Governor Inslee Proclaims May as Washington Golf Month; Golf Alliance of Washington releases Economic Impact Study

Federal Way, Wash. – Governor Jay Inslee signed a proclamation today at the state capitol in Olympia declaring May to be Washington Golf Month in celebration of the significant contributions the industry makes to the economy, tourism, community and environment in Washington State.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #WashingtonGolfMonth throughout the entire month of May.

The proclamation was signed in conjunction with the release of an Economic Impact Study of golf in the state of Washington, which was commissioned by the Golf Alliance of Washington (GAW) and conducted by SRI International.

“From the snowcaps of Mount Rainier to the whitecaps of Puget Sound, Washington is known for its incredible outdoor recreation,” said Governor Inslee. “Golf is one of those recreation opportunities that helps support our economy and provide other positive benefits for local communities across our great state.”

Nearly a half billion dollars in wages and nearly 22,500 jobs are supported each year by the golf industry in the state of Washington, not to mention supporting the state’s tourism industry to the tune of $464 million each year, and $38.5 million generated each year for charity.

“I am impressed by the impact and numbers found in this study,” said Governor Inslee. “Golf isn’t just a game here in Washington; it is an efficient industry that produces more dollars per acre than other big local industries with a fraction of the ecological impact.”

The GAW believes this economic impact study will draw attention to the many vital benefits in golf. And this report deals with just the economic impact of the sport, and doesn’t include the benefits of exercise and personal relationships for all its participants.

“We applaud the statewide efforts of golf organizations, associations, and governing bodies who work  hard to promote public access to affordable, high-quality, environmentally responsible golf for all,” said Governor Inslee.

The study was commissioned through GOLF 20/20 at the request of the leaders of the state’s golf industry which make up the GAW, including the Washington State Golf Association, Pacific Northwest Section PGA, Evergreen Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America, the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, and the Inland Empire Golf Course Superintendents Association. The study was funded by the GAW.

“We want to grow the health of this game, so the more awareness we can bring through studies like this, the more we will be listened to in Olympia,” said Troy Andrew, CEO and executive director of the Washington State and Pacific Northwest golf associations. “This report proves that golf is a major contributor to the economic impact, community involvement, and tourism in the state of Washington. And because of golf, millions of dollars are being generated for charity through fundraising events held at golf facilities around our state.”

The GAW had previously released an Economic Impact Study in 2007. Since that earlier study, Washington’s golf economy has experienced strong growth in golf supplies, due to an increase in the number and size of golf manufacturers in the state, and growth in golf tourism, driven in part by several large events in the state, such as the 2010 U.S. Amateur, 2010 U.S. Senior Open, and 2015 U.S. Open. Although this study was completed in 2015, the trend is continuing, with other major events such as the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

“This study confirms the contributions the $1.2 billion golf industry makes to the health of the state’s economy,” said Jeff Ellison, CEO of the Pacific Northwest Section PGA.

“The Golf Alliance of Washington is proud to come together on a united front to provide this Washington Golf Economic Impact Study,” added Andrew. “We are one voice speaking for golf in our state and we share a common goal of protecting and advocating for the future of golf.”

Some of the key statistics resulting from the study include:

  • Washington’s $1.2 billion golf industry generated a total economic impact of $1.6 billion in 2015.
  • The state of Washington has 246 golf facilities, 31 stand-alone driving ranges, and 22 miniature golf facilities. These facilities combined to generate $473.5 million in revenues in 2015, which is comparable to the combined revenues of all spectator sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, etc.).
  • Golf-related residential construction totaled $28.53 million in 2015.
  • Golf drew overnight visitors and day-trippers to courses around the state, spurring $464.7 million in tourism spending in 2015.
  • The total amount of charitable giving attributed to the game of golf in Washington was $38.5 million in 2015.
  • The golf industry in the state of Washington supports 22,469 jobs, which have a total wage income of $499.1 million per year.

Click here to read the Washington Golf Economy summary.

The GAW is part of a national movement of golf’s leading organizations working together to communicate the game’s charitable, economic, environmental and fitness benefits. Its aim is to fully disseminate the information to the business community and the general public, as well as educate political leaders.

“Golf is a strong contributor to the U.S. economy, as evidenced by the game’s $70 billion annual economic impact,” says Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf Foundation, administrator of GOLF 20/20. “With one in 75 American jobs impacted by the golf industry, the game’s presence is felt across virtually all major economic sectors.”

Launched in 2000, GOLF 20/20 is a collaboration designed to mobilize the industry around strategic initiatives and grass-roots activation to ensure the future vitality of the game of golf. One of GOLF 20/20’s major initiatives has been a comprehensive analysis of golf’s significant contributions to the U.S. economy.

About the Golf Alliance of Washington

The Golf Alliance of Washington is comprised of the major industry associations in the region, including the Washington State Golf Association, Club Managers Association of America-Evergreen Chapter, Pacific Northwest Section PGA, Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association and Pacific Northwest Golf Association. The mission of the Alliance is to embrace the opportunities for the future of the game and provide a unified voice from all facets of the golf community. The Alliance also employs a lobbyist in Olympia, Wash. to keep it apprised of political issues which affect the state’s golf community. Visit for more information.