WASHINGTON, D.C. - Golf industry leaders participated in a record-high 230 meetings with members of Congress representing 40 states to discuss the game's economic, social and environmental contributions to society during today's 11th annual National Golf Day on Capitol Hill.
Conversations with Senate, House of Representatives, Executive Branch and federal agencies' directors coincided with Tuesday's release of the new U.S. Golf Economy Report, conducted by TEConomy Partners. It shows $84.1 billion in activity was directly driven by golf in 2016, a 22% rise from $68.8 billion in the 2011 report. The industry supported $191.9 billion in total annual activity, including 1.89 million jobs and $58.7 billion in wages and benefits. Demonstrating golfers' and businesses' commitments to charity, $3.94 billion was raised in 2016 through tournaments and other golf activities.
The fourth report since 2000 to measure golf's impact, research encompassed golf course operations, tourism, real estate, supplies, tournaments, associations, charitable events, capital investment and other commercial segments.
Produced by WE ARE GOLF - the coalition of the game's leading associations and industry partners - National Golf Day brought together heads of golf organizations and companies from throughout the U.S.
"Golf is healthy and we continue to collaborate on ways to have a positive impact in America," says Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf Foundation and administrator of WE ARE GOLF. "Meeting with many powerful lawmakers and influencers helps educate people about golf's numerous benefits, grow participation and preserve the game's legacy for future generations."
The WE ARE GOLF agenda centers on golf course owners and operators receiving tax relief from natural disasters, labor policies, physical fitness legislation, tax reform, and environmental sustainability and conservation.
"Golf is a lifetime sport. It teaches values to the young and helps the season golfer stay physically fit. Nebraska boasts some of the most diverse and beautiful golf destinations in the world," said Senator Debra Fischer (R-NE). "On National Golf Day, we celebrate our love of the game and renew our commitment to ensure Americans can continue playing for generations to come."
Golf ambassador and social media influencer Paige Spiranac joined the WE ARE GOLF contingency to promote health and wellness derived from playing. An 18-hole round equates to a four- to five-mile walk and up to 2,000 calories burned.
Highlight exhibits in the Rayburn Office Building foyer included golf lessons and swing analysis for Congressional Members and staff from Michael Breed, former PGA Teacher of the Year and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio host, and Deb Vangellow, LPGA Teaching Professional. A closest-to-the-pin contest and Srixon / Cleveland Golf "Republicans vs. Democrats Putting Challenge" created spirited competition along with support from aboutGolf, GOLFTEC, Titleist and other industry brands.
Yesterday's second annual Community Service Project featured 175 participants focused on beautifying and preserving the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Golf industry leaders volunteered to lay sod, rake, edge, overseed, aerate, brush walkways and spruce gravel pathways across 18 projects from the Capitol Building to the Washington Monument. The four hours of "roll-up-your-sleeves" work saved the National Park Service nearly four months of labor.
For those unable to make it to D.C. to celebrate National Golf Day, Topgolf partnered with WE ARE GOLF to conduct free, five-minute lessons at each of its 37 U.S. locations (excluding Las Vegas).
Through April 30, visit the social media hub and use #NationalGolfDay and tag @wearegolf on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to support the golf industry.