The Business of Golf

Millions of men and women rise in the early morning to don plaid and shout "Fore!" On April 9, millions more will park themselves in front of their TVs as the 73rd Masters Tournament begins in Augusta, Georgia. Here, a look at the business behind this centuries-old sport.

Infographic: The Golf Economy Popup-Icon

Scottish golfers wrote the first set of rules for the modern game in 1774, some 300 years after Scotsmen began hitting pebbles with sticks.

China is one of golf's fastest-growing (and most expensive) markets. More than holf of its 300-plus courses have been built since 2000. The average golf-club initiaion fee is $53,000, and Chinese golfers typically pay $161 in green fees for a round.

Tiger Woods has held the world's No. 1 ranking for 529 straight weeks. He's earned an estimated $769 million from winnings and endorsements. It's predicted he'll hit $1 billion next year.

Only 38.5% of American golf courses are public.

Golf is a $60 billion industry, with 30,730 courses and 57 miillion golfers worldwide.

Under the Masters' broadcast contract, CBS and ESPN air only four mminutes of commercials each hour, rather than the usual sixteen.

The LGPA's 240 members hail from 26 countries, including 119 Americans and 45 from South Korea.

In 1950, there were 3.5 million adult golfers in American. In 2008, that number hit 29.8 million.

In the U.S., 1.7 million homes are built on or near fairways.

Homes in developments with golf courses sell at nearly double the speed and for a 70% higher price than those in subdivisions without.

Sixty percent of homeowners in golf-course communities don't golf on a regular basis.

24% of golfers are blue-collar workers.

39% of golfers hold professional-level jobs.

16% of golfers are retired.

3/4 of golfers are male.

Par for a golfer's age is 37 years.

59% of golfers live in North America.

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