Washington, United States: WE ARE GOLF – a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners – visited Capitol Hill for the ninth annual National Golf Day to discuss the game’s nearly US$70 billion economic impact, US$4 billion annual charitable impact, environmental value to local communities and fitness benefits.
Industry leaders met with Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to highlight the two million jobs impacted by golf and the nearly US$4 billion charitable impact through 143,000 philanthropic events per year.
Throughout the day, participants shared stories about the game’s 15,000-plus diverse businesses, the one in 75 US jobs impacted by the industry, tax revenue creation, accessibility, tourism and ecological value.
“Capitol Hill’s annual Golf Day spells out that golf is much more than a game,” said Congressman Ander Crenshaw. “Along with the sportsmanship and opportunity to forge new and lasting relationships, and mentor youth through such organisations as The First Tee, come billions of dollars worth of economic growth, job creation, and charitable giving. That’s something we all can get behind, today and for decades to come.”
This year’s event also included 2016 US Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love, Vice Captain Steve Stricker and LPGA legend Nancy Lopez.
“Golf plays a significant role in stimulating our economy and is very accessible, with nine of 10 golfers playing public facilities,” said Congressman James E. Clyburn, Assistant Democratic Leader. “Today was a unique opportunity for the industry to share golf’s many benefits with Congressional leaders in DC.”
Organisations participating were the Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), Ladies Professional Golf Association, National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA of America (PGA), PGA Tour, United States Golf Association, United States Golf Manufacturers Council, World Golf Foundation and others.
“Each year, National Golf Day grows momentum on Capitol Hill and reminds our country’s decision-makers of the benefits golf provides our society and how it supports countless charitable causes, including many related to our nation’s military,” said Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf Foundation and administrator of WE ARE GOLF.
“With the game making its return to the Olympics in less than 100 days, our industry is positioned to reach new global audiences and it’s important we communicate in America the positive role golf plays in local communities.”
National Golf Day featured a day-long exhibit in the Rayburn Foyer with live lessons for Congressional Members and staff from 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year Michael Breed, host of The Golf Fix on Golf Channel and LPGA Teaching Professional Karen Palacios-Jansen.