Report reveals golf’s $3.3 billion contribution to Australia

The Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) has today unveiled a report that reveals golf provides $3.3 billion in total annual benefits to the Australian community, economy and environment.

Media release

The 2023 Community Benefits of Golf in Australia report was commissioned by the AGIC, comprising the key national bodies of the golf industry in Australia, including the PGA of Australia, Golf Australia and the WPGA Tour of Australasia.

It was conducted by SGS Economics & Planning and details the wide-ranging and sizeable benefits of golf through quantified data and a robust methodology.

Headlining the report’s findings are the $3.3 billion in total annual benefits of golf; the growing and deepening participation in all forms of golf; and golf’s estimated annual household expenditure of $10.3 billion.

It also shows that 37 percent of adult Australians – a total of 7.23 million people – say they have visited a golf facility as a non-player.

The health benefits of golf are highlighted by the fact Australian golfers walk 280 million kilometres annually, or the equivalent to more than 7000 laps between the Earth and our moon.

On-course golfers are also happier than those who don’t get outdoors to play the game, rating 7.1 percent higher in subjective health and wellbeing compared to non-round golfers.

“Golf is big, it is different and it is changing, and this report quantifies that statement while providing the necessary, and enlightening, data to help change the perception of golf,” WPGA Tour of Australasia CEO and AGIC Chair Karen Lunn said.

“Golfers are happier and healthier because of this great game, and they are providing significant benefits to their communities and the wider Australian economy and environment through their participation.”

The benefits outlined in the report are partly created by the 3.5 million Australians who play a form of golf – 2.2 million on course, 1.3 million off course – across 1603 places to play around Australia.

These numbers make golf one of the country’s largest participation sports.

Golf’s contribution to the Australian economy is valued at $394 million for businesses and $122 million for industry workers, while the best example of sport’s huge economic impact is the $336 million of benefits provided via golf tourism.

Annually, 1.6 million domestic overnight trips are made by Australians, and another 150,000 international tourists visit, for the purpose of golf, with their spending covering items such as green fees, food, accommodation, and transportation.

“We know golf is huge in Australia and this report provides all the evidence,” PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman said.

“For the PGA, golf is a sport that provides a livelihood to our members through employment and running businesses where customer experience is of the highest priority.

“But golf is much more than that as this report explains – its social benefits, health benefits and environmental benefits are enormous.”

The report shows an additional 166,000 Australians would be considered physically inactive without golf, saving the health system $49 million, and the physical health benefits for all golfers total $423 million.

Meanwhile, through physical exercise, social interaction, and time in natural landscapes, the annual mental health benefit derived from golf is calculated at $439 million.

“The health benefits of golf are well established, including reduced risk factors for several chronic illnesses. This report adds to other academic research with detailed findings on just how beneficial golf is to the Australian community,” Golf Australia CEO James Sutherland said.

“Golf is different and getting bigger, and with this data showcasing its benefits we hope this continues to encourage more people to engage with our sport, experience our places to play, and experience improved health and wellbeing.”

Like every element of society, a key focus for golf in the current day and moving forward is how the game interacts with and helps the environment.

The Community Benefits of Golf in Australia report details an annual environmental benefit of $890 million created by golf.

These benefits include water filtration and purification, flood and stormwater protection, carbon sequestration, urban cooling, and significantly higher biodiversity than public parks.

Click here to view the Community Benefits of Golf in Australia Fact Sheet.

It is hoped the report will serve as a valuable resource to the industry and a reference point for broader conversations about golf and its place and value in for Australian community.

“This report has been a significant undertaking for the Australian Golf Industry Council and it will prove to be of high value moving forward,” Lunn said.

“Golf as a game, lifestyle and its facilities as community hubs, shares undeniable and substantial benefits to Australia and the details found in the report show that in a way and depth that has never previously been available.”

The Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) was established in 2006 as a group comprising the key national bodies of the golf industry in Australia, designed to work together for the common good of the game and the industry.

The AGIC includes representatives from PGA of Australia, Golf Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia, Australian Sports Turf Managers Association, Australian Sporting Goods Association, Golf Management Australia and Society of Australian Golf Course Architects.

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