The Golf Alliance of Oregon has released a major economic study detailing the impact of the golf industry on Oregon’s economy. The study, conducted by SRI International of Menlo Park, California, estimates that the golf industry supports 27,200 jobs statewide and creates a total economic impact of $1.2 billion each year.
The Golf Alliance of Oregon is a consortium of industry players led by the Oregon Golf Association. It includes representatives from the Oregon Golf Course Owners Association, the Pacific Northwest PGA – Oregon Chapter, the Oregon Golf Course Superintendents, and the Club Managers of Oregon. The study was also funded in part by Golf 20/20, an initiative of the World Golf Foundation.
The alliance is represented by Barb Trammell, CEO of Oregon Golf Association. “This was the first major undertaking of our alliance,” noted Trammell. “We came together because it is important that we address the issues that face our industry together and with one voice. With the region’s economy showing few signs of recovery, the state searching for solutions to its budget mess, and concerns regarding the environment and sustainability, the GAO funded a study to quantify the impact golf has in our communities.”
With direct economic activity of $1.2 billion, the golf industry is on par with other Oregon industries typically thought of as much greater economic engines. For example, the software publishing industry generates $1.4 billion in annual activity while the nursery and greenhouse industry generates $0.9 billion. All figures are based on 2008 data, the most recent year available.
Oregon currently has 231 golf courses throughout the state, both public and private. Those courses, along with supporting businesses, employ over 27,000 people and generate wage income of $703.6 million annually.
For direct expenditures, golf supplies led the way for the study, accounting for $464.6 million. This number includes more than just Oregon golfers replacing balls lost to water hazards since Nike Golf’s Beaverton operations are also included in the tally. Rounding out the direct expenditures were golf facility revenues at $361.7 million and golf-related hospitality and tourism at $221.8 million.
A data point that Oregon golfers can take particular pride in notes that over $28.5 million dollars was raised for charity via charitable tournaments and the like in 2008.