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Fifth National Golf Day Reigns Supreme on Capitol Hill

Meetings with Congress highlight the golf industry’s positive impact

CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 19, 2012) - Wednesday, members of the We Are Golf coalition, including representatives from the National Golf Course Owners Association, Club Managers Association of America, the Golf Course Superintendents Association, and PGA of America, met with key Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. for the 2012 National Golf Day. 

National Golf Day was formed as a result of golf’s exclusion from disaster tax relief legislation passed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Today, it celebrates the many men and women who make their living working in the golf industry, and seeks to level the playing field for the small businesses that make it up.

Representatives from the We Are Golf coalition spent the day sharing stories and data that emphasize the powerful impact of the $76 billion golf industry on the American way of life, and its positive economic, charitable and environmental contributions.

NGCOA CEO, Mike Hughes; NGCOA President and owner of Juday Creek Golf Course, Linda Rogers; NGCOA Membership Director, Joe Rice; and President of Pine Needles Club, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club and Mid Pines Inn, Kelly Miller, were among the We Are Golf representatives.

“It’s important that legislators understand that while golf is a great game, it is much more than that to so many, including me; it’s a business just like every other small business and it’s how over two million Americans earn their living,” says Linda Rogers.  “I’m very proud to be a part of the golf industry and thankful to be able to share my story.”

Legislators not only heard about the many benefits of golf, but they also got to experience it.  A golf exhibit complete with a golf simulator, mini-lessons from the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed (of "The Golf Fix") and a putting contest were set up in the foyer of the Rayburn Building for policymakers to enjoy throughout the day.

Now in its fifth year of educating members of Congress, National Golf Day and We Are Golf are seeing progress in our political landscape.

“We are very encouraged by what we’ve been able to do it such a short time,” says Mike Hughes. “It’s becoming clear that Congress understands what golf brings to their communities and that there is no political risk in associating themselves with an industry that supports so many livelihoods.”

With Congress’ attention turned towards the industry, We Are Golf seeks to expand its reach to other important initiatives while remaining committed to supporting golf’s inclusion in disaster tax relief.

We Are Golf was a key contributor in the efforts leading to the repeal of the 1099 legislation, which would have required all businesses to submit to the IRS a form listing payments made to any single vendor totaling more than $600 annually.

The coalition also joined forces with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in support of providing summer jobs and internship opportunities to America’s youth, and with the Department of Commerce as it seeks to increase golf tourism from foreign markets in the US.

Additionally, We Are Golf took National Golf Day as an opportunity to unveil its new set of “Shared Principles on Sustainability.” The principles represent the coalition’s unified pledge to designing, constructing and managing environmentally responsible golf courses.

Led by the Club Managers Association of America, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, and The PGA of America, WE ARE GOLF is a new coalition formed to tell the true story of golf. Not just the game, but also the stories of the hardworking men and women who make it the greatest sport in the world and whose livelihoods depend on it. It is these accounts that affirm the continued health and growth of the golf industry is vital to thousands of communities across the country and instrumental in enhancing the lives of millions of Americans. By showcasing golf's diverse businesses and their employees, the tax revenues it creates, the tourism it spawns, the charity it generates, and the environmental benefits it provides, WE ARE GOLF is leveling the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up the industry and depend on the sport for their success.

© 2000, National Golf Course Owners Association