Golf….You’re thinking Tiger Woods, groomed courses and televised tournaments, the swing of the club, the sound of the ball hitting the bottom of the cup and the sweet smell of freshly mowed greens. However, economists think of something different- they think of 62 billion dollars!
This figure was calculated by GOLF 20/20, a project focusing on the golf-industry and its growth and run by the World Golf Foundation.
Sixty-two billion dollars is not how much it costs these economists to play golf, but is instead the figure representing the total worth of the golf industry (as of 2000). This staggering figure sums up golf facility operations, investments in courses, supplies, media, tournaments and charities as well as hospitality, tourism and real estate.
GOLF 20/20 was conducted by an independent research SRI International and was presented by Peter Ryan at the annual GOLF 20/20 conference, appropriately held in St. Augustine, Florida. The World Golf Foundation sponsors GOLF 20/20 in order to help grow the sport, and 2002 marked the first release of an estimate of the overall value of the industry. This estimate will help predict the growth of the game in years to come.
So far, past estimates have been overtaken by actual growth. In the past fifteen years the golf industry has grown so rapidly that it outran inflation and blew away estimates made in the 1980s. According to this growth, it is estimated that the industry will hold 55 million participants by 2020. Compared to other industries such as sound recording and the amusement, gambling and recreation industry, the golf industry is around $10 billion ahead.
A large amount of the golf industry depending on charitable golf tournaments, of which there were over 140,000 each year in the United States as of 2002. In total, around 15 million golfers participated in these events in 2002 grossing over $2.9 million for charity. Professional golf tournaments alone generate between $75 and $100 million, leading to an estimated total of $3,225,000,000, not including contributions made by corporations within the golf industry.
The 2002 Golf economy report (also generated by GOLF 20/20) suggests about 36 million people participated in the golf industry in that year and over 15,000 regulation courses exist for these millions of participants.
Within the golf industry, two different industries are cited by the 2002 study. First are the “core” industries of golf courses, golf wear, golf equipment, and anything else directly created for the sole use of the golf industry. The second industry includes media while real estate, tourism and travel, making up the “enabled” industry relying on golf for a large amount of business.
The core industries within golf generate the bulk of its value at $38.8 billion, while the enabled industries generate the remaining $23.4 billion.
In 2002 the total expense of golf supplies, equipment, apparel and books or magazine ended at $6 billion with the apparel market alone generation $1 billion. This marks an 11 percent growth in the golf apparel market since 1984.
Major golf tournaments grosses $871 million in 2000, as generated by fees, broadcast rights costs, corporate sponsors and spectator tickets and merchandise sales. Individual golfer endorsement earnings together were worth $225 million, also contributing greatly to the golf economy.
Finally, the real estate industry has generated $264 billion in new home construction on golf courses. The 1.5 million homes constructed in 2002 to make this total increase in value due to their location on or near a golf course.
All in all, the golf industry provides much more than an enjoyable game. This industry significantly contributes to the world economy through direct and indirect means and provides for wonderful entertainment to millions. GOLF 20/20 will continue to track the golf industry and look forward to rapid growth in the coming future.