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NGCOA Members Converge on Capitol Hill
More than 30 NGCOA members came together in our nation’s capital in April to participate in the golf industry’s most important and effective advocacy initiative. We joined more than 100 members from some of our sister associations, including the PGA, LPGA, GCSAA, NCA, CMAA, SFIA, GCBA and ASGCA. Together, these representatives attended more than 175 planned meetings with our legislative representatives.
This year, our focus issues dealt with labor and how the H-2B legislation funding is necessary to ensure we can successfully staff our operations. WOTUS was another issue discussed with congressional members and staff, and lastly, we addressed regulatory reform and how many times regulations are introduced without fully understanding how they impact existing laws and regulations.
The NGCOA kicked off the festivities with its inaugural Advocacy Forum, featuring lobbying firm Forbes-Tate, which ensures golf industry issues and concerns are incorporated into legislative deliberations on bills affecting the business of golf. The firm was represented at the event by George Cooper, Rick Murphy, and Frank Steinberg, who provided members with updates on issues they’re working on and opportunities and challenges they see with the new administration. Murphy and Steinberg shared interesting stories from their time working on the Hill and strategies they employ when dealing with legislative members and their staff. This information was well received by members, as most felt it better prepared them for meetings scheduled for the following day.
Afterwards, the NGCOA joined other golf industry members for meetings with home state legislative representatives. All told, our members met with legislators and their staffs from 36 states, with each member attending an average of four meetings. Members related that most of their meetings were positive.
NGCOA members will be pleased to know that these legislators gained a better understanding of golf course ownership and how it’s a vital part of a given community’s economic growth. With NGCOA president Rock Lucas being a golf course owner himself, it was important for us to educate to these lawmakers that the majority of our members are single-course owners whose financial success or failure may be decided by the laws and regulations being implemented by the federal government. While most legislators were supportive, final passage or change in these legislative and regulatory issues require support from both Congress and the Trump Administration. The NGCOA will continue to support We Are Golf’s legislative agenda, as well as those issues which promote our owner’s operational growth strategy.