Gov. Roy Cooper with the North Carolina Golf Day proclamation, accompanied by golf industry representatives and Sen. Rick Gunn (center, in gray suit). Photos courtesy of the Carolinas GCSA
On June 20, Gov. Roy Cooper praised North Carolina’s golf industry for its role as a major driver in the state’s economy. In declaring the day North Carolina Golf Day, Gov. Cooper said golf generated an annual direct and indirect economic impact of $4.2 billion, supported more than 53,000 jobs, and paid out $1.3 billion in wages.
In marking North Carolina Golf Day, the governor welcomed a delegation of golf industry representatives to the governor’s mansion in Raleigh. He signed a proclamation that, in addition to economic impact, also highlighted golf’s social and environmental contributions, such as providing valuable green space in urban settings by moderating temperatures, mitigating air, noise and water pollution, and providing wildlife habitat.
The governor noted that, through nationally and internationally televised events such as the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, golf continues to generate immense free publicity and promotion for the state, attracting visitors and critical tourism dollars.
During North Carolina Golf Day, delegation members met with Sen. Mike Woodard at the legislative building, where he spoke about state issues and how they pertained to the golf industry. The delegation also heard a presentation by Christopher Chung, CEO of the N.C. Economic Development Partnership. The night before, Sen. Rick Gunn met with delegation members over dinner, and he was also present for the signing of the Golf Day proclamation.
In addition to the Carolinas GCSA, golf industry interests represented in the delegation included the Carolinas Golf Association, Carolinas PGA Section, Carolinas Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America, North Carolina Golf Course Owners Association, American Society of Golf Course Architects, and individual clubs and equipment manufacturers.
Later that day, the Carolinas GCSA presented a check for $107,000 to further turfgrass research efforts at North Carolina State University. The money was raised through GCSAA’s annual Rounds 4 Research auction, which was created by the Carolinas GCSA 10 years ago and is now administered by GCSAA’s Environmental Institute for Golf. Since the auction’s inception, the Carolinas GCSA has donated $365,000 to research at North Carolina State and Clemson University in South Carolina.
North Carolina State University’s Grady Miller, Ph.D., and Jim Kerns, Ph.D., with the check presented by Carolinas GCSA board members David Lee of Hope Valley Country Club in Durham, and Brian Stiehler, CGCS, MG, of Highlands (N.C.) Country Club.
“We are proud to support these research programs because they are critical to continuing all the economic, environmental and social good that the game provides,” says Carolinas GCSA executive director Tim Kreger. “As traditional funding has dwindled, golf has been very active in stepping up to be part of the solution. We are grateful to all elements of the golf industry in helping making this happen, from owners to golfers themselves and everyone in between.”