National Golf Day attendees gathered in the Rayburn House Office Building. The day’s agenda included more than 200 congressional meetings.
During the 11th annual National Golf Day on April 25, golf industry leaders participated in a record-high 230 meetings with members of Congress representing 40 states to discuss the game’s economic, social and environmental contributions.
Conversations with senators, representatives, the executive branch and federal agencies’ directors coincided with Tuesday’s release of the new U.S. Golf Economy Report, which showed $84.1 billion in activity was directly driven by golf in 2016, a 22 percent increase from $68.8 billion in the 2011 report. The industry supported $191.9 billion in total annual activity, including 1.89 million jobs and $58.7 billion in wages and benefits. Demonstrating golfers’ and businesses’ commitments to charity, $3.94 billion was raised in 2016 through tournaments and other golf activities.
The fourth report since 2000 to measure golf’s impact, the 2016 research encompassed golf course operations, tourism, real estate, supplies, tournaments, associations, charitable events, capital investment and other commercial segments.
Produced by We Are Golf — a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners — National Golf Day brought together heads of golf organizations and companies from throughout the United States.
“Golf is healthy, and we continue to collaborate on ways to have a positive impact in America,” says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation, the administrator of We Are Golf. “Meeting with many powerful lawmakers and influencers helps educate people about golf’s numerous benefits, grow participation, and preserve the game’s legacy for future generations.”
The We Are Golf agenda centers on golf course owners and operators receiving tax relief from natural disasters, labor policies, physical fitness legislation, tax reform, and environmental sustainability and conservation.
“Golf is a lifetime sport. It teaches values to the young and helps the seasoned golfer stay physically fit. Nebraska boasts some of the most diverse and beautiful golf destinations in the world,” says U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer from Nebraska. “On National Golf Day, we celebrate our love of the game and renew our commitment to ensure Americans can continue playing for generations to come.”
Volunteers for the April 24 Community Service Project tied to National Golf Day numbered 175, and they collectively tackled 18 beautification and preservation projects on the National Mall.
Golf ambassador and social media influencer Paige Spiranac joined the We Are Golf contingent to promote the health and wellness aspects of playing. An 18-hole round equates to a 4- to 5-mile walk and up to 2,000 calories burned.
Highlight exhibits in the Rayburn House Office Building foyer included golf lessons and swing analysis for Congress members and staff from Michael Breed, former PGA Teacher of the Year and SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio host, and Deb Vangellow, LPGA teaching professional. A closest-to-the-pin contest and Srixon/Cleveland Golf “Republicans vs. Democrats Putting Challenge” created spirited competition with support from aboutGolf, GolfTEC, Titleist and other industry brands.
The second annual Community Service Project held the previous day featured 175 participants focused on beautifying and preserving the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Golf industry leaders volunteered to lay sod, rake, edge, overseed, aerate, brush walkways and spruce gravel pathways across 18 projects from the Capitol Building to the Washington Monument. The four hours of “roll-up-your-sleeves” work saved the National Park Service nearly four months of labor.