Thursday, November 13, 2008

Play Golf America Programs Still Going Strong after Five Years

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) - Play Golf America was launched in 2004 as an industry-wide marketing campaign designed to introduce people to golf, plus improve their ability to play and enjoy the game. As a result, millions of players nationwide have taken advantage of free and low-cost Play Golf America programs delivered by PGA and LPGA Professionals.

More than 3.4 million people have participated in group instruction at the grass-root level, for an average of 678,000 students per year over Play Golf America's five-year history. Branded Play Golf America programs have reached 1.28 million consumers since 2004 through participation in Play Golf America Days, special events and National Promotions such as PGA Free Fitting and Trade-Up Month, PGA Free Lesson Month, American Express Women's Golf Month and Family Golf Month with Take Your Daughter to the Course as its cornerstone. In addition, an average of 5.5 million golfers participated in leagues and outings per year during that same time frame.

"We are certainly excited that so many golfers, including families are taking advantage of the programs that Play Golf America offers," says PGA of America President Jim Remy. "Play Golf America provides fun, flexible, and affordable golf options for all, and the opportunity to get outdoors, spend time with family and friends, and experience this wonderful sport. PGA and LPGA Professionals continue to lead the way in making the game fun and enjoyable for everyone."

As the industry's leading player-development program, Play Golf America was developed by The PGA of America with the support of founding organizations including: the Ladies Professional Golfer's Association, National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA TOUR, United States Golf Association and other Golf 20/20 Conference participants.

Below are some of the program's highlights and record-setting numbers:
• 3.4 million consumers participated in group instruction, including lessons and clinics over the last five years
• 1.28 million consumers reached through branded National Promotions, Play Golf America Days and special events throughout the last five years
• A total of $69 million generated from group instruction revenues over the last three years (stats began in 2006)
• Since 2007, National Promotions have accounted for a $37.5 million impact to the golf economy over the last two years
• 40,000 unique programs have been promoted on throughout the past five years
• 7.3 billion media impressions were made with a value of $138 million in the last five years

The national player-development program is reaching consumers and bringing business to local golf facilities. It is projected that Play Golf America National Promotions, such as PGA Free Fitting & Trade-Up Month, PGA Free Lesson Month, American Express Women's Golf Month and Family Golf Month have accounted for a $20.7 million impact in 2008 and $16.8 million impact in 2007 to the golf economy. On the local level, program coordinators reported that hosting National Promotions generated a gain in their revenues. Based on 2008 surveys, host facilities generated combined median gains of $3,870 following Free Fitting & Trade-Up Month; $2,560 following Free Lesson Month, $3,320 following American Express Women's Golf Month and $4,740 following Family Golf Month.

More than 75 percent of new golfers report that one year after participating in a Play Golf America experience, they played an average of 17 rounds over that 12 month period spending $1,695 on golf-related items. Existing golfers reported playing 44 rounds per year, spending $3,559 on golf-related items.

Over the last five years, 235 Play Golf America Days have been held nationwide reaching more than 85,000 people. Of those participants, 36 percent were new or former golfers, 25 percent were women and 23 percent were minorities. These free golf festivals held at golf courses and ranges across the country feature PGA and LPGA Professional instruction, golf clinics, equipment demos, contests and other activities designed to introduce the game to new golfers and make existing players more excited about the game. Play Golf America Days expanded from just three events during its first year in 2004 to more than 90 events in 2008., the ultimate resource for new and occasional golfers to find free and affordable programs in their area, has seen an increase in visitor traffic each year with the 2008 calendar year projecting a 165 percent increase over the inaugural year (2004). In 2008, more than 4,600 facilities used to promote their player-development programs throughout the year, a 520 percent increase over the Play Golf America total in 2004. Over the five-year history, more than 40,000 unique programs have been promoted on

Efforts to grow the popularity of golf among women are also paying off big for the game. It is projected that nearly 100,000 women participated in a variety of 2008 Play Golf America initiatives, including branded National Promotions, Play Golf America Days, special events and programs targeted specifically for women.

Play Golf America also had another strong year in terms of reaching consumers through public relations, advertising and promotions bringing the five-year total to 7.3 billion media impressions for a value of $138 million.

Established as a comprehensive marketing campaign in 2004, Play Golf America has evolved into a multi-dimensional initiative, including various programs, resources, and educational tools as well as a marketing campaign to increase participation among new and existing golfers. It has received continued support from Executive Women's Golf Association, Golf Range Owners Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Recreation and Park Association, Golf Course Builders Association, the International Association of Golf Administrators, and The First Tee.

The "Play Golf America Five-Year Report: 2004 to 2008", providing more details about this initiative, can be found

About The PGA of America
Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold; to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the $76 billion golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.

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