JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The 2011 Missouri Governor's Conference on Tourism made its visit to Jefferson City Country Club, Tuesday, for an inaugural "Missouri Golf Day." The delegation was headed by Gov. Jay Nixon, who was joined by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and Gateway PGA Foundation President Ozzie Smith; PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka; and Mark Passey, director of regional affairs for the USGA. Together, they unveiled an economic impact study spearheaded by the World Golf Foundation outlining golf’s importance to Missouri.
"Golf is important to Missouri for the diverse group of businesses the game supports, the people it employs, the tax revenue it creates, the tourism it spawns, the charity it generates and the environmental leadership it provides, " said Steranka. "We are very proud of the sport and its relevance to families here in the state. It is the work of Missouri PGA Professionals that keep 5 million people coming out and playing golf every year that has a substantial economic impact."
"This is very fitting that we host Missouri Golf Day in conjunction with the Governor's Conference on Tourism because golf has a significant impact on tourism, and tourism has a huge impact on our state," said Governor Nixon. "A strong tourism industry creates jobs and golf is thriving in Missouri. Because of that great support, Missouri is hosting two PGA Championships which will have a profound impact on the local economy."
In May 2013, Bellerive Country Club near St. Louis will host its first Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf. Bellerive will become the third venue to host all four of the country's rotating major championships - the Senior PGA Championship, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and the U.S. Senior Open. Bellerive will again be the focal point of the golf world in August of 2018, when it hosts the Centennial PGA Championship. The Championships coincide with the creation of a philanthropic outreach program of The PGA and Gateway PGA Section, guided by baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and other leaders in the St. Louis.
Golf course owners, operators, and golf professionals are happy to serve as access points for annual fundraising by local service organizations. In total, SRI estimates that the amount of charitable giving attributed to the game of golf in Missouri to be $25.2 million in 2010.
In addition to the scramble-style golf tournament with all proceeds benefiting junior golf programs, the public participated in free activities during "Missouri Golf Day" that included golf lessons from PGA Professionals and an after-school junior clinic.