Golf Market

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The 2011 Golf Economy Report represents the third study estimating the economic impact of the golf industry in the United States (2000, 2005, 2011).1 This research represents part of a larger strategy by the World Golf Foundation, and the golf industry’s allied associations, to measure the longitudinal growth and impact of the game over time. The results presented in this report focus primarily on the economic activity supported by the game of golf in 2011, but also highlight changes since 2000 and 2005.
Over the past decade, the golf industry has endured two significant U.S. economic recessions (in
2001 and in 2007-09). In spite of a challenging economic environment, the game of golf continues to offer lifelong recreational opportunities and enjoyment for millions of people in the
U.S. In 2011, golf attracted approximately 25.7 million participants.2 Since the second Golf
Economy Report in 2005, the total number of traditional golf facilities contracted slightly from
16,052 to 15,751 in 2011, but remains at a higher level than in 2000. Facility attrition and weaker revenues for some types of facilities (such as daily fees) were most likely a result of declines in overall participation and spending given the weaker economic conditions in the latter half of the decade.
SRI estimates that the U.S. golf economy generated $68.8 billion of goods and services in the year 2011. This represents an overall decline of 9.4 percent from 2005 (when the estimated size of the golf economy was $75.9 billion), primarily reflecting a contraction in golf real estate and capital investment, which includes new course construction. Relative strengths were in core golf facility operations, tournaments and associations, and golf-related travel, which increased by 6.4 percent, 21.6 percent, and 14.2 percent, respectively. By comparison, inflation grew 13.4 percent over…...

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