National Golf Day Slated for May 13
Golf leaders to share industry’s economic message
On May 13, NGCOA representatives along with other leaders from golf’s allied associations will once again gather at our nation’s Capitol for the second annual National Golf Day. Leaders will meet with select legislators to share the message that golf’s economic impact of $195 billion is vital to local communities and regional and national tourism.
The need for a special event grew out of a tax relief measure passed by Congress in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Golf courses in the hardest hit regions sustained significant losses and numerous people lost their jobs as a result. But Congress excluded golf in the relief package.
After spending time with officials on Capitol Hill last May, the industry was once again omitted from relief measures to help citizens and business owners impacted by last year’s devastating floods and storms in the Midwest.
Recent comments and actions by our elected representatives may prove just as damaging if not more. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank publically rebuked Northern Trust Corporation’s sponsorship of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. Senator John Kerry introduced a bill to prevent any TARP-fund recipient from hosting or sponsoring conferences, parties and entertainment events.
“Unfortunately, this grandstanding proves that many of our elected officials can’t see the entire picture,” says Mike Hughes, chief executive officer of the National Golf Course Owners Association. “If they could, they’d realize that every time a company cancels a meeting or event, it doesn’t impact the executives; rather, it trickles down to the housekeepers, wait staff, cooks, cart attendants and other resort or facility personnel who are laid off because their employer lost a huge source of revenue.”
The golf industry still has a lot of work to do in Washington to ensure our message resonates with lawmakers. So the plan is to once again share quantifiable data that shows golf isn’t merely a game; instead, it’s a $76-billion industry that contributes billions of dollars each year to local, state and national economies and employs more than 2 million people nationwide.