Florida Governor Stresses Golf Industry's Importance at PGA Show

Florida Gov. Charlie Christ attended an economic impact forum at the 2010 PGA ShowFlorida, recognized worldwide for hosting championship golf events among its 1,278 golf facilities, also carries the banner of owning the largest direct golf economy in the United States.
Florida’s direct golf economy was $7.5 billion as of 2007, based on an independent study completed last fall. Those facts and more were examined by an executive panel representing the Florida Golf Impact Task Force, who met Thursday at the 57th PGA Merchandise Show.

The presentation attracted Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who opened the program with a promise.
“I am honored to be here and I want you to know how proud I am that this great Show is happening here in Central Florida,” said Crist. “You’re right, and the significance and the importance of golf – not just to the Sunshine State, but the entire country and world – is really about jobs, jobs, jobs. The President talked about it last night [in the State of the Union address].
“To live in a state that has a record number of golf courses and where The PGA is housed and so many golfers live, including Annika Sorenstam, who serves on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, is truly special. This is the first time that I have been able to come to the Show. It will not be the last.”
Al Kinkle, president of the Florida Club Managers Association of America, spoke for the eight-member Task Force.
"As a task force, our goal was to provide information for the industry and government leaders on the economic impact that the game of golf has on our communities,” said Kinkle. “Today’s program was an ideal forum to demonstrate that golf is more than just an enjoyable pastime – it is a multi-billion dollar industry that serves as a major contributor to the American economy and a key driver of jobs, wage income and tourism nationwide.”
The panel reviewed the findings of the Florida Golf Economy Report, prepared by SRI International, and was commissioned by GOLF 20/20 for the Florida Golf Impact Task Force. The continued health and growth of the golf industry has a direct bearing on jobs, commerce, economic development and tax revenues for a large number of Florida’s communities and industries.

The report, which contained its most recent data from 2007, indicated that the Florida golf industry generated a total economic impact of $13.8 billion, supporting over 167,000 jobs with $4.7 billion of wage income.
"There are 74 countries represented here [at the Show],” said PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka, a member of the panel. “If you think about it, the economic impact of golf in Florida alone is almost more than all of those countries.”
In 2007, Florida’s direct golf economy of $7.5 billion made golf comparable to amusement and theme parks ($4 billion), medical equipment and supplies manufacturing ($4.4 billion), agricultural products ($7.8 billion) and hotels and motels ($11.2 billion). Golf brings increased tourism, spurs new residential construction, generates retail sales and creates demand for a myriad of goods and services.
Among the findings in the Florida Golf Economy Report:

• Florida’s 1,287 golf facilities served 1.7 million in-state golfers and hosted 37.9 million rounds
• 2 out of every 3 rounds in Florida are played at public-access facilities
• 1 in 85 Floridians (age 18-and-older) work in golf with a total of 167,000 jobs and $4.7 billion in wages
• More than $300 million is raised annually for charitable causes through golf
• Golf generates $170 million annually in tourism; associated with more than 5.4 million visitor days
• Florida’s 1,128 courses, 75 stand-alone ranges, and 84 miniature golf facilities generated more than $3.4 billion of revenues.
This is comparable to the combined revenues of all other major spectator sports – auto and horse racing, football, basketball and baseball.
For the complete Florida Golf Economy Report, please visit www.GOLF2020.com


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