Study Reveals Michigan's Golf Industry Has Major Impact

Michigan's golf industry generates a lot of greenBLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - With the eyes of the world turning to Michigan this week for the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club, results of an independent study were recently released highlighting the importance of golf to the economy of Michigan.

As a leader in the country for golf, the study found that in 2006, golf in Michigan generated 56,977 direct and indirect jobs and over $1.3 billion in golf-related hospitality and tourism spending. The independent study also established that the state's golf industry generated $4.2 billion of direct, indirect and induced economic impact, along with providing multiple areas of positive economic impact on the state. The state ranks first in the nation in number of public golf facilities and third in the nation in the number of 18-hole equivalent courses. 

The results of the study were announced at a breakfast at Oakland Hills Country Club where leaders from the national allied associations of golf and the Michigan Golf Alliance were joined by many top government leaders from around the state.

Published in September 2007 by SRI International, the study was commissioned by the Michigan Golf Alliance and was accomplished through a comprehensive, standardized framework that can be replicated nationwide.

The study is part of the ongoing effort by the World Golf Foundation's Golf 20/20 initiative to quantify golf's economic, environmental and human impact at both the national and state levels. Golf 20/20 is supported by golf's national allied associations, including The PGA of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Club Managers Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association, United States Golf Association, the PGA TOUR and the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

The Michigan Golf Alliance is comprised of the Michigan PGA Section, the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation and Travel Michigan.

"Our organizations have come together so that we can better illustrate the tremendous importance that the golf industry has to the State and its citizens," said Golf Association of Michigan Executive Director David Graham. "As evidenced by the economic impact study, the golf industry is an important contributor to our economic vitality in Michigan. We hope that the state legislature will work with our organizations when considering legislation and regulatory procedures affecting the golf industry in the State so we can maintain and grow this vitally important industry."

Among the findings in the Michigan Golf Economy Report, the golf industry:

  • Generated 56,977 direct and indirect jobs for its citizens.


  • Generated $2.2 billion of direct economic output.


  • Generated $1.4 billion in direct and indirect salaries and wages in the state economy.


  • Generated $1.3 billion in hospitality and tourism.

The following measurement indexes are used in the SRI study:

Direct Impact

Determined by the size of the golf industry cluster within the state economy based on revenue. The state golf economy is calculated by adding the size of each of its core and enabled industries.

Indirect Impact

Determined by the purchases of golf course facilities and the companies, which provide goods and services to the golf industry and in turn, purchase goods and services from other companies.

Induced Impact

Employees directly employed within the golf sector spend much of their income in the region, which creates more spending and more jobs in the economy. Together, the "indirect" and "induced" impact forms a multiplier impact on the golf economy.

"Using the SRI template for the study was really an eye-opening experience. Without such a process, it is difficult to comprehend the size and impact of the golf industry. Taking into account all of the data, golf contributes greatly to the overall economy in Michigan," said Kevin Helm, Executive Director of The Michigan PGA Section.

The study also verified the human impact that the golf industry has on the State of Michigan. In 2006, SRI estimates that the total amount of charitable giving attributed to the game of golf in Michigan exceeded $118.1 million. One example of this is the annual Team Championship event hosted by the Golf Association of Michigan which benefits the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation and the Evans Scholars Foundation. Proceeds provide full-tuition college scholarships to young golf caddies.

The Buick Open, a PGA TOUR event, also raises significant funds for local charities each year, such as the Easter Sales, American Red Cross, the Whaley Children's Center and the American Lung Association in 2006.

"The public and private sectors have long known the significance of the economic impact of golf in Michigan; this new research confirmed the importance of golf to our tourism promotion efforts and to the broader Michigan economy," said George Zimmermann, Vice President for Travel Michigan, a business of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "We offer enthusiasts some of the best golf in the world, and the quality of our golf product makes the golf industry an economic engine for the state of Michigan."

"One of the most exciting developments of the last several years has been the ability to take the economic impact template from the national report and apply it at the state level," said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. "Michigan now joins a number of states that have produced and publicized their own reports. This offers those states several important benefits, including an improved ability to secure public support for increased golf tourism promotion, as well as positively impacting legislation that can benefit golf facilities."

For a copy of the complete Michigan report or other economic research on golf, visit 


Please Share