The $84 Billion Industry

The golf industry in the United States has been on the rise; we’ve seen an increase of 22% (via wearegolf.org) in overall economic output for the U.S. golf industry between 2011 and now. In my opinion, there are three main reasons we can attribute this to.

(Photo courtesy of sports.yahoo.com)

1. The Tiger Woods Effect

The Tiger Woods Effect is strong, and set to make 2018 the biggest year yet. His 2018 return set a record for the most watched non-major tournament in PGA history. He’s regarded by many as one of the most decorated athletes ever, and is looked at in comparison to Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, and Cristiano Ronaldo. He has the ability to attract fans far and wide, from all ages, and even casual golf watchers. Even if you only see him play once, you still have the ability to say: “I saw the greatest golfer ever, do his thing.”

2. Social Media

Social Media has done wonders for the golf industry. Instagram, specifically, has given people the opportunity to see how much fun can be had on a golf course. Many funny and exciting things can be seen at on the course; it can be things such as a weird swing or someone falling over after a few too many drinks. Accounts such as Golf Gods, Colorado Golf Blog, and Bob Menery have all shown the uniqueness of golf and how much fun the game is as a social event or a round for money. The image has changed from high class, suits, and ties, to accommodating the middle to lower classes as well.

3. Fitness

Fitness has finally started to enter the game. Golf, for the longest time, was seen as the lazy man’s sport. We had the likes of John Daily and Colin Montgomery gracing our televisions, heavier set individuals that were very good at the game. When we leave those generations in the past and fast-forward to 2018, we see that fitness now has a huge role in the game. The likes of Tiger Woods, Rory Mcllroy, Dustin Johnson, and Brooks Koepka all have focused not just on the game, but on the gym as well. The new fitness standards that we see today have allowed these guys to hit the ball further than ever, as well as generate more clubhead speed that will cause more spin on the golf ball. This has added a new level of excitement and athleticism that has made the game far more interesting. We also see the introduction of new and longer courses the can be as long as 7700 yards, so that they can accommodate the long ball. (Torrey Pines South, for example).

In my opinion, these are the biggest factors that have driven the U.S. golf revenue up so much and I can definitely see it staying on a steady incline. Formerly known as a dying sport, it’s hard to see that term being used again.