Golf Makes an Impact in D.C.
“There are two million men and women who depend on the golf industry to pay rent and put food on the table…“ – Hal Sutton, 2004 Ryder Cup Captain and 1983 PGA Champion
Everyday, decisions are made on Capitol Hill that impact the golf industry. What is golf doing to seek fair and equal treatment as a legitimate industry? Below are a few items WE ARE GOLF advocates to Congressional leaders in D.C. on a daily basis.
Golf is a $68.8 billion industry, supports two million jobs and provides $55.6 billion in annual wage income. Of the nearly 15,200 golf courses in the U.S., more than 10,000 are available to the public. The game is affordable – the median green fee for 18 holes is $37.
Small Business / Disaster Tax Relief
With almost 15,000 golf courses across the U.S., the industry provides a significant amount of tax revenue at the local level. This reduces the tax burden on families in those same communities where golf courses operate.
Our country has experienced several natural disasters in the last few years, causing incredible flooding and destruction to golf courses (Hurricane Katrina - 2005, Super Storm Sandy - 2012). Unfortunately, public courses have been grouped in with a select group of companies not eligible to receive disaster tax relief – which WE ARE GOLF is seeking to overturn.
Golf is a key driver of charitable giving in the U.S – $3.9 billion a year to be exact. Almost all of these philanthropic contributions go to causes outside of the sport. Beneficiaries include health, youth, education, environmental and cultural groups nationally, regionally and locally.
According to a 2011 study conducted by the National Golf Foundation, golf as a fundraising vehicle includes an estimated 12,000 golf facilities (75 percent of U.S. total), 143,000 events, 12 million participants and an average of $26,300 per function.
The golf industry is dedicated to continually improving the construction and management of environmentally-responsible and economically-viable golf courses. The goal is for course managers and developers to continuously improve water conservation, water quality protection, energy savings and pollution reduction.
Golf courses provide ecological and economic benefits to local communities. They protect habitat for wildlife and plant species. The majority of facilities use natural resources efficiently, with less than 15 percent relying on municipal water supplies.
Golf is a healthy and active sport. Those who play four times a week and walk the course expend nearly 8,000 calories. Walking 18 holes is equal to a 5-mile walk or 3.5 to 4-mile run.
In addition to communicating this at National Golf Day, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association also hosts “National Health Through Fitness Day” on Capitol Hill each March and golf plays a key role in this event.