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Industry Initiatives > Image of the Game  




The World Golf Foundation (WGF) is taking a lead role on behalf of the U.S. golf industry to better communicate golf's many positive contributions to society.

Among other activities, work is underway to:

  • Develop clear messages about the industry's significant economic, human and environmental contributions
  • Create and distribute regular and credible communications about the industry's economic vitality
  • Engage a broad spectrum of the golf industry in a coordinated and strategic effort to tell golf's story to a non-golf audience of key influencers, including government officials, media and others


In all its efforts, WGF strives to share a variety of key facts about the U.S. golf industry. Most importantly, the efforts stress that golf is a sport played by more than 24 million Americans, and enjoyed as a favored spectator activity by millions more. But it is far more than a game: golf is a leading U.S. industry that makes a wide variety of positive contributions to our society, in the following areas:


  • The golf industry impacts 2 million jobs in the U.S. and total wage income of $55.6 billion.
  • The total economic impact of golf in America has been measured at $176.8 billion, including golf's direct, indirect and induced impacts.
  • Golf provides a direct economic impact of $70 billion.
  • The golf industry is larger than the motion picture and recording industries combined.


  • Golf generates $3.9 billion for charitable causes each year. The great majority of these funds are raised at thousands of fundraising events across the country designed to benefit local communities and their citizens.
  • Approximatey 12,000 golf facilities nationwide hosted charitable events in 2011.
  • Golf teaches essential life skills to young people - sportsmanship, respect, integrity, honesty, self-control. These positive traits are shared with youngsters through youth development programs such as The First Tee and junior golf programs across the country.
  • Golf facilities provide a vital community service in offering a place to recreate and socialize, serving as a hub of community social interaction.


  • There are over two million acres of green space on golf courses in the U.S.
  • A golf course is a healthy natural environment. The turfgrass on golf courses serves as a filter to runoff to control flooding; out of play areas offer wildlife habitat; trees and bushes filter dust and pollen; and the green space has a cooling effect on surrounding property.
  • Golf courses are professionally managed by individuals who have been educated, certified and/or licensed to ensure that the golf facilities are operated in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • The widespread benefits of golf course landscapes are delivered with the minimal use of water, with golf courses accounting for only one-half of one percent of U.S. annual water consumption.