public, the coalition celebrates the 11th Annual National Golf Day on April 25, 2018.
The study found that golf’s annual contributions to America’s economy in 2016 included:
- $34.4B in revenue from golf courses, clubs, resorts, driving ranges and other facilities (2.9% compound annual growth rate since 2011)
- $25.7B in tourism spending (4.6% CAGR)
- $7.2B in new home construction in golf communities (18.5% CAGR)
- $6B in sales of golf equipment, apparel and supplies (1.4% CAGR)
- $2.4B in professional tournaments, associations and player endorsements (3.16% CAGR)
- $1.9B in investment in existing golf facilities (4.6% CAGR)
- $3.94B in charity raised through tournaments and other activity.
In contrast, a 2011 study commissioned by the NFL claimed the sport generated $5 billion for local economies and created 110,000 jobs. The cynic in me says that the NFL put its best face on this, so the results likely are inflated. On the other hand, the NFL study likely does not measure the same things the golf study does, so it is hard to compare.
The We Are Golf report was announced in conjunction with National Golf Day, the industry’s pinnacle event of the year that brings leaders to Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss golf’s social, economic and environmental benefits to society.
Overall, the golf industry shows a 22% increase in economic activity from 2011 to 2016. Note that all of the categories above show growth between 2011 and 2016. While data of this sort necessarily lags, the trend suggests slow-but-steady growth over the long run. Investors don’t want to hear it, but I’ll take slow-but-steady over flashy quarterly results any day.
WE ARE GOLF is an industry coalition created in 2010 to promote golf’s economic impact. The organizational also focuses on charitable and environmental impact as well as the game’s health and wellness, affordability and accessibility. We Are Golf targets members of Congress, the Executive Branch and regulatory agencies to ensure laws and regulations are fair and appropriate to the golf industry. Part of that effort is highlighting the economic impact of the game.