If you talk to a few people and ask them what golf means to them you will get lots of varying opinions. For some it is a rich man’s hobby and for others it is just another boring sport.
One thing you may never hear is that it is a huge money spinner. In this piece, we spoke with Golf and Finance expert David Rycott to get a good overview of the economy of golf stores and courses from a studier of the sport. We also take a look at the latest figures from SRI international on the economic impact of golf, using the United States as a case study.
The report shows that there were 26 million golfers in the USA in 2011 and they collectively pulled in $69 billion in revenue for the country during that year. The 2011 figure was down from the 2005 research ($79 billion), but it still managed to out-perform revenue from a collection of other professional sports such as hockey, football, basketball and baseball. The revenue from golf rose to $177 billion when the ripple effect of golf on tourism was taking into account. This is enough to convince anyone about the economic impact of golf.
The National Golf Foundation says there are 16,000 private and public golf courses in the US. Each of the courses cost developers large sums to varying degrees. The Trump National Golf Club is the most expensive among the lot in terms of construction. It cost Trump International $264m.
As of 2011, there were more than 75 construction projects going on, and combined they were contributing $515.8 million to the US economy and another $1.6 billion in investments into already existing courses.
The Flourish of Golf Stores
Golf and Finance Expert David Rycott spoke with us about the real upswing in profits and revenue that golf stores can bring to the economy. He said, “the average golfer or enthusiast spends a lot of money on golf merchandise. In the year under review, golf supplies brought in a massive $2.1 billion for the US economy”.
It was also pointed out that about $1.6 billion of this amount went to golf apparels with brands like Greg Norman Collection and Tuttle Golf making the most sales. Golf bags were also popular as people spent between $30 and $10,000 for their golf bags.
Golf clubs and balls
Golf clubs and balls brought in a $3.5 billion in revenue for the US in 2011, with the most popular clubs and balls being the Callaway golf clubs (especially the Callaway X Hot 3Deep Fairway Wood) and the Callaway Hex Chrome balls. The Five Stars club pack from Honma (Japanese manufacturer) was also popular with golfers. They sold for $32,000; this is a luxury 14-set golf club made from platinum and gold!
The Future of Golf Stores and Courses
With these figures, it is certain that golf goes beyond being a pastime. The figures cover the U.S but it shows how big the golfing industry is globally. Most of the chief golf stores and destinations around the world will have positive financial figures on the golfing industry even though they will be far lower than the US figures. It’s clear the golf industry isn’t going away anytime soon.