The golf industry is the sports and entertainment worlds' largest contributor to the U.S. economy, generating $76 billion in direct economic impact according to a recent study discussed today by some of the nation's leading golf association executives.
In a press conference at the National Press Club to commemorate the first National Golf Day, the golf leaders also discussed the industry's environmental stewardship and its multi-billion dollar annual contributions to charitable activities.
"We are here as a very strong industry coalition to present data that demonstrates golf's extremely positive contributions to the economic health of our nation," said David B. Fay, Chairman, World Golf Foundation, and Executive Director of the USGA. "In addition, we want to highlight golf's environmental stewardship and the game's very positive charitable and human impact on our society. Our message is built around the fact that golf is a vital contributor to our nation's health on a number of significant levels."
Click Here for transcript of today's press conference at The National Press Club
Joining Mr. Fay at the press conference were Tim Finchem, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR; Joe Steranka, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of America; Steve Mona, Chief Executive Officer of World Golf Foundation; Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of The First Tee; and Libba Galloway, Deputy Commissioner of the LPGA. Representatives of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association, Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Builders Association of America and American Society of Golf Course Architects were also in Washington in recognition of National Golf Day. Each organization is a supporting member of World Golf Foundation.
According to U.S. Census data, the $76 billion U.S. golf economy is larger than the motion picture and video industries and that golf facility operations generated $28 billion in revenue, exceeding revenues from all other professional and semi-professional spectator sports combined. The study, which was completed earlier this year, also found that golf generates more than $3.5 billion annually for charities across the country.
A bipartisan Congressional resolution sponsored by U.S. Representatives Ron Klein (D-FL) and John Mica (R-FL) declared April 16, 2008 as National Golf Day.
The golf leaders stressed that the game's impact on society could best be viewed through three perspectives: economic, environmental and human.
A comprehensive study, the 2005 Golf Economy Report, commissioned by World Golf Foundation's GOLF 20/20 initiative and recently completed, determined that golf in the United States generated $76 billion in direct economic impact in 2005, up significantly from $62 billion five years ago. The five-year growth of approximately $14 billion represents an average annual growth rate of 4.1 percent, well ahead of the average annual inflation rate of 2.5 percent during the years 2000-2005. The study was conducted by SRI International.