Golf 20/20

California Golf Economic & Environmental Study

The California Alliance for Golf commissioned Golf 20/20 to conduct an Economic Impact Study for the State of California with an comprehensive environmental component

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Golf Industry Study Overview

With 921 golf facilities, golf in the Golden State is a key industry contributing to the vitality of California’s economy.

In 2011, the size of California’s direct golf economy was approximately $6.3 billion. This is comparable to revenues generated by other key industries in the state, such as movie theatres and drive-ins ($2.6 billion), fitness and recreational sports ($3.6 billion), greenhouse/nursery crops ($3.7 billion), and amusement/theme parks ($3.7 billion).
In 2011, California’s golf industry generated a total economic impact of $13.1 billion, supporting over 128,000 jobs with $4.1 billion of wage income.

Golf brings visitors to the state, drives new construction and residential development, generates retail sales, and creates demand for a myriad of goods and services.

California's highly diversified economy includes a range of manufacturing industries (aerospace; computers and electronics; composite materials; etc.), service industries (health care; management; professional, technical and scientific; etc.); and agricultural industries.

While many state-level economic studies surrounding the game of golf have been conducted across the country over the last several years, no comprehensive, standardized framework has been employed in these studies. This has made it difficult to monitor a state's industry growth over time, and to make state-to-state or regional comparisons.

SRI International and GOLF 20/20 are currently working with key golf stakeholders in several states, including California, to bring consistency to the industry measurement and reporting process.

This report describes and analyzes California's golf industry including the revenues and economic impact generated by the industry. Such analysis will assist California's industry stakeholders in raising awareness of the impact of golf to state and local policymakers.

It also includes an environmental component which demonstrates the industry's commitment to environmental sustainability.

There are many potential uses for such an analysis:

  • Defining the range of core and enabled industries associated with the game of golf
  • Clearly articulating, for policymakers, the employment and revenue-generating contributions of the golf industry to the state economy
  • Building credibility and recognition of the golf industry as a significant business sector and a driver of economic activity in the state
  • Demonstrating how the golf industry is committed to resource conservation and environmental excellence