Golf Industry Advocacy Update: Making 2022 the Best it Can Be


By Ronnie Miles, Senior Director of Advocacy, National Golf Course Owners Association 

As you know, 2022 is an election year. At this time, we have 435 US House and 34 Senate seats on ballots across the country. In addition, at the state level, 36 governorships are up for grabs, including hundreds of House (Assembly) and Senate seats. As a result, we can expect a continued push of much of the legislative issues which remained on the table from 2021, plus many new pieces of legislation that one could argue are intended to influence public opinion but are primarily to support the respective party’s legislative agenda. But either way, golf course owners and operators should take advantage of the opportunity to engage with your local, state, and national candidates and share the challenges your business faces and the impact their decisions have on your operation.

The omicron variant remains a concern for many. While it appears equally contagious to vaccinated and unvaccinated, the severity is lessened for those fully vaccinated. Many of our golf courses are experiencing the return of local protocols and restrictions endured during 2021. OSHA’s new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) mandate requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to implement a required vaccination policy for all employees went into effect earlier this month. As I write this article, the US Supreme Court is deciding if the administration has the authority to use OSHA to issue non-work safety-related mandates nationally. NGCOA has encouraged golf course owners and operators to implement a health and safety policy that protects their employees and guests. We encourage all individuals to be fully vaccinated. The business owner should decide to mandate vaccination. They must recognize people do not wish to enter a business that blatantly ignores sound public-safety practices.

ur industry has been the beneficiary of people seeking safe outdoor recreational activities. How long this surge will last, only time will tell. Many of our operators are reporting a return of weddings, banquets, and other indoor activities. This, coupled with a full tee-sheet, will make 2022 another banner year for our industry. But we must be aware of how fragile this market is and how quickly it can recede with the resurgence of COVID-19 and any subsequent variants.

As we learned during 2020, our industry’s Back2Golf protocols provided us with safe operating procedures that protected our employees and guests. So if your area is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, and your local authorities are proposing a return to some of their earlier restrictions, we encourage you to review your prior protocols and take proactive steps to protect your community. And equally important is to educate and inform your staff and employees.

Let’s all do our part to stop the spread of the virus and make 2022 one of our best! 



Ronnie Miles is the Senior Director of Advocacy for the NGCOA. He can be reached at
** The views and opinions featured in Golf Business WEEKLY are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the NGCOA.**