Golf's big impact

Ted Bishop
Getty Images
PGA President Ted Bishop is thrilled by the economic impact the game has had and continues to have with 1.98 million jobs being attributed to golf in 2011.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, January 07, 2013 | 12:26 p.m.

Just how big is golf?

The leading organizations within the industry that comprise Golf 20/20 set out to answer that question and the results may surprise you.

In 2011, the last year for which complete data was available, golf generated $68.8 billion of goods and services in the U.S. When you look at the total indirect and induced impact the game had on the economy it came to $176.8 billion supporting 1.98 million jobs with total wage income of $55.6 billion.

There were 25.7 million participants in the game and golf’s charitable impact was 3.29 billion.

Where does that put the game on the list of economic chart of other sports? 

Golf’s impact on the economy, at least in 2011, exceeded skiing, fitness, bowling, recreational sports centers and marinas in addition to adding aesthetic value to the communities where the game is played.  

“The economy has endured two significant recessions the past decade and golf has fared well,” says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation, administrator of GOLF 20/20.  “The health and growth of the game has a direct bearing on jobs, commerce, economic development and tax revenues for U.S. communities and industries.”