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The 2016 Hsbc Golf Business Forum

A $70 Billion Dollar Industry That Impacts 1 Out Of Every 75 Jobs In The United States

The HSBC Golf Business Forum, the largest annual gathering of hundreds of top-level executives representing all facets of the golf industry, took place from November 28 to December 1, 2016 at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

A variety of topics were discussed at the Forum, but two interviews by The Golf Channel of World Golf Foundation CEO Steve Mona on December 1, caught my attention. Full replay videos of the interviews are available on The Golf Channel’s web site here and here.

During the interviews, Steve Mona discussed the current state of the golf industry and plans in 2017 to enhance the economic measures used to assess the scale of the industry and its impact on the economy. These new methods will enable the golf industry to be compared on an “apples to apple” basis with other professional sports industries.

Some of the key takeaways from the interviews:

  • Golf is a nearly $70 billion dollar industry annually, that employs directly or indirectly, almost 2 million people. This represents 1 of every 75 jobs in the U.S.
  • Golf generates almost $4 billion dollars in charitable contributions annually. That is more than the four major professional sports (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL) combined!
  • The new enhanced methods of estimating the economic impact of golf in 2017 will include all aspects of those playing golf as participants and those who are fans, who may watch golf events in person, via television and via streaming media on computers and mobile devices. This will represent a major shift in how these measures are used and reflect the shifting golf participation environment that new content distribution technologies have enabled.
  • Worldwide, rounds of golf played were up around 1.8% in 2015, as compared to 2014 and so far in 2016, are up 1.2% from 2015.
  • The We Are Golfwhite coalition has had an increasing impact politically in Washington, D.C. in enhancing the image of the industry and the understanding of lawmakers regarding its economic impact. National Golf Day 2017, an annual industry awareness event held on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. sponsored by We Are Golf, will take place on April 26, 2017.
  • It is important to continue to find ways to increase and retain participation by women, minorities and “millenials”, which represent the demographic groups with the greatest potential increase in golf participation and fan base, besides youth (under 18).
  • The pending impact of Tiger Woods returning to the game at the Hero World Challenge (December 1 – 4) and the recent and ongoing worldwide impact of the return of golf to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in August have been and will continue to be significant.

If you are a new golfer and/or have a junior golfer that is interested in taking up the game or improving your skills, Walt Disney World® Golf is committed to supporting you. We offer lessons, junior camps and our Player’s Club, taught by our PGA of America Professionals to offer a variety of instructional opportunities. Disney’s Oak Trail 9-hole walking course provides for a family friendly golf experience for new and junior golfers.

We look forward to welcoming you to the “Happiest Place on TURF!”