Study: Golf major industry for state

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
Posted by of Insight Publications

Golf is more than just a way to spend your down time. It’s also an economic engine that drove $1.2 billion into Wisconsin’s economy in 2008.

Golf not only brings visitors to the state – such as this week's PGA Championship at Whistling Straights in Sheboygan County, it also drives new construction and residential development, generates retail sales, and creates demand for a myriad of goods and services. When the total economic impact of these golf-related activities is considered, Wisconsin’s golf industry generated approximately $2.4 billion of direct, indirect and induced economic output, $771.5 million of wage income and 38,431 jobs in 2008. Wisconsin's nearly 500 golf facilities in the state, like most small businesses, serve as the main driver in the golf economy.

That means golf is one of the state’s biggest industries. Medical device manufacturing pours $2.4 billion in direct revenue in the state, corn production accounts for $1.7 billion and breweries ring up $851.3 million.

"Golf is more than just an enjoyable pastime for thousands in Wisconsin; it is a billion-dollar industry that serves as a major contributor and driver of jobs, wage income and tourism," says Joe Steranka, the PGA’s chief executive officer. "The PGA of America is pleased to return to Wisconsin to present the 92nd PGA Championship and to show off to a viewing audience of more than 500 million worldwide what a truly amazing venue Wisconsin has to offer."

The Wisconsin Golf Economy Report, prepared by SRI International, was commissioned by GOLF 20/20 for the Wisconsin allied golf associations including the Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Wisconsin PGA Section and the Wisconsin State Golf Association.

— By MaryBeth Matzek