It wasn’t too long ago that many declared that golf was going through a drought and that it would be dead soon. Now, on one of its grandest stages at the U.S. Open, the USGA is taking the opportunity to tell all of those people how wrong they were.
In an interview with the FOX Business Network this week, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan stated that golf has become an industry worth over $70 billion and creates 2 million jobs each year. He also flaunted data from the National Golf Foundation, an independent source, that found that 23.8 million people are now playing golf. This number of people playing the sport is more than basketball, tennis, soccer, and football.
Those are some pretty impressive numbers for a sport that was about to become a fossil according to sport business people. Further, the PGA has greatly expanded upon the sheer amount of people playing the game. In the last five years, golf has seen a 25% increase in the number of junior golfers heading out to the links. Outside of youth commitment, there were also 2.5 million people who just picked up the game in the past year.
This isn’t exclusive to the men’s tour either, as women are a huge factor into how much the game has expanded. “We’ve doubled the number of girls who are playing the game since 1995, which is something we are extremely excited about,” Monahan said. Not many sports could say that about their entire industry, let alone just in the female category.
So what is it that has enhanced golf to be one of the top sports industries in the world? Monahan likes to point towards improvements in technology as well as better TV broadcasting. Technology seems to be the main attribute driving golf’s resurgence with the PGA TOUR recently dipping into live streaming on social media and giving access to the sport to people around the world.
Even though the PGA TOUR is looking to finish up their season early to avoid conflict with the NFL and NBA, with these stats that are coming in, maybe it is those two sports that sure start deferring to golf in the future.
Cover Photo via Flickr
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