Golf 20/20 Announces State-Level Economic Impact Measurement Strategy

Released on : June 22, 2006

Golf 20/20 Announces State-Level Economic Impact Measurement Strategy

For Immediate Release

Virginia Will Receive First Economic Impact Study Under New Analytical Framework

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - GOLF 20/20, in agreement with SRI International, will develop a standardized framework for analyses quantifying the impact of golf on the economy of a state, as announced today by Ruffin Beckwith, Executive Director of GOLF 20/20. The first assessment and report to be developed within this framework will be for the state of Virginia, represented by the Virginia Golf Council, a statewide alliance of golf organizations.

The need for such reports was magnified in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when golf on the Gulf Coast region was denied federal tax relief in the effort to rebuild, since golf was grouped with such businesses as massage and tattoo parlors. It is believed that had Louisiana and Mississippi had credible reports accurately quantifying the impact and importance of golf to the states' economies, the outcome might have been different.

"Because of what happened in the Gulf region we wanted to find a way by which all states could affordably receive reports, in standardized formats, quantifying golf's economic impact," said Beckwith. "Our experience with SRI four years ago, when it was commissioned to study and report on the national scope of the golf industry, convinced us SRI was the best partner for this project."

SRI and GOLF 20/20 will collaborate on the development of a master framework, a model that can accept data provided by state and federal sources and quantify total economic impact. The process will be based on SRI's innovative Industry Cluster Model, and will include a wide range of components, including golf's impact on real estate, travel and tourism. Economic impact studies have been developed for several states in the past, but they all use different definitions and assumptions. One benefit of the GOLF 20/20 approach is that it will allow for cross-state comparisons using a common methodology.

"People tend to think of golf as green fees and equipment sales, when its true impact is so much broader," said John Mathieson, Director for SRI's Center for Science, Technology and Economic Development. "We believe our model will provide each state with a tool that will serve their interests well in various public forums."

The master framework will be completed in time for review by industry leaders at the GOLF 20/20 conference October 30 and 31, and the Virginia report will be completed by the end of the year. Discussions are underway with several other states.

"The Virginia State Golf Association, along with the other organizations involved in the Virginia Golf Council, is pleased to partner with GOLF 20/20 and SRI to accomplish an in-depth study of the economic impact of the golf industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia," said the VSGA's Dave Kovach, Agronomy Committee Chair. "Our organizations strive to be at the forefront of golf in the United States, and being the first state to undertake the economic impact study utilizing GOLF 20/20 and SRI's new template underscores that mission. This study will give our organizations much-needed and important information on all the facets of the golf industry and its importance to the entire commonwealth."

We will be working through alliances of state golf organizations to create awareness of this opportunity, and because of the scope of these reports, the manageable cost and the potential benefits, we expect there to be considerable interest," said Beckwith. "We'd like to see as many states as possible be appropriately armed to deal with the issues they face, whether environmental, legislative or otherwise.

Once completed, all reports will be available at golf2020.com.

GOLF 20/20 is managed by the World Golf Foundation (WGF), which also oversees the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida, and The First Tee program, which creates golf facilities for kids who have not had the chance to be exposed to the game.

For Information Contact: Tammy Smith (904) 280-4829