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Golf A Major Economic Driver In Arizona

Arizona State University golfer Jino Sohn
(Photo by Jimmy Jenkins - KJZZ)
Arizona State University golfer Jino Sohn.

An analysis by researchers from the University of Arizona shows the golf industry had a total economic contribution of nearly $4 billion in 2014.

That number includes revenue from golf course operations, golf tourism and golf-related businesses.

George Frisvold, a professor of agricultural and resource economics and an author of the study, says nationally, golf took a hit after the great recession and Arizona was no exception. "What you’ve seen is a big rebound where golf was one of the things that people were cutting out at the depths of the recession," Frisvold said. "But it’s picked back up again.”

The research shows about 2 percent of the state’s total freshwater supply goes to golf course irrigation.

Data from the U.S Geological Survey from 2.010 showed on average, Arizona golf courses used more than 100 million gallons of surface and groundwater for irrigation every day.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.