- Golfer Benefits
BOSTON — Representatives throughout the Massachusetts golf community gathered Friday at William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park to commemorate the release of the state’s 2022 Economic Impact Report, which was developed for the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) by the National Golf Foundation.
The report, which was released to the public this week, said that golf drove $2.06 billion in direct economic activity, an increase of 19% over its $1.74 billion impact in 2012. Further, when considering indirect economic stimulation in industries such as tourism, hospitality, and real estate, the total economic impact topped $3.3 billion.
Following a presentation of panelists inclusive of the member organizations within AMGO, Mass Golf Executive Director/CEO Jesse Menachem read a citation issued by Massachusetts Governor Maura Healy and Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll proclaiming May 12-14, 2023, as “Golf Weekend in Massachusetts.”
— Mass Golf (@PlayMassGolf) May 12, 2023
As part of the festivities, the Boston Red Sox are hosting Mass Golf Night at Fenway Park when they take on the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. Additionally, Mass Golf encourages everybody to celebrate Golf Weekend by supporting any of the 342 state’s golf facilities, 37 standalone driving ranges or 43 golf simulator facilities.
“We’re excited to be launching golf weekend here,” Menachem said. “It’s a way for us to not only recognize and honor all the important things that we do but the importance of the game to the constituents, the people and how they enjoy and experience golf.”
After opening words by Menachem, Mass Golf Assistant Executive Director Catherine Carmignani invited a panel that featured Don Hearn, Executive Director of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England; Elaine Gebhardt, Executive Director of the New England Golf Course Owners Association; Jackie Singleton, the 2022 Executive Director of the U.S. Open at The Country Club; and Mike Higgins, Executive Director of the New England PGA Section.
Hearn recognized the agronomic benefits of golf, which features 52,000 total acres of open space. Over time, Hearn says, environmental conscience has been top of mind for those who tend to golf courses. For decades hundreds of current and former superintendents have received their education from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, an academic unit of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.
Gebhardt touched on the wide range of the 35,000+ jobs tied to golf in the Bay State, which provide nearly $2 billion in wages. The courses themselves bring in $591 million in revenue, including events on-site and restaurants.
“I would say our golf courses across the Commonwealth are as diverse as the golf community itself,” said Gebhardt, a longtime member of William J. Devine. “When you think about golf courses, it’s not just one business. We’re retailers, we serve as hospitality facilities, we host weddings, conferences, and birthday parties.”
Last year’s U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline brought in 20,000 patrons per day with $76.8 million in direct consumer spending. Singleton credited the cooperation of several communities, plus the outpouring of individuals willing to step up to volunteer to make this national championship a shining success. She said the event called for 3,500 volunteers, and there ended up being a surplus of 2,000 who were put on a waitlist.
“Massachusetts supported this event like no other,” said Singleton a member of The Country Club. “We had a corporate hospitality program, and 62% of [it] was Massachusetts- and New England-based companies. Overall, we saw about 185,000 spectators over the seven days, so it was really an exciting time.”
Higgins pointed to the remarkable amount of funds raised through golf events, particularly by PGA Professionals. In total, there was $72.2 million in charitable proceeds through major donations and charitable golf events hosted at Massachusetts facilities in 2022.
“These various charities are across the board from our scholarship associations to businesses tied into charities,” Higgins said. “It’s so impressive and amazing the impact golf has people’s lives.”
Former Mass Golf Executive Director Joe Sprague was also on hand during the celebration and was impressed by what the numbers revealed.
“For people who may just be casual golfers or even non-golfers, I think this report is very eye-opening,” said Sprague, now the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the USGA. “Some people who work in golf are part of the impact but may have never touched a golf club, but there’s still part of this huge web.”
AMGO is dedicated to serving the interests of golf in the Commonwealth by promoting and protecting all facets of the game.
AMGO is comprised of eight core organizations: Mass Golf, New England Section of the PGA of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England, Golf Course Superintendents Association of Cape Cod, National Golf Course Owners Association – New England Chapter, New England Chapter Club Management Association of America, New England Golf Association, and the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund.
Mass Golf is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to advancing golf in Massachusetts by building an engaged and inclusive community around the sport.
With a community made up of over 110,000 golf enthusiasts and over 360 member clubs, Mass Golf is one of the largest state golf associations in the country. Members enjoy the benefits of handicapping, engaging golf content, course rating and scoring services along with the opportunity to compete in an array of events for golfers of all ages and abilities.