Washington, DC, United States: Golf industry leaders participated in a record-high 244 meetings with members of Congress representing 41 States to discuss the game’s economic, social and environmental contributions to the United States during the 12th annual National Golf Day on Capitol Hill.
Co-ordinated by a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners under the banner of WE ARE GOLF, National Golf Day brings together more than 300 industry leaders from across the US to support the game’s US$84.1 billion economy, nearly US$4 billion annual charitable impact, close to 15,000 diverse businesses and two million jobs impacted.
“The game of golf is growing and evolving, and it is important that we come together collectively in Washington to share stories of impact the game is having on business and communities across the United States,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of World Golf Foundation, the organisation that co-ordinates WE ARE GOLF activities.
“From athletes from every corner of the world competing each week on the PGA Tour and LPGA, to global companies investing billions of dollars in and around the sport, to healthy participation in traditional and emerging ways, the game of golf is a strong and vibrant part of American culture,” he added.
Jay Karen, CEO of National Golf Course Owners Association and Chair of the WE ARE GOLF Board, said: “We are here to educate our elected officials that the golf industry is made up of many small businesses that contribute to our national economy. The importance of fair and good taxation policies is paramount to the success of our businesses.”
Republican representativeRick Allen said: “Sports have always been an important part of American culture, and in my hometown of Augusta, Georgia, golf is at the heart of our town’s traditions and identity. On National Golf Day, we renew our commitment to ensure Americans not only play the game for decades to come, but also ensure golf’s economic, social and charitable impacts are effectively communicated and protected.”
Democratic representativeBill Keating added: “So many golf courses in the US, including courses in my district, are public facilities operating as small, locally owned businesses. National Golf Day highlights the industry’s importance to American society, including business, recreation, hospitality and tourism. Anything that brings people together is great, and golf brings people together.”
Last Tuesday, the third annual Community Service Project featured more than 200 participants demonstrating the industry’s commitment to collaboration on beautifying and preserving historical landmarks between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.
Golf industry leaders, co-ordinated by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, volunteered to lay sod, rake, edge, over-seed, aerate, mow, mulch, brush walkways and spruce gravel pathways across 17 projects along the National Mall. The four hours of work saved the US National Park Service nearly four months of labour costs.
Numerous golf courses and industry businesses celebrated and recognised National Golf Day in their own communities through activities and special offers. Included was Topgolf, which offered complimentary group golf instruction lessons at 50 locations across the US.