Golf struggles to shed it's perception as a game for the privileged elite. Ask the random person what comes to mind when they think of golf, you're likely to hear "white, exclusive, old, and expensive." Such stereotypes limit the game's growth not only from prospective golfers who decide not to take it up, but also from lawmakers who until recently, were not made aware of the myriad of economic and social benefits golf provides. Enter We Are Golf, an industry coalition geared towards communicating golf's benefits to Congressional leaders with it's pinnacle, National Golf Day, happening next week on May 21st.
For those of you still scratching your head on the benefits golf provides, let's start with a few economic facts:
- $176.8 Billion – Total economic impact of golf in America, including direct, indirect and induced impacts.
- $68.8 Billion – Total size of the golf economy nationally.
- $55.6 Billion – Total wage income from about two million U.S. jobs.
- 15,000 – Approximate number of U.S. golf facilities, with more than 10,000 open to the public.
- $20.6 Billion – Total travel expenditures produced by the golf industry.
- $5.6 Billion – Total amount spent on golf supplies.
- $523 Million – Total spent on golf-related media including books, magazines, DVDs, etc.
- $26 – Median green fee in the U.S. Eight out of 10 golfers play public golf.
People often don't realize the scope of golf and amount of lives it touches. Those who play the game all know about the life lessons and benefits the game provides, but let's stay focused on the number and benefits.
Every PGA Tournament has sponsors which result in millions of dollars going to local communities and non-profits. Golf's giving back doesn't just happen at the national level, think about the charity golf events you've participated in. What was the cause? Without golf, what would have brought together those 100 people on a Thursday afternoon? The game is totally unique in how it brings people together for common good.
Another misperception of golf is that it is not truly a sport in that it provides no fitness or health benefits. Most people realize that the players competing on TOUR are highly fit, but what about the regular folks teeing it up on weekends? You don't have to be a finely tuned athlete to enjoy the game, but anyone who plays it can experience great health benefits. A couple facts:
How about golf's environmental sustainability benefits?
- 77% of 18-hole golf facilities have taken steps to conserve energy.
- 91% of acreage on an 18-hole golf course is considered “green space” that provides benefits to the eco-system.
- Golf courses account for more than two million acres of green space in the U.S.
- An average 18-hole course comprises 150 acres including 50 acres of rough, 30 acres of fairway, six acres of greens and tees, 24 acres of forest and 11 acres of water.
The Nextgengolf team will be heading to Washington DC next week to take part in our first National Golf Day. Kris Hart, myself, and Chase Russell (The NCCGA President) will be making the trip and are excited to provide a Millennial golf perspective. We are also excited to catch up with Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation, as Chase Russell is working with Steve to help the entire golf industry promote the #FUN in golf through social media.
The game of golf is everything to Kris and me. We were both Ouimet Scholars and actually met 6 years ago fundraising in Ouimet's annual golf marathon (another great golf charitable organization). Golf is in our blood and is tied to our lives in every way. Every golfer has their own story of how they got involved with golf and why it's meaningful to them. Our goal with Chase's internship is to grow the game by helping the industry share how special and fun the game is through social media.