TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's House of Representatives and Senate each presented proclamations today, citing Feb. 14 as "Florida Golf Day," which recognizes the importance of the golf industry within the Sunshine State.
State Sen. Michael S. "Mike" Bennett (R), sponsoring the Senate Resolution, acknowledged that "the golfing industry makes enormous contributions to our state and impacts jobs, commerce, economic development, and tax revenues for a large number of Florida's communities and industries."
Annually, the size of Florida's direct golf economy is approximately $7.5 billion (data based on 2007 study by SRI International). Golf brings visitors to the state, spurs new residential construction, generates retail sales and creates demand for a myriad of goods and services. When the total economic impact of these golf-related activities is considered, Florida's golf industry in 2007 generated approximately:
- $13.8 billion of direct, indirect and induced economic output
- 4.7 billion of wage income
- More than 167,000 jobs
"Golf has a dramatic impact on our State," said Florida Governor Rick Scott. "Florida is the 1 golfing destination in the world, everything that we are doing to draw people and promote our state involves golf."
The 2012 Florida Golf Day featured attendees from the Florida Golf Impact Task Force including: The PGA of America, PGA TOUR, LPGA, USGA, Club Managers Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, World Golf Hall of Fame, World Golf Foundation, The First Tee, Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association, Florida Turfgrass Association, Florida Chapter of Club Managers Association of America, North Florida PGA Section, South Florida PGA Section, Florida State University's PGA Golf Management University Program, Florida Junior Golf Council and Golf Channel.
An interactive swing zone was set up at Waller Park, on the west side of the Capitol, featuring North Florida PGA Professionals and David Leadbetter, a renowned PGA Professional and coach to several prominent PGA, European, LPGA and Champions Tour players. Throughout the day, members of the golf industry met with key legislators, state agency heads and members of the Governor's Office to stress the importance of golf in Florida.
"With more than 1,100 golf facilities in Florida, there are 167,000 people who are employed because of the golf industry in the state," said PGA Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka. "Golf is enjoyed by millions who visit the wonderful courses throughout Florida, as well as those of us who live here. It's a great game, and we also want elected officials and agency personnel in Florida – whether they're making the decisions on legislation or writing a law for this country – to recognize that we have a very good economic model for those whose livelihoods depend on golf."
Florida Golf Economic Highlights (based on 2007 SRI Study):
Golf Facility Operations
In 2007, more than $3.4 billion in revenue was generated among Florida's:
- 1,128 golf courses
- 75 stand-alone ranges
- 84 miniature golf facilities
This level of revenue is comparable to the revenues of all other major spectator sports in the state combined—football, baseball, basketball, hockey, auto racing and soccer.
Major Tournaments and Associations
Florida is home to the:
- PGA TOUR, in Ponte Vedra Beach
- LPGA, in Daytona Beach
- The PGA of America, in Palm Beach Gardens
- The First Tee, World Golf Hall of Fame and World Golf Foundation, all in St. Augustine.
In 2012, Florida will host multiple professional golf championships, including six PGA TOUR events featuring THE PLAYERS Championship and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship; as well as three Champions Tour events; two Nationwide Tour events; and one LPGA Tour event.
Hospitality/Tourism: In 2007, SRI estimates golf-related tourism spending in Florida was $1.71 billion ($1.57 billion from domestic visitors; and $0.14 billion from international visitors). This is based on the following golf-trip and associated-expenditure data for Florida residents and non-residents:
- An estimated 2.03 million day trips—with average spending of $62 per day
- An estimated 3.17 million domestic overnight trips—with average spending of $454 per trip
- An estimated 0.29 million international overnight trips—with average spending of $476 per trip.
- The average length of a domestic overnight trip in Florida is more than five days, significantly longer than other states.
Florida Golf Gives Back
Numerous charitable events are hosted on Florida's golf courses each year, benefiting organizations such as the: Miami Children's Hospital; First Tee Miami; Make-A-Wish Foundation; Baptist Children's Hospital; Children's Miracle Network Hospitals; Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation; The First Tee National School Program; Boy Scouts of America; American Red Cross; Alzheimer's Support Network; and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southwest Florida.
The total amount of charitable giving attributed to the game of golf in Florida surpassed $300 million in 2007.
About WE ARE GOLF
Led by the Club Managers Association of America, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, The PGA of America and the World Golf Foundation, WE ARE GOLF is a coalition formed to tell the true story of golf. Not just the game, but the stories of the hardworking men and women who make it the greatest sport in the world and whose livelihoods depend on it. It is these accounts that affirm the continued health and growth of the golf industry is vital to thousands of communities across the country and instrumental in enhancing the lives of millions of Americans. By showcasing golf's diverse businesses and their employees, the tax revenues it creates, the tourism it spawns, the charity it generates, and the environmental benefits it provides, WE ARE GOLF is leveling the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up the industry and depend on the sport for their success.
Please visit WeAreGolf.org for more information.