Golf Industry a Driver in Hoosier Economy

I’ll admit it: I’m a golfer. It’s become my favorite sport to play over the years, which is high praise for the game considering how poorly I play it.

A new report from the Indiana Golf Alliance conveys golf has a much greater impact on Indiana than merely forcing Hoosiers like myself to create new curse words while outdoors:

As the Indiana Golf Alliance releases the results of the Economic Impact Study on the game of golf in the Hoosier State, top Indiana PGA Professionals will provide free lessons to legislators in the historic capitol rotunda. This is the first time golf will take center stage at the Statehouse but its presence has had a profound impact on the state for many years…

The Study, completed in 2010, showed impressive data. Golf provides $909 million in direct revenue to the Indiana economy. Compare that number to other industries in the state and it paints a clear picture of how important the golf industry is to the state’s economy. In Indiana, medical equipment manufacturing accounts for $5.8 billion to Indiana’s economy. Soybean production accounts for $2.4 billion to the economy and dairy products account for $640 million to Indiana’s economy. Additionally, the Indiana Study showed that over 21,000 jobs in Indiana are created through the golf industry and account for a total wage income of $530 million.

It’s well publicized that golf and charities work hand in hand. The Study found that in 2008, charitable giving by the Indiana Golf Industry topped the $42 million mark. Golf course owners, operators and PGA Professionals serve as access points for hundreds, if not thousands, of local service organizations for their annual fundraising needs.

The findings of the study came as no surprise to those closely associated with the golf industry.

“The Economic Impact Study validates that golf is an economic engine that contributes substantially to the momentum of the Indiana economy,” said Linda Rogers, owner of Juday Creek Golf Course in Granger, Ind. and Vice President of the National Golf Course Owners Association.

PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka concurred with Rogers’ statement. “The biggest benefit of these studies is the ability to show how golf benefits not only the 1 in 11 Americans who play, but entire communities which benefit from the jobs it creates, the green space it protects and the healthy recreation it provides for people of all ages,” said Steranka.

Beijing Olympics Serve as Educational Tool

Catching bits and pieces of Olympic television coverage (and who couldn’t watch at least a little on any of the many "family" of NBC networks) over the weekend prompts the following:

  • I consider myself a fairly intelligent 45-year-old who pays attention to what goes on around him. But who knew there really were 205 countries eligible to participate in these Olympic Games. Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, both different from Papua New Guinea? Mauritania and Mauritius? Where are Comoros and Turkmanistan? Maybe our children going back to school in this and coming weeks could gain a world history lesson.
  • The U.S. is certainly guilty in other areas, but a $300 million price tag for the opening ceremonies? Think of the other ways some of that money could have been spent.
  • There is a rule in place that gymnastics (maybe all) competitors have to be at least 16 years old. Most of the Chinese female gymnasts, however, appear to have been babies during the 1996 Atlanta Games rather than the 1992 event in Barcelona.
  • That said, the Games are capitivating. It’s not just national pride, but watching the underdogs, from wherever, competing against the big countries is what it’s all about.
  • Michael Phelps might erase former IU Hoosier Mark Spitz from the record book, but 41-year-old Dara Torres swimming — and successfully — against women half her age is truly amazing.
  • This is supposed to be about business. So, we’ll end with no matter what you think about China and its politics, rest assured that the country will continue to grow in prominence and in its place in the international business world.

Also, read the China Business Review’s take on the overall impact the Olympics will have on Beijing and the nation.

Hoosier State Awarded 2012 Super Bowl

This is breaking news to you, right? You had no idea, I’m sure. You’re just wondering who shot J.R.? But yeah, unless you’ve been in a coma, you know Indianapolis was awarded the 2012 Super Bowl yesterday as NFL bigwigs gathered in Atlanta.

The bid was a culmination of efforts from the state’s public and private sectors, and serves as an all-around "atta-boy!" and testament to the capital city’s progress over the years. Granted, the video presentation by Dennis Hopper likely didn’t hurt. Although most of us know him for his Academy Award-nominated performance in "Hoosiers," it looks like Shooter has cleaned up his act and made a very articulate presentation. Better yet, he didn’t even fire his shotgun at any strangers … "IDENTIFYYYYYYYY!" (If you don’t get that reference, you simply haven’t watched "Hoosiers" enough and are docked 10 points on your Indiana citizenship exam.)

All told, the economic benefit for the area is estimated by Mayor Greg Ballard to be at least $100 million and up to $20 million in tax revenue (although this Ball State study claims the benefits could be much higher). Let’s all just hope the entire state and its business community can benefit from this remarkable achievement.

In the meantime, kudos to Indianapolis, the Colts franchise, and to our great state for this honor.