Winners and Losers: This Survey Provides a Leaderboard for Golf

There seems to be two schools of thought regarding golf’s future: doom and gloom, and sunshine and rainbows.

Those whose jobs touch on, or are affected by, the sport will want to know about the 2016 Golf Economy Report, as presented by WE ARE GOLF, a coalition of golf-related organizations. recently published a synopsis of some of the more interesting stats to come out of that report, and it’s a sure bet ASBA members will be interested:

  • Increase in junior golf participation: 20 percent. Among all juniors, 33 percent are girls and 33 percent are from non-white backgrounds — both record-high percentages
  • Number of golfers who played for the first time in 2016: 2.5 million, up from 1.5 million in 2011. More potential good news? The number of “latent golfers,” non-golfers interested in playing golf, doubled from 6.4 million to 12.8 million.
  • 8 million: Total number of golfers. Of those, 5.8 million (24 percent) identified as women and 4.6 million (19 percent) identified as non-white
  • Dollars spent on existing facilities: $1.9 billion, an increase from 2011
  • ​Average dollars spent on capital investment, up from $98,873 in 2011: $129,603 in 2011
  • ​Jobs supported by the golf industry, buoyed by more than one million from “golf facility operations:” 1.89 million
  • Amount spent on sales of golf equipment, apparel and supplies: $6 million
  • That’s the really good news. Then, of course, there were some downsides:
  • Net decline in total golf facilities since 2011: 737

Note: There are currently 15, 014 regulation golf facilities in the U.S.: 3,670 private and 11,344 public. There are also more than 2,300 ‘alternative golf facilities,’ including practice ranges, putt-putt golf and indoor centers, as well as theme centers like TopGolf

Amount spent on new golf course construction: $210 million. That’s down from $516 million in 2011 and WAY down from a high of $5.6 billion in 2000.

Want more? You can read the complete report HERE.

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