Gov. Jay Nixon addresses those attending the first-ever Golf Day at Jefferson City Country Club

Governor Jay Nixon helped tee off the first day of the Governor’s Conference on Tourism by proclaiming today as Missouri’s first-ever Golf Day, which is designed to highlight the economic impact that the game has on our state.

AUDIO: Gov. Jay Nixon on the impact of golf in Missouri (5:00)

The inaugural Missouri Golf Day Tournament, at Jefferson City Country Club, will direct all proceeds to the Gateway PGA Foundation, which works with underprivileged youth to develop their love of the game. Also in attendance was former Cardinal great Ozzie Smith, who is the president of the Gateway PGA Foundation.

AUDIO: Ozzie Smith’s brief comments on golf (1:00)

Missouri’s 352 courses help generate $613.8 million in revenue last year. That is according to a study done by SRI to discover the economic impact on golf in Missouri. Other key numbers from the study shows that golf revenues are roughly 75% of the revenues of all other major spectator sports combined, including football, baseball, hockey, auto racing, horse racing and soccer to name a few. Missouri’s golf industry supports nearly 21,000 jobs with a yearly income of $485 million.

Missouri will be on some of golf’s biggest stages in the coming years, at Bellerive Country Club in suburban St. Louis will host the 2013 Senior PGA and 2018 PGA Championship.