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Golf’s Unrivaled Charitable Impact

NGF | Published on 10/20/2023

There’s not a sport in America with as significant a charitable impact as golf.

The game was a vehicle to raise almost $4.6 billion for a wide range of causes last year, according to our research for the latest industry report on the economics of golf. This impact, which extends from the local to the national level, was up about 18% from the previous estimate in 2016.


Approximately 4-out-of-5 green grass facilities in the U.S. hosted some kind of charitable golf event in the past year. That’s over 11,000 locations for giving. And much of this charity — over 90% — is coming from events held at courses in your community, or those like them. Consider that, in a lot of cases, golf course operators are demonstrating their own generosity by donating tee times or discounting green fees deeply, further helping charity efforts.

Many people aren’t aware that professional tours like the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour are non-profit organizations and make substantial contributions in the communities in which their tournaments are held. In fact, these professional tournaments helped generate over $400 million in charitable giving in just a couple hundred communities.

But it’s the local events, annual fundraisers for charities big and small — from the local boys and girls club to the American Cancer Society — that have the greatest fundraising impact, to the tune of more than $4 billion last year.

Taken as a whole, those who play golf and run golf courses and events give like no other.

So, whether you’re a golfer or work in the business, there’s reason to feel good about golf’s giving to a higher purpose.

National Golf Foundation
National Golf Foundation

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