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National Golf Day Recap

Another successful National Golf Day event in Washington, D.C., has come and gone. The day began with a special kickoff event on Capitol Hill hosted by the We Are Golf coalition, led by Steve Mona from the World Golf Foundation. The opening ceremony included three special guests from the PGA and LPGA tours: Davis Love III, 2016 Ryder Cup captain, Steve Stricker, 2017 Presidents Cup captain, and LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez. More than 120 golf industry leaders were in attendance, representing the NGCOA, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, U.S. Golf Manufacturers Council and the World Golf Foundation.

The purpose of National Golf Day was to elevate awareness of our industry, which contributes more than $68 billion to the American economy and impacts over two million jobs. Through the thousands of tournaments and fund raising events our courses host, our sport generates $3.9 million to local, regional and national charities. We are also leaders in environmental stewardship, as we provide and care for valuable green spaces which support wildlife habitat, as well as provide needed cooling in major developed areas. We also had the opportunity to share the health and wellness benefit of golf. But most importantly, we used this opportunity to remind everyone that golf is a game for all and one which can be played for a lifetime.

During our visit in Washington, golf industry leaders were able to meet with their representatives to not only share the value message, but also discussed key legislative issues we feel will have a dramatic impact on the industry. This year, the We Are Golf Coalition developed three primary industry topics attendees addressed with members of congress: the impact of environmental regulations on golf, which included the “Clean Water Rule” (WOTUS) and the “Clean Water Act - NPDES Pesticide Permitting” bills, the Department of Labor’s overtime rule, and the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT Act).

While the general response from legislators seemed to follow party lines, there was an overall sense of desire to address the needs of the industry. The key takeaway was we should not expect much action during this legislative session. The majority of their efforts will be passing the FY17 appropriation bills. We can probably expect another continued resolution going beyond the next election. The outcome of next year’s elections will either result in more of the same or some measure of change, depending on the those elected.

NGCOA CEO, Jay Karen, celebrates National Golf Day on WJLA in Washington D.C. While on the show, he and Cassandra Taylor of Top Golf discussed the growth of the game.

From L to R: Joe Rice, Chief Strategy Officer, NGCOA; Matt Galvin, CEO, Morningstar Golf & Hospitality, Rock Lucas, Charwood Country Club; and Keith Miller, President, Montgomery County Revenue Authority

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