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Industry Leaders Convey Economic Impact of Golf to Legislators

April 12th, 2011

A well-attended Economic Impact Launch Event at the statehouse Tuesday conveyed the importance and magnitude of golf's impact on Indiana's economy. At 12:30 on the main floor of the capitol, Ted Bishop, Vice President of the PGA of America and Linda Rogers, Vice President of the National Golf Course Owners Association joined Mike David, Executive Director of The Golf Office for a brief presentation. The industry leaders presented the findings of the 2010 Economic Impact Study and emphasized the many ways that golf benefits all Indiana citizens, from facility employees and new junior golfers to local businesses and charities. Numerous legislators and Lt. Governor Becky Skillman filled the room throughout the day to learn and discuss golf's important role in the state. PGA Professionals from around Indiana were also on hand to give free hitting and putting lessons to legislators and statehouse employees.

Coverage can also be found at Inside Indiana Business.

The Study, completed in 2010, showed impressive data.  Golf provides $909 million in direct revenue to the Indiana economy. Compare that number to other industries in the state and it paints a clear picture of how important the golf industry is to the state’s economy. In Indiana, medical equipment manufacturing accounts for $5.8 billion to Indiana’s economy. Soybean production accounts for $2.4 billion to the economy and dairy products account for $640 million to Indiana’s economy.  Additionally, the Indiana Study showed that over 21,000 jobs in Indiana are created through the golf industry and account for a total wage income of $530 million.

It’s well publicized that golf and charities work hand in hand. The Study found that in 2008, charitable giving by the Indiana Golf Industry topped the $42 million mark. Golf course owners, operators and PGA Professionals serve as access points for hundreds, if not thousands, of local service organizations for their annual fundraising needs.

The findings of the study came as no surprise to those closely associated with the golf industry.

“The Economic Impact Study validates that golf is an economic engine that contributes substantially to the momentum of the Indiana economy,” said Linda Rogers, owner of Juday Creek Golf Course in Granger, Ind. and Vice President of the National Golf Course Owners Association.

PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka concurred with Rogers’ statement. “The biggest benefit of these studies is the ability to show how golf benefits not only the 1 in 11 Americans who play, but entire communities which benefit from the jobs it creates, the green space it protects and the healthy recreation it provides for people of all ages,” said Steranka.

The need for these studies became evident in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast.  Following Katrina, the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act was passed allocating tax benefits and relief for businesses that had been affected by Hurricane Katrina. The bill specified that tax benefits would not apply to golf courses or country clubs, lumping those facilities in with massage parlors, hot tub facilities, tanning salons, liquor stores and gambling establishments.


The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act highlighted the fact that the golf industry needed to coordinate efforts in order to prove how the golf industry benefits society. To date, 22 state golf economic impact studies have been conducted and the findings certainly support the fact that golf is a viable industry producing a major benefit to states’ economies.

“With the evidentiary support from the Economic Impact Study of the positive effect that golf has for Indiana through job creation, property tax generation, charitable giving, environmental stewardship and increased tourism, lawmakers will likely be more inclined to craft legislation that is favorable to the golf industry, “ said Rogers.

See the entire report here.

The study, which was prepared by SRI in agreement with Golf 20/20, was commissioned by the Indiana Golf Association and the Indiana Section of the PGA. Other associations that participated in the study were the Indiana Golf Course Owner’s Association, the Indiana Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Indiana Club Managers Association and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.