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Utah's Golf Industry Provides Larger Economic Impact Than Previously Thought

Tord Sollie, Flickr

As Governor Herbert declares May Utah Golf Month a new report also shows the industry has a larger than expected impact on the state’s economy.

The new report commissioned by the Golf Alliance for Utah concludes that in 2012, the state’s golf industry generated about $805 million. That’s more money put into the local economy than all of Utah’s professional spectator sports combined. In declaring May as Utah Golf Month, Governor Herbert said he sees the industry as an important part of providing economic opportunity and a great quality of life for all Utahns.

“It pays over $250 million in wages. Ya’ll understand how the economy works, that’s money that ripples through the economy and benefits not just the golf industry but others in the grocery store business, and the food industry, and retail outlets, automobile purchases," Herbet said. "That ripples through the economy in a significant way.”

David Terry is the Golf Director for Salt Lake City. He says he’s glad to have definitive numbers that show cities and counties that golf courses can be more than just recreational opportunities for their residents.

“In some ways they’re subsidizing that operation," Terry says. "But that ties directly into one of the reasons why we needed to get this study done; Is to show those agencies that there is so much more value outside of the bottom line that might show up in those golf courses operating budget.”

The report also shows that while golf courses represent almost 4% of the turfgrass in the state, they only use 0.65% of all diverted water. It also shows that the economic return on their water use is thousands of dollars higher than many water-diverting agricultural crops. 

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