Issue Background

Value of golf

GCSAA Actions:


On April 18, 2012, over 95 members of the golf industry converged on Capitol Hill for the 5th annual National Golf Day. Over 100+ individual meetings with members of Congress and their senior staff were held.


We Are Golf supported the White House’s Summer Job+ Program, which was a call to action for businesses, non-profits and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for America’s youth in the summer of 2012.


As of June 2013, 32 states had commissioned state economic impact studies. Texas, Utah and Virginia were to complete studies also in 2013.


The 6th National Golf Day was held on Capitol Hill on April 16, 2013. The GCSAA Board Of Directors, staff and Government Relations Committee held 60+ meetings with Members of Congress. 



We Are Golf 


Position Statement:

Golf is more than a game – it is a major U.S. industry, providing 2 million jobs and creating annual wage income of $55.6 billion. In total, the U.S. golf economy exceeds $176.8 billion in direct, indirect and induced impacts. The golf industry produced $20.6 billion in travel expenditures in 2011. Golf’s core industries exceed the economic impact of spectator sports, the performing arts, and the amusement and recreation industries. As a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, the continued health and growth of the golf industry has a direct bearing on jobs, economic development and tax revenues for thousands of communities across the country.

Golf facilities are good for the communities they serve. Golf contributes to society by providing economic, human, health/wellness and environmental benefits. Golf facilities are professionally managed by individuals who have achieved various levels of certification, they serve as managed open green space providing habitat for wildlife, and they generate $3.9 billion for charity each year. Golf as a fundraising vehicle includes an estimated 12,000 golf facilities, 143,000 events, 12 million participants and raises $26,300 average per function. Golf courses are a valuable use of land and can provide solutions to problems resulting from land degradation and urban development, including stormwater management, wetland mitigation and brownfield redevelopment.

GCSAA supports partnerships and collaboration with federal and state commerce departments and federal, state and local chamber of commerce organizations to advance the growth of the game of golf. Golf should be included in federal catastrophic relief targeted at businesses following natural disasters. Golf should have access to federal incentives and funding that stimulates the golf industry. 


Background Information:

Golf is a sport played by more than 26 million Americans, and enjoyed as a favored spectator activity by millions more. But it is far more than a game: golf is a leading U.S. industry that makes a wide variety of positive contributions to society. According to the U.S. Census data, the golf industry is larger than the motion picture and video industries. The 2011 Golf Economy Report quantified golf's annual direct economic impact as $68.8 billion, the industry provides 2 million jobs and $55.6 billion in wage income. Golf also generates more than $3.9 billion annually for charities across the country.

Most golf facilities in the U.S. qualify as small businesses according to the Small Business Administration. Unfortunately, golf has been excluded from receiving benefits from a number of prominent pieces of federal legislation in recent years including relief for the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, relief to victims of natural disasters across the country in 2008 and 2009, and in 2009 with the federal economic stimulus bill. Continued exclusion of the golf industry – a major generator of jobs and tax revenue across the country – from relief and stimulus measures being considered by Congress is a serious challenge facing the industry. 

"Golf is more than a game – it is a major U.S. industry, providing 2 million jobs and creating annual wage income of $55.6 billion."