How Big is the Golf Industry

The golf industry is a significant global market that encompasses a broad range of activities related to the sport of golf, including equipment manufacturing, course construction and management, professional tournaments, and golf tourism.

According to a report by the National golf Foundation, the golf industry in the United States alone generates around $84 billion in economic activity annually, including $34 billion in direct spending by golfers. The report estimates that there are nearly 24 million golfers in the United States, and that golf courses and related facilities employ over two million people.

Globally, the golf industry is estimated to be worth around $70 billion, with strong markets in countries such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. The industry has seen steady growth in recent years, with the popularity of golf among younger players and the increasing interest in golf tourism driving much of this expansion.

The equipment manufacturing sector is a significant part of the golf industry, with companies such as Callaway, TaylorMade, and Titleist competing for market share in a highly competitive market. The global golf equipment market was estimated to be worth around $6 billion in 2020, with drivers and irons accounting for the majority of sales.

Professional golf is also a significant part of the industry, with major tournaments such as the Masters, the US Open, and the Open Championship attracting large audiences and significant sponsorship deals. The top golfers in the world, such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, are among the highest-paid athletes in any sport.

Overall, the golf industry is a substantial market that generates billions of dollars in economic activity annually and provides employment opportunities for millions of people around the world.

Golf Participation

YearNumber of Golfers (millions)% of U.S. PopulationTotal Rounds Played (millions)Golf Courses in U.S.
201026.19.1%47515,890
201125.78.9%44015,504
201225.38.6%46515,372
201324.78.2%46214,794
201424.17.8%46214,561
201524.17.8%49915,098
201623.87.6%50215,014
201723.87.6%45614,794
201824.27.6%43414,613
201924.27.6%44114,613

Golf Equipment Sales

YearGolf Ball Sales (millions)Golf Club Sales (millions)Golf Bag Sales (millions)Golf Apparel Sales (millions)Total Golf Equipment Sales (billions)
20105008101652,2003.68
20115258001602,1503.63
20125407751552,1003.57
20135257501502,0503.48
20145107251451,9503.33
20155157101401,9003.26
20165206901351,8503.17
20175256751301,8003.13
20185306601251,7503.07
20195406451201,7003.00

Golf Course Revenues

YearGolf Course Revenues (billions)Golf Course Expenses (billions)Golf Course Capital Investment (billions)Number of Golf Courses Sold
2010$24.6$21.4$2.6100
2011$24.1$20.8$2.4105
2012$23.8$20.6$2.2120
2013$23.3$20.0$1.8132
2014$23.0$19.6$1.7138
2015$23.0$19.5$1.5139
2016$22.8$19.2$1.4150
2017$22.5$18.9$1.3158
2018$22.1$18.5$1.1155
2019$22.3$18.6$1.1145

Golf Course Ownership

YearPrivate Golf CoursePublic Golf CourseResort Golf CourseTotal Golf Courses
20103,99710,7571,13615,890
20113,97010,7551,14415,504
20123,92510,7471,12315,372
20133,88110,6931,22014,794
20143,81110,5991,15114,561
20153,74810,5761,18315,098
20163,68510,5341,19915,014
20173,66410,4631,12714,794
20183,59610,4581,11814,613
20193,57210,4451,12114,613

Golf Industry Contributions

YearGolf-Related Contributions to Charitable Organizations (millions)Golf Industry Political Contributions (millions)
2010$3,900$47.5
2011$3,800$50.2
2012$3,600$51.3
2013$3,300$52.7
2014$3,100$55.8
2015$3,000$57.6
2016$2,800$60.3
2017$2,900$63.1
2018$3,000$64.5
2019$3,200$67.3

Golf Industry Trade Shows

YearNumber of Exhibitors at PGA Merchandise ShowAttendance at PGA Merchandise Show (thousands)Number of Exhibitors at Golf Industry ShowAttendance at Golf Industry Show (thousands)
20101,100421,00018
20111,100411,00018
20121,000411,00018
20131,000421,00018
20141,000421,00018

Golf Course Maintenance

YearGolf Course Maintenance Budget (billions)Water Usage (billions of gallons)Energy Usage (trillion BTUs)Chemical Fertilizer Usage (thousands of tons)Pesticide Usage (thousands of tons)
2010$2.232.080.1018957
2011$2.231.940.0918055
2012$2.211.870.0917753
2013$2.181.760.0816851
2014$2.161.690.0816349
2015$2.151.610.0715748
2016$2.131.560.0715347
2017$2.111.520.0715045
2018$2.101.470.0614744
2019$2.091.420.0614342

Golf Industry Technology

YearGolf GPS Units Sold (millions)Golf Simulator Sales (millions)Golf Course Management Software Market (billions)Golf Instructional Software Market (millions)Online Golf Equipment Sales (billions)
20101.8$55.2$0.6$56.8$1.7
20111.9$62.4$0.7$60.4$1.9
20122.0$69.3$0.8$64.7$2.1
20132.1$76.2$0.9$68.1$2.3
20142.2$83.1$1.0$71.5$2.5
20152.3$90.0$1.2$74.9$2.7
20162.4$96.9$1.3$78.3$2.9
20172.5$103.8$1.4$81.7$3.2
20182.6$110.7$1.6$85

Author

    by
  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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