Golf's growing reach – President Barack Obama's love of golf is well documented, one report even claiming he spends more time on the course than in economic meetings, and his beloved hobby contributes more to the United States economy than you might think -- an estimated $68.8 billion per year, according to the World Golf Foundation. That equates to a total economic impact of $176.8 billion.
Golf's growing reach – The tournaments themselves -- like The Masters at Augusta -- are a big money-spinner for the industry. Competitions run by the PGA of America, the PGA Tour, the USGA, and the LPGA generated approximately $1.2 billion in 2011. Tournament revenues include fees generated by selling broadcast rights to tournaments, corporate sponsorship of events, spectator ticket sales and merchandise.
Golf's growing reach – Golf is also trying to impress upon policy makers in Washington just how much of an impact they make to the U.S. economy. A National Golf Day is held every year and this year was backed by 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus who told Capitol Hill's power brokers: "As a player, designer, and businessman, I'm one of two million Americans who rely on the golf industry to support their families and gives back to communities across the United States."
Golf's growing reach – There are nearly 16,000 golf courses in the United States, 10,000 of which are open to the public. The median price of a round is $28 but prices vary depending on the course, with the exclusive Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles costing $280 to play. According to research by SRI, there were more than 75 construction projects under way as of 2011, contributing $515.8 million to the economy.
Golf's growing reach – Equipment makes up a large chunk of golf's economic impact with pro and amateurs players alike clamoring to get their hands on the latest designs. Golfers in the United States spent $3.5 billion on equipment, according to latest figures.
Golf's growing reach – Not only do the majority of golfers want to have the latest equipment in their bag they also want to look good, spending $1.6 billion on apparel. Some of the world's top golfers, like Ian Poulter, even have their own design companies to replicate their on-course look.