GOLF IN THE OLYMPICS

Posted on August 4, 2014

DAVID OWEN: CAN THE OLYMPICS HELP GOLF TO GET BACK ON THE FINANCIAL FAIRWAY?

Can the Olympics put some spring back into the step of golf, a sport that has been struggling in recent times to attract new players at a fast enough rate in mature markets to replace old-timers hanging up their clubs?

We will begin to find out the answer over the next few years, after the ancient game has made its Olympic return, along with rugby, at Rio 2016.
In the meantime, just how gloomy has the situation become?

To be honest, based on statistics supplied to me by Sports Marketing Surveys Inc, a specialist sports research consultancy, there must be plenty of sports that would love to have golf’s problems.

An economic impact study for Europe, compiled by the firm on behalf of golf bodies led by the Professional Golfers’ Association of Great Britain and Ireland, concluded that in 2012 the game of golf contributed more than €15 billion (£12 billion/$20 billion) to the European economy.

To put this into broader context, as the report itself says: “In 2012, Spain’s defence budget was €10.5 billion (£8.3 billion/$14.1 billion); the UK overseas aid budget was €11 billion (£9 billion/$15 billion) and its protection budget (police, fire, criminal justice, prisons etc.) was €16.9 billion (£13.4 billion/$22.7 billion).”

Furthermore, golf was found to be responsible in Europe for “a minimum of 180,000 full-time equivalent jobs and employee wages of not less than €4.4 billion (£3.4 billion/$5.9 billion)”.

Full article can be found on ‘inside the games’ webpage.

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