Golf: Not Just Surviving But Thriving

We get it. You love golf. You travel to play golf. You pay to play golf. You may even build or improve golf courses. But sometimes, we hear those predictions of doom and gloom and it’s hard to believe there’s growth.

The good news: golf is alive and thriving. In fact, Golf Magazine just published some statistics compiled by WE ARE GOLF at the beginning of the summer. Here are the fast facts (and thanks to Golf for compiling them; they are published as printed below):

20 — the increase, in percentage, over 2011 in junior golf participation, which came out to roughly 500,000 kids. It’s an increasingly diverse group, too: of all juniors, 33 percent are girls and 33 percent are from non-white backgrounds — both record-high percentages.

737 — The net decline in total golf facilities since 2011.

2,300+ — Number of “alternative golf facilities” (practice ranges, miniature golf, and indoor centers) including 1,019 miniature golf facilities and 1,304 driving ranges. Alternative facilities generated $1.131 billion — up from $907.1 million in 2011 — thanks in no small part to the rise of TopGolf.

15,014 — Number of regulation golf facilities. 3,670 private, 11,344 public.

129,603 — Average dollars spent on capital investment, up from $98,873 in 2011.

1.89 million — Jobs supported by the golf industry, buoyed by more than one million from “golf facility operations.”

2.5 million — Number of golfers who played for the first time in 2016, 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.

23.8 million — Total number of golfers. Of those, 5.8 million (24%) were women and 4.6 million (19%) were non-white.

210 million — Dollars spent on new golf course construction. That’s down from $516 million in 2011 and WAY down from a high of $5.6 billion in 2000. Better news?

1.9 billion — Dollars spent on existing facilities, an increase from 2011.

3.94 billion — Dollars raised for charity in 2016 through tournaments and other activities (up from $3.91B in 2011)

6 billion — Dollars spent on sales of golf equipment, apparel and supplies.

7.2 billion — Dollars spent on new home construction in golf communities, up from $3.1B in 2011.

25.7 billion — Dollars spent on golf-related tourism in the U.S. in 2016.

191.9 billion – Dollars supported by the industry in total activity for 2016.

Want all the details? You can read the full report HERE.

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