While the sports world is focused upon Whistling Straits this week for the Season"s Final Major, The PGA of America announced the results of Wisconsin"s Golf Economy Report that underscores the significant impact the game has on the state of Wisconsin.
While events such as the PGA Championship provide significant economic impact on the local communities it visits each year, golf"s economic impact in Wisconsin extends further than hosting a major. The independent study, conducted from 2008 data, found that the total economic impact of golf in the state is $2.4 billion. The same study also found that golf provides more than 38,000 jobs in Wisconsin and provides a $771.5 million of wage income. Wisconsin"s nearly 500 golf facilities in the state, like most small businesses, serve as the main driver in the golf economy.
Announcing the findings were Joe Steranka, chief executive officer of The PGA of America, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and the chairman and chief executive officer of Kohler Co., Herb Kohler.
"Golf is more than just an enjoyable pastime for thousands in Wisconsin; it is a billion-dollar industry that serves as a major contributor and driver of jobs, wage income and tourism," said Steranka. "The PGA of America is pleased to return to Wisconsin to present the 92nd PGA Championship and to show off to a viewing audience of more than 500 million worldwide what a truly amazing venue Wisconsin has to offer."
The Wisconsin Golf Economy Report, prepared by SRI International, was commissioned by GOLF 20/20 for the Wisconsin allied golf associations including the Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Wisconsin PGA Section and the Wisconsin State Golf Association.
"The economic report confirms what many of us have known – Wisconsin is golf crazy," said Doyle. "Golf contributes billions of dollars to our economy, provides tens of thousands of jobs and our top rate courses attract golfers from around the world. I"m happy to welcome The PGA of America back to Wisconsin for another great Championship to show off one of our signature courses to golf fans."
Golf also has a significant charitable impact on the state of Wisconsin. In 2008, the SRI study revealed that golf in Minnesota raised more than $46 million for various charities. Charities throughout Wisconsin also have benefited from the 92nd PGA Championship being in their home state.
A total of 165 charities from the area have participated in the 2010 PGA Community Relations program, receiving an estimated value of more than $532,000. There were 124 charities participating in the Tickets for Charities Auctions Program and 36 charities received some 4,500 tickets to attend the PGA Championship. In addition, one local food shelter will receive all of the remaining non-perishable food and products.