by Greg McLaughlin, CEO, World Golf Foundation
Earlier this week, the golf industry convened in Washington, D.C., for National Golf Day to share with legislators the many benefits our sport has on American society. National Golf Day provides industry leaders the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the game’s interests, but also to make lawmakers aware of these benefits.
This year marked the 12th annual National Golf Day and 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 society.
Conversations with Senate, House of Representatives, Executive Branch and federal agencies’ directors highlighted some of the many societal benefits of the sport in the United States, including the game’s economic impact, which was $84.1 billion in 2016 and the fact that golf generates $3.9 billion annually for charity.
Lawmakers learned about the accessibility of the sport, which is evidenced by the fact that 76% of golf courses are open to the public and the average cost of a round of golf is just $35. They were also briefed on the health and wellness benefits of the sport and the environmental benefits that golf courses provide as green spaces, wildlife habitats and as filters for runoff.
Combined, these facts make a compelling case for golf’s importance to society and sharing these facts with Congress is a vital part of National Golf Day.
Golf industry representatives also give back as part of National Golf Day festivities. Each year, a community service project is undertaken on the National Mall to beautify the landmark by taking part in activities, such as mowing, planting, sod installation, pruning and more. This year marked the third year of the community service project and saw more than 200 members of the golf industry volunteering their time.
To learn more about National Golf Day, please visit www.wearegolf.org.