Minnesota Golf Association

Golf Means $2.3 Billion to Minnesota's Economy

February 6, 2019

EDINA, Minn., (Feb. 7, 2019) – Since the previous economic impact study was released more than a decade ago, Minnesota’s golf economy has weathered a financial crisis, a Great Recession, and a net decline of 7.6 percent in golf course supply. Yet over this same period, the size of the Minnesota’s direct golf economy grew from $1.332 billion to $1.555 billion, or at a 1.6 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate). 

When the total economic impact of golf-related activities is considered (core industries such as golf facility operations, construction, capital investment, plus enabled industries like real estate and hospitality/tourism), Minnesota’s golf industry generated approximately $2.3 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic output, $743.3 million of wage income and 24,993 jobs.

There can be no question that golf in Minnesota remains a popular recreational activity with important contributions to small-town economies all across the state given that 90 percent of golf facilities are open to the public. Quantifying that impact is clearer now, thanks to a recently published study on the economic impact of the golf business to the Minnesota economy. 

Titled “The Economic Impact of Minnesota Golf,” the study was prepared by TEConomy Partners (a nonprofit research and consulting firm) in agreement with Golf 20/20, the Minnesota Golf Association and its allied association partners (the Club Management Association of America, the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Minnesota Section of the PGA, the Midwest Golf Course Owners Association, and the Minnesota Public Golf Managers Association), on behalf of the golf industry in Minnesota. 

 “While the study points out how broadly golf impacts Minnesota’s economy, it also highlights the importance that every golf course plays in its local community,” says Tom Ryan, MGA executive director and chief operating officer. 

Among the study highlights, golf facilities accounted for $725.5 million in economic activity statewide, including $201.3 million in state and local tax revenue. 

“Golf is an important economic engine,” says Tom Smith, MGA president and the owner of Brackett’s Crossing Country Club, a family-oriented golf and country club in Lakeville. “At Brackett’s Crossing we cater to the leisure interests of the entire family, including maintaining a championship golf course and golf programming, pool, tennis, dining, wedding and banquet needs. The club is a source of tax revenues for Lakeville and makes a significant economic contribution to the local economy through jobs, wages and indirect spending with other local businesses,” he adds. 

The MGA supports the cooperative marketing efforts of the Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance, a golf industry group that pools resources to promote Minnesota as a golf tourism destination, and Explore Minnesota Tourism. Golf is a substantial tourism industry: travelers who played golf while on a day or overnight trip generated $480.6 million in visitor spending.  

To put the golf business in perspective with Minnesota’s other important and diverse industries, golf’s economic output is on par with the following industries: milk production ($1.606 billion); spectator sports ($752.2 million), and surgical, medical equipment and supplies manufacturing ($3.569 billion). 

According to a recent GOLF 20/20 report, the U.S. golf economy accounted for $84.1 billion in goods and services. The report estimated that golf generated a total economic impact of $191.5 billion, creating 1.89 million jobs with wage income of $58.7 billion. Beyond its sport and recreational value, golf is at the heart of a major industry cluster that generates jobs, commerce, economic development and tax revenues for communities throughout the country. 

To read the executive summary, click here.

Copies of “The Economic Impact of Minnesota Golf” are available by contacting the MGA at 952-927-4643. 

About this study
The Economic Impact of Minnesota Golf study was conducted by Jennifer Ozawa, Dylan Yetter and Peter Ryan of TEConomy Partners with significant contributions from individuals representing the Minnesota Golf Association and its allied associations: Tom Ryan and Barb Hanson (MGA); Jack Mackenzie (MGCSA); Jeff Hintz (MNPGA); Curt Walker (MWGCOA); Troy Nygaard (MPGMA); and Rollie Carlson (CMAA-UM). The study was prepared by TEConomy Partners in agreement with GOLF 20/20 and with the support of the following organizations: CMAA, GCSAA, LPGA, NGCOA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, and USGA.

About the MGA
The MGA’s mission is to uphold and promote the game of golf and its values for all golfers in Minnesota. Founded in 1901, the MGA is a non-profit association of more than 350 member golf clubs and 66,000 associate members who play organized golf at these public and private facilities. The MGA conducts 24 amateur championships and 14 USGA qualifiers every year. In addition to golf competitions, the MGA publishes the Minnesota Golfer magazine, conducts Rules of Golf workshops and education, provides USGA course rating and measuring services, supports Turf Grass Research at the University of Minnesota, and provides charitable support for additional good-for-the-game initiatives. 

Source list for The Economic Impact of Minnesota Golf study prepared by TEConomy Partners and commissioned by the MGA: Tom Ryan, MGA Executive Director/COO, 952-345-3971. 

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