POSTED: September 17th 2008

Golf counts up the cash

Nick Faldo: leading the way /
Nick Faldo: leading the way /

Special Correspondent / Sports Features Communications

LOUISVILLE Kentucky: Golf has revealed its financial power as a multi-billion-euro enterprise as it competes for Olympic recognition in 2016. The IOC will decide in Copenhagen, Denmark,  in October next year between golf and six other sports.

Money is not a criteria but a study by KPMG Golf Advisory Practice illustrates its increasing worldwide strength. The study was published Wednesday at Valhalla Golf Club.

Valhalla, near Louisville, Kentucky, is about to host the Ryder Cup in which Europe, captained by Nick Faldo, defends the trophy against a United States team led by Paul Azinger.

Nine leading golf bodies joined with KPMG in preparing the report which claims that the sport in the Europe/Middle-East/Africa (EMA) region generates total revenues of €53bn, supports almost half a million jobs and pays nearly €10bn in wages.

This means that, in terms of GDP (the value of the industry minus costs), the non-United States contributes as much to the regional economy in a single year as the six Olympic Games combined between 1984 and 2004.

Golf in the EMA region is considered about one-third the size of the US golf industry. Golf tourism and golf real estate, according to KPMG, account for almost half the game's total revenue. In Europe the number of courses and players has doubled since 1985.

Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG's GAP section, said: “This is the first time this kind of research has been done on the EMA side of the Atlantic and it shows that the game is booming.

“Golf courses are increasingly being used to support quality residential developments across EMA, and several countries, especially in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, are capitalizing on the benefits that golf tourism can bring to their economies."

Entitled The Value of Golf to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the study was produced in association with Oxford Economics. It uses the most recent full-year statistics (2006) to calculate the value of the game by combining six industry sectors: golf course operations (e.g. green fees, memberships); capital investments (e.g. new course developments); golfer supplies (e.g. equipment, clothing); golf tournaments; golf tourism; and golf real estate.

Keywords · golf · KPMG · Valhalla Golf Club · Nick Faldo · Paul Azinger · EMA · Europe · Middle East · Africa

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