Study indicates golf an economic force in Utah, Gov. to declare ‘Utah Golf Month’

Posted at 6:05 PM, May 04, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- A recent study is claiming annual rounds of golf here in Utah were found to match with annual skier days and that Utah’s golf economy is greater than all Utah professional sports combined.

Now, Governor Gary Herbert is scheduled to declare May the official golf month of Utah.

Bill Walker, executive director Utah Golf Association, said the sport has wide appeal.

“It’s a game of a lifetime; we have golfers anywhere from 5 years old into their 90s,” he said. “You can play your whole life, and that’s a great draw for the outdoor enthusiast.”

Monday will be the governor’s golf day: Herbert is scheduled to declare the month of May Utah Golf Month. He’s encouraging all residents to recognize the important role the sport of golf plays in our state.

David Terry, Director of Salt Lake City golf program, said the state has plenty of courses.

“We have wonderful golf courses from Smithville to St. George and everywhere in between, but throughout the state our golf courses are of amazing value," Terry said.

One of the main focuses of the governor’s golf day will be to reveal some interesting findings from a recent research study which looked at the impact golf has on Utah’s economy and the environment.

Bill Walker, Utah Golf Association, spoke about that study.

“We determined in 2012, the game of golf has over an $800 million economic impact on the state, which rivals any other outdoor recreation aspect in the state," Walker said.

The study, carried out by the Stanford Research Institute, found golf contributes more than $800 million to our state economy, supports more than 9,600 jobs, and accounts for more than $11 million in annual charitable giving.

“There is not a state in the country that has a larger percentage of their golf courses that are open to the public,” Terry said.

Throughout the month of May, Utah’s golf associations and facilities will be holding events and activates geared towards bringing Utahns out to the greens.

Colby Cowan, Utah PGA, said they are hoping to appeal to people of all skill levels.

“We’re trying to get more people playing golf, so we want to offer lessons to people, different block parties where people can come out and learn more about the game we all love,” Cowan said.

The study also looked at the environmental impact and found that Utah’s golf courses consume less than 1 percent of diverted water, for a more information visit the Utah Golf Association or read more at Fairways.