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SBD Global/June 7, 2013/Finance

Golf A Billion Dollar Business For Scotland, Employs More Than 20,000 People

Golf "first began at least 500 years ago as a sport for gentlemen on the links lands of Scotland," according to Frank Urquhart of the SCOTSMAN. New research conducted by KPMG in association with Oxford Economics said that the Royal and Ancient Game is now worth a staggering £1B ($1.56B) a year to the home of golf. The "Value of Golf to Scotland’s Economy" report was published Wednesday at the start of the two-day Golf Business Forum organized by KPMG in St. Andrews. It shows that the industry now generates a total of £1.2B ($1.8B) in revenues and employs more than 20,000 people in Scotland -- accounting for one in every 125 jobs in the country. Wages alone total £300M ($468M). There are "now 597 golf courses across the country, supporting more than 12,300 jobs" and generating annual revenues of £582M ($908M), with at least eight golf course projects currently in the planning and development phases. Sales of golf equipment, clothing and accessories are worth a further £157M ($245M) a year, supporting 1,660 jobs, while golf tourism is worth at least £120M ($187M) to Scotland’s economy (SCOTSMAN, 6/5).

DRIVING FORCE: In Glasgow, David Ross reported the research concludes that "once costs are taken into account, golf directly contributes" £496M ($773M) to Scotland's gross domestic product (GDP) annually, "equivalent to 0.4% of the country's total economic output." Scottish Golf Union CEO Hamish Grey said, "This report clearly demonstrates the significant value of golf to Scotland's economy. Comparing it to other industries, we can now see for the first time that, for example, golf's direct contribution to GDP is 89% that of fishing and fish farming, and 83% of air transport" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 6/5).
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