California Alliance for Golf Releases Findings from 2013 California Golf Economic and Environmental

"The golf industry adds $13 billion to the California economy, provides jobs for thousands, charity to many, and outdoor recreation for persons of all ages,” – California State Senator Steve Knight (Santa Clarita).

Last Thursday at Del Paso CC in Sacramento the unified California golf industry released findings from The California Golf Economy: Economic & Environmental Impact Report. The 52-page report, commissioned by Golf 20/20 for the California Alliance for Golf (and prepared by SRI International) documents the golf industry's financial impact upon the state -- $13.1 billion of overall economic activity that supports more than 128,000 jobs, $4.1 billion of wage income, and more than $346.6 million in charitable giving on an annual basis. The study also details the golf industry's environmental record with respect to water conservation, energy efficiency, and prudent environmental stewardship, a record second to none in the turf industry.

With 921 separate golf facilities, golf in California is an industry that generates more direct economic activity than movie theaters, fitness/recreational sports, greenhouse/nursery crops, and amusement/theme parks. It brings visitors to the state, spurs new residential construction, generates retail sales, and creates demand for a myriad of goods and services ancillary to the industry. Almost unique among participatory sports, golf gives back through direct charitable activities and support of non-profit organizations dedicated to youth and education. Contrary to the perceptions of some, golf consumes less than 1.2% of the total water used to irrigate crops, accounts for less than 1% of the total fresh water consumed in the state, and generates significantly higher economic returns per acre-foot of water than most other water-intensive industries.

In the room at Del Paso CC were leaders from the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA), Southern California Golf Association (SCGA), Northern California PGA Section (NCPGA), Southern California PGA Section (SCPGA), California Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSAA), Pacific Women’s Golf Association (PWGA), Golden State Chapter of the Club Manager’s Association (CMA), California Turf Grass & Landscape Foundation (CTLF), Southern California Municipal Golf Association (SCMGA), and California Golf Course Owners Association (CGOA). Also in the room were representatives of the American Golf Corporation, Kemper Sports Management, Courseco, Club Corp, and Empire Management Group – as well as a large contingent of print, radio, periodical and Internet media.

SCGA Executive Director Kevin Heaney serves as Secretary of the California Alliance for Golf; SCGA Governmental Affairs Director Craig Kessler presented the “Report” and moderated the press conference on behalf of some of the state’s most respected agronomic leaders, including GCSAA President Pat Finlen (Director of Golf, Olympic Club in San Francisco), Past GCSAA President Bruce Williams, USGA Green Section Honoree Ted Horton Jr., and CGCOA President Steve Plummer (Tustin Ranch).

“After weathering the deepest recession since the 1930’s and dealing with some of the oversaturation caused by the boom of the 90’s, we’ve turned the corner as an industry and are headed back up again,” said California Alliance for Golf President and SCPGA CEO Tom Addis.

Click here to view the full report, or here for the report's executive summary.

For more information about the “Report” or governmental/legislative affairs in general, you can reach SCGA Governmental Affairs Director Craig Kessler at