The Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) has launched The Community Impact of Golf in Australia Report 2017.
It is widely recognised that golf has long provided a considerable benefit to the Australian economy. Additionally, the sport has had a significant impact on the health and social wellbeing of those who participate.
But until now, that value of this contribution has remained a mystery.
AGIC commissioned a formal study, recently completed by Sport Business Partners and Street Ryan to demonstrate the specific economic, social and health benefits the game provides to communities in Australia.
AGIC chairman and Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt was encouraged by the findings and said the report would help the wider community understand golf’s true value.
“As one of Australia’s most popular participation sports for generations, golf’s sporting allure is no secret,” Pitt said.
“What hasn’t been as obvious to all are the economic, social and health impacts the sport generates. The AGIC study is a great step forward in being able to document the incredible value the game represents to not only those involved directly in the sport, but the Australian community at large.
“And, as the game evolves and expands to take in myriad new non-traditional forms, all new facilities – not just traditional clubs – are playing an ever-expanding role.
“There are the more tangible benefits such as golf tourism and its associated financial benefits, or the increasingly important environmental aspects that open and green spaces encourage. But as important, if not more so, are the intangibles.
“This study reveals and documents the health advantages of engagement with golf – physical and mental health benefits worth millions of dollars to the Australian community which are, quite simply, enormous.
“Golfers are generally happier than others in the community at large, they are in better health and have greater social networks on which to call when things are tough.
“While the numbers on tangible aspects are obviously eye-catching, I encourage all readers to look further and soak in the all-encompassing benefits of our wonderful sport.
“We have, collectively as an industry, maintained for years that golf is the game for life. In this report, to our immense pride and above all other sports, those who love golf can say those claims are now undeniably substantiated.”
Report highlights include:
• In total, golf in Australia contributes $3.614 billion annually to the community, comprising almost $3.483 billion in economic contribution and $132 million in physical and mental health contribution
• Golf tourism generates $477 million per year through day and overnight visitation, food and beverage spending, accommodation, travel, shopping, etc
• Golf’s physical health benefits contribute $126.6 million per year because of the prevention of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer
• Golf teaches valuable life lessons and principles such as respect, honesty, etiquette and self-discipline
• Golf provides a foundation to build a strong and connected community
• Participation in golf provides regular and cross-generational social interaction across the life span
• The game of golf and golf courses provide a strong connection to the outdoors and natural environment
• A lifelong contribution to reducing the healthcare burden on society through the prevention of disease
In addition …
• On average, Australian golfers have a life satisfaction score of 7.4, compared to the Australian population at 7.3 and the average of OECD countries at 6.6.
• On average, Australian golfers’ scores for social capital are eight percentage points higher than Australian sports participants, and 16 higher than non-sport participants
• Australian golfers have a higher self-assessed health status (59%) than both general sport participants (57%) and non-sport participants (40%)