Orlando or not, the numbers sound like Disney fiction: The industry generates $76 billion annually in direct economic impact and can claim approximately 2 million jobs with a wage impact of $61 billion nationally.
The stage could not have been better to relay the splashy message. The PGA expo this year features 1 million feet of exhibit space and will draw an estimated 45,000 spectators for the week. So, from that standpoint, officials such as Mona and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who helped present the new data, were preaching to the choir.
The research was conducted by SRI International, which used federal government models to arrive at its estimates. This marked the second time the sport commissioned an economic study, and despite a broad slump in the sport's growth rate since the survey was conducted five years ago, the numbers have jumped markedly from the initial figure of $62 million.
"We want to be able to quantify how big our industry has become," Mona said.
The primary indices used to measure the impact were from greens fee revenues, tourism, real-estate developments linked to golf, equipment sales, plus other money generated by courses (food, weddings, dances) and the like.
Don't forget Batmitzvahs...
"Golf generates more money than any other sport in the world that we know of," Mona said.
Now, wait a sec here. Don't people bet a fair amount on the NFL?
The PGA Tour release says:
St. Augustine, FL, January 17, 2008 – A comprehensive new study, commissioned by the World Golf Foundation’s GOLF 20/20 initiative, has determined that golf in the United States generated $76 billion in direct economic impact in 2005, up significantly from $62 billion five years ago. The study, the 2005 Golf Economy Report, was conducted by SRI International. It was designed by the leadership of GOLF 20/20 as an update to a similar SRI study that measured the U.S. golf economy in 2000.
In addition to golf’s direct revenues, the 2005 Golf Economy Report presents for the first time the direct, indirect, induced and total economic impact of golf on the U.S. economy. The report indicates that golf generated a total economic impact of $195 billion in 2005, creating approximately 2 million jobs with wage income of $61 billion.