The Colorado Golf Coalition (CGC) in collaboration with the National Golf Foundation and Radius Sports Group has reported the direct economic impact from golf in Colorado was $1.3 billion in 2019 while golf courses contributed approximately 33,061 acres of green infrastructure for wildlife habitat and improved quality of life.
The Colorado Golf Economic & Environmental Impact Report shows the industry generated more than an estimated $2.0 billion (direct, indirect, and induced) to the wider Colorado economy, with more than 19,400 jobs supported by the golf industry, $696.5 million in wage income, and more than $166.5 million in state and local taxes. This compares favorably to $4.8 billion and 46,113 jobs contributed by the Colorado snow sports industry in 2015.
Colorado golf’s greenspace includes turfgrass and 11,855 acres of water, wetlands, and native rough which supports wildlife and pollinator habitats, cools the urban heat island, filters surface water runoff and contributes to health and well-being. The report’s environmental highlights show water use of less than 1 percent of the state’s annual water consumption, with approximately 97 percent of Colorado golf courses employing at least three or more water conservation measures.
“The Colorado golf industry is committed to contributing to the economic and environmental health of the state,” said Fossil Trace Golf Club Head PGA Professional and President of the Colorado PGA Jim Hajek. “Golf is enjoyed by approximately 487,300 golfers in Colorado – this is roughly equivalent to the entire population of Colorado Springs plus a sold-out Ball Arena.”
Economic activity is driven through golf facility operations, supplies, capital investments, charitable events, tournaments and associations, golf tourism, retail spend, and new home construction in golf communities. Consumer-spend at golf facilities was reported to exceed $639.3 million and golf tourism contributed $281.3 million to the economy, while facilities invested $92 million in capital improvements.
Of Colorado’s 236 golf facilities, 76 percent are public and of those, 46 percent are municipal. Events hosted at golf facilities raised an estimated $35.6 million for Colorado charities such as the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver and the Children’s Miracle Network. Community impact programs include the Junior Golf Alliance, PGA Jr. League, the First Tee, the First Green, and PGA REACH promoting golf instruction, fitness, STEM learning, inclusion, and workforce diversity.
“We’re proud that Colorado golf facilities are leaders in environmental stewardship,” said Eaton Country Club Superintendent and Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association President Kyle Merritt. “In 2019 we published a guide of best management practices covering twelve key areas focused on protecting the environment, promoting optimal playing conditions, and preserving natural resources.”
The industry’s use of recycling and composting efforts contributed to a waste diversion rate of 55.6 percent in 2018, greater than reported 2018 figures for the State of Colorado and 2017 nationwide figures, which were 17.2 percent and 35.2 percent, respectively. The report indicated that Colorado golf facilities are also implementing energy reduction measures including 13 percent reporting onsite solar energy production and 22 percent using lithium-ion battery golf carts, with an additional 31 percent planning to add the carts in less than five years.
The CGC promotes collaboration and engagement with communities, civic leaders, and legislators. Colorado’s legislative leaders have recognized the importance of golf for the state via proclamation. The Colorado Golf Economic and Environmental Report is the first of its kind to fully integrate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlighted by economic and environmental sections to demonstrate global impacts. The SDGs, or Global Goals, are a universal call-to-action to end poverty, protect the planet, and promote peace and prosperity.
The report was produced through the CGC, including the Colorado Golf Association (CGA), Colorado Section of the PGA of America (PGA), Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association (RMGCSA), and Mile-High Chapter of the Club Management Association of America (Mile-High CMAA), in conjunction with the National Golf Foundation Consulting, Inc. and Radius Sports Group, a sports and sustainability consulting firm.
The full report is available online at: www.coloradogolfimpact.org
The Colorado Golf Coalition is comprised of the Colorado Golf Association (CGA), Colorado Section of the PGA of America (PGA), Rocky Mountain Golf Course Superintendents Association (RMGCSA), and Mile-High Chapter of the Club Management Association of America (Mile-High CMAA).
The CGA’s mission is to represent, promote and serve the best interests of golf in Colorado. This includes services such as handicap management, course rating, events, clinics, tournaments and membership programs. The CGA is licensed by the United States Golf Association as the “Allied Golf Association” of record for the state of Colorado. More than 60,000 members enjoy all that the CGA has to offer. https://www.coloradogolf.org/
The Colorado Section of the PGA promotes the game of golf for the golfers of Colorado, Eastern Wyoming and a small part of South Dakota. The purpose of the Section is to promote the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf, and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals and the golf industry within the Section. The Section accomplishes this purpose by enhancing the skills of its professionals and the opportunities for amateurs, employers, manufacturers, employees, and the general public within the Section. The Colorado PGA has more than 825 members and associates. https://coloradopga.com/
The RMGCSA was founded in 1936 and is dedicated to serving its members and improving golf course management practices through education, sharing knowledge, and networking. RMGCSA is the tenth-largest affiliated chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. https://rmgcsa.org/
The Mile High Chapter CMAA strives to provide members affiliated with the management of a club with the resources needed to progress and succeed in their club management career paths. Resources include education, networking, and recreational opportunities. https://www.milehighcmaa.org/
About the National Golf Foundation
The National Golf Foundation, founded in 1936, is driven by its mission to foster the growth and vitality of the game and business of golf. The NGF holds a unique position as the most trusted and preeminent provider of market research, marketing databases, business insights and programs that support every segment of the industry. ngf.org
About Radius Sports Group
Radius Sports Group, a subsidiary of ARCUS Marketing Group, LLC., is a sustainability consulting firm focused on connecting sustainability and sports. It drives environmental, social, and economic impacts through engaging sports franchises, facilities, golf courses, management companies, industry suppliers, and governing bodies, to promote sustainable operations, while positively impacting society and the environment. https://www.radiussportsgroup.com/