Global Edition

US golf market worth $62 billion

12.30am 19th December 2002 - Management Topics

The golf economy in the United States is significant, accounting for more than $62 billion worth of goods and services in the year 2000, according to independent research institute SRI International. The World Golf Foundation, sponsor of the GOLF 20/20 initiative to grow the sport, sponsored this first-ever estimate of the overall scope of the golf economy to provide a framework for monitoring the long-term growth of the industry.

“This report clearly indicates the golf industry’s importance to the U.S. economy,” said Ruffin Beckwith, World Golf Foundation’s senior vice president. “It also serves as a measure of the progress of the industry’s efforts to grow interest in the game and to meet our target of having 55 million participants by the year 2020.”

Over the past 15 years, the golf industry has grown substantially, far outpacing inflation, and is expanding in a manner consistent with the most optimistic projections made by the National Golf Foundation in the late 1980’s. When compared to sales in other industries the golf industry, at $62 billion, fares well. For example, the motion picture and sound recording industry measured approximately $57.8 billion in 2000, and the amusement, gambling and the recreation industry measured about $55.9 billion, according to government census data.

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from SRI’s Economics and Organizational Development practices conducted the study. To determine the scope of the golf economy, SRI researchers analysed existing studies and data sources such as government census statistics, state-level golf impact studies and annual reports from golf-related firms and associations. Input was also taken from industry experts and stakeholders.

SRI’s report identifies the financial contributions of multiple aspects of the golf industry, such as golf facility operations ($20.4 billion), golf course capital investment ($7.8 billion), golfer supplies ($5.9 billion), and media, tournaments, associations, and charities ($4.4 billion). Also included is the impact on “enabled” industries, such as hospitality/tourism ($13.4 billion) and real estate ($9.9 billion).

The complete report that includes detailed methodology, estimates and references will be available in a few weeks at

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