WE ARE GOLF Meets with Congress on National Golf Day
Coalition on Capitol Hill to Support Game’s Economic, Environmental, Health and Charitable Benefits to Millions of Americans
WE ARE GOLF -- a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners -- today met with Members of Congress during the fifth annual National Golf Day to share stories and data about golf’s diverse businesses, employees, tax revenue creation, tourism and charitable benefits, and environmental leadership.
As in past years, WE ARE GOLF brought a cast of story-tellers to Capitol Hill to discuss what golf has meant to them. Reports on golf’s economic contributions to cash-strapped states around the nation were shared with influential policy makers who may otherwise not have been exposed to all the data. In addition, a new set of “Shared Principles on Sustainability” was unveiled – a unified commitment from industry professionals to design, construct and manage environmentally responsible golf courses.
“WE ARE GOLF was formed because it had become clear golf was misunderstood by too many of our nation’s policymakers.” says Joe Steranka, CEO of the PGA of America and Board Chair of WE ARE GOLF. “Longstanding perceptions of the game simply didn’t square with the facts. We set out to do a better job explaining the profound impact on communities around the country. By showcasing that impact, we are aiming to level the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up our industry, and their employees.
Organizations participating included: PGA of America, World Golf Foundation, Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association. Officers in attendance include:
- Joe Steranka, CEO, PGA of America
- Steve Mona, CEO, World Golf Foundation
- Jim Singerling, CEO, Club Managers Association of America
- Michael Hughes, CEO, National Golf Course Owners Association
- Rhett Evans, CEO, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
- Peter Broome, Board Member, U.S. Golf Manufacturer Council
- Leading golf course superintendents, small business owners, manufacturers
National Golf Day featured a day-long exhibit in the Rayburn Foyer with live lessons for Members of Congress and staff from the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed (Host of “The Golf Fix”); a state-of-the art golf simulator provided by aboutGolf; a Republican vs. Democrat putting challenge; photo opportunities with the Wanamaker Trophy; and an educational display illustrating golf’s cutting-edge environmental stewardship.
Adds Steranka about the impact of WE ARE GOLF and National Golf Day on the policy-making landscape:
“We are very encouraged by the progress we’ve made in a short amount of time. It’s clear to us that more members of Congress now understand that for nearly two million Americans, golf is more than just a game. They understand it never made sense to exclude golf – along with massage parlors and liquor stores and tanning salons – from tax relief legislation. They understand what golf brings to their communities. As a result, golf is no longer being excluded from important legislation.”
At $76 billion, golf is bigger than the motion picture industry. It’s key to the economic vitality of many states and localities including: 167,000 jobs in Florida; 160,000 in California; 56,000 in Georgia; 98,000 in Texas; and 68,000 in North Carolina.
About WE ARE GOLF
The nearly 2 million US jobs generated by the multi-billion-dollar golf industry, and its vast economic reach, are at the core of WE ARE GOLF’S message. Given the scope and pace of federal government activity and the impact on small businesses, the golf industry can play a vital role as policymakers continue efforts to boost employment and get the nation’s economy back on track. Beyond better demonstrating golf’s profound economic clout, WE ARE GOLF illustrates the industry’s health and wellness benefits, its unparalleled charitable giving, and its environmental sustainability initiatives.