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Golf Creates 40,000 Jobs for Virginia, Study Reveals

The Magnitude of Golf's Economic Impact
 
An independent study of the impact of golf upon Virginia has established that the state's golf industry generates $3.1 billion annually of direct, indirect and induced economic impact (www.vgcsa.org). In addition, golf courses provide positive, environmentally-friendly spaces for the state.
 
Published by SRI International, the study was commissioned by the Virginia Golf Council in Richmond (VGC) and was accomplished through a comprehensive, standardized framework that can be replicated nationwide. The study is an extension of a consensus by the coalition group Golf 20/20, and will serve as a model to measure golf's economic impact in other states.  
 
Because golf's impact has been proven, decisions by Virginian lawmakers can be made that will protect the golf industry and promote its growth. "Our five organizations have come together so that we can better illustrate the tremendous importance that the golf industry has to the Commonwealth and its citizens," said Virginia State Golf Association President Barry F. Shea.  "As evidenced by the economic impact study, the golf industry is an important contributor to our economic vitality in Virginia. We hope that the state legislature will work with our organizations when considering legislation and regulatory procedures affecting the golf industry in the Commonwealth so we can maintain and grow this vitally important industry."
 
Among the findings in the VGC study, the golf industry:
 
Ø Generated 40,189 direct and indirect jobs for its citizens
Ø Generated $1.6 billion of direct economic output
Ø Generated $984.4 million in direct and indirect salaries and wages in the state economy
Ø Generated $678.5 million in hospitality and tourism.
 
"This study is a template by which all states may use to work with their respective governments, tourism, and commerce departments for support in sustaining and promoting golf within their borders," said Middle Atlantic PGA President Bob Baldassari, PGA head professional at Cannon Ridge Golf Club in Fredericksburg, Va.  "It is truly amazing how substantial golf is in driving Virginia's economy."
 
Golf's Environmental Impact
 
The study also verified the environmental impact that the golf industry has on Virginia:
 
Ø Golf courses occupied 2.2 percent of the Commonwealth's turfgrass area while consuming only 0.4 percent of the ground and surface water used in the state.
Ø Golf courses provide a safe habitat for wildlife with numerous courses designated as environmentally-protected areas.
Ø Golf courses operate using integrated pest management strategies, making responsible, ecological decisions.
Ø Golf turfgrass is a great aquifer and utilizes carbon dioxide waste gas to release oxygen into the atmosphere.
Ø The return on investment is far greater than any other agricultural product per acre (golf yields $18,480 per acre vs. $189 per acre for corn and grain).
Ø The golf community continues research at Virginia Tech in agricultural and turfgrass sciences.
 
There are few industries with as much positive impact - economically, recreationally, and environmentally - as the sport of golf.

By Neil Whitehall
Get Golf Jobs, Contributing Editor

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