“We are very excited to have so many leaders join us in Washington to help advocate for the game of golf.” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. “We are also pleased to release this new study that helps reflect the important role the game plays in the American economy.”
National Golf Day also marked the official return of the Congressional Golf Caucus in the US Congress. The bipartisan group, led by Representatives Nancy Mace, Jimmy Panetta and Richard Hudson, will work with their colleagues to explore ways to expand the game of golf in the US and abroad.
Mace said: “As we celebrate National Golf Day, let us acknowledge the profound power of this beautiful sport to bring people together. On the fairways and greens, individuals from all walks of life can converge, sharing their passion for the game and forging lifelong friendships. Golf transcends any barriers, which is quite a feat in a place like DC. Today, let us embrace the unifying spirit of golf and revel in the joy it brings, as we thank those who work every day to make this wonderful game accessible and great.”
The 2023 National Golf Day is the first in-person event in two years, as the previous two events were conducted virtually due to the pandemic. With in-person meetings back this year, attendees also got to hear from political advisor and television commentator Mark McKinnon for the special Keynote Briefing Session on May 9.
“While golf may have started across the pond, it long ago grew into a great American tradition. Played by everyone from presidents, professors, and Super Bowl-winning QBs to city workers, country lawyers, and county clerks, it is a game for the masses,” said McKinnon. “I’ve been known to swing a club or two, and no matter who I’m playing with—regardless of profession, political beliefs, or skill level – I find those 18 holes to be a great equalizer. Golf teaches us important lessons about how to bridge our differences and make the most of a long walk with people whose opinions we don’t always share. A round of golf can be good for democracy.”
The new Economic Impact Study, conducted by the National Golf Foundation, provides insight into the health of the industry, including:
- Golf’s complete economic portrait in the US, which totals $226 billion and reveals a significant ripple effect, with millions spurred to travel, make ancillary purchases, and buy and build homes connected to golf.
- The enabling of 1.65 million jobs (including more than 1 million directly tied to the industry).
- Golf as a vehicle for fundraising, with almost $4.6 billion raised in 2022, a 16% increase compared to 2016 ($3.9 billion) and close to 1% of all charitable giving in the U.S. Over 90% of golf-related fundraising was stimulated by events at local courses, with 4-out-of-5 facilities holding at least one event in 2022.
- How alternative forms of golf (like Topgolf) have made the game increasingly accessible to a larger, more diverse audience, helping to push golf’s overall participant base to 41.1 million (up from 32 million in 2016). In 2022, 48% of all golf participants (on- and off-course) were between the ages of 6 and 34, outsizing their share of the U.S. 6+ population (41%).
- How the on-course participant profile continues to diversify, with new high marks in 2022 in the proportion of golfers who are female or people of color.
Source: Golf Business News