Industry leaders met with members of the House of Representatives and Senate to discuss golf’s economic and tourism impact, environmental stewardship, charity and the health benefits.
The game’s direct economic impact in Florida was $8.2 billion in 2013, an increase from $7.5 billion in 2007 according to a report by GOLF 20/20. Florida’s golf industry supports more than 132,000 jobs and $3.6 billion in annual wage income along with being home to more than 1,000 golf facilities, the most of any state.
“Golf is a driving force of Florida's economic engine and it's important for Congressional leaders to be reminded annually about the impact of our industry,” says Geoff Lofstead, president of Golf Florida Alliance and executive director of the PGA of America South Florida Section. "With more than 1,000 courses in the Sunshine State, golf creates jobs, increases tax revenue and boosts tourism."
Florida Golf Day attendees included the Florida Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America, Florida Department of State – Division of Historical Resources, Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association, Florida State University Global Club Management Program, Florida State Golf Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Harrell's, North and South Florida Sections of the PGA of America, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, WGF and World Golf Hall of Fame.
This past weekend, PGA TOUR Super Store expanded to the Orlando region, with plans to grow its brick-and-mortar business by 50 percent in the next three years.
In January, Florida hosted approximately 1,000 exhibiting customers and brands at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. More than 40,000 attendees and exhibitors from nearly 90 countries attended, which brought an estimated $84.7 million economic impact to the region.
Proceeds from THE PLAYERS Championship benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled more than $92 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, including a record $8.7 million generated in 2017. Annually, THE PLAYERS has an economic impact of $150 million according to a 2007 University of Florida study.
In all, 13 professional golf tournaments will call Florida home this year: five PGA TOUR, three Champions Tour, one LPGA Tour, one Web.com Tour and three Symetra Tour events.