GOLF today is driving more than $84.1 billion of economic activity across the United States.
Pushing this strong trend along year on year is WE ARE GOLF, a coalition of a number of key golf organizations, representing every facet of the game, from the leisure market to the professional tours, from golf course administrators to golf course owners and club managers.
Also included with WE ARE GOLF are golf-related suppliers of equipment, apparel, and media; tournaments organizers, golf associations, brokers of player endorsements: charitable events; golf-enabled tourism and real estate companies.
Ten years ago it was recognized that the business of golf had become so vast and economically important that a coalition of golf’s leading organization seemed more than just a good idea, it had become imperative.
So it happened in 2009 that WE ARE GOLF was launched.
WE ARE GOLF is a coalition of golf’s leading organizations including the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA TOUR, the PGA of America, United States Golf Association, the U.S Golf Manufacturers Council and World Golf Foundation.
WE ARE GOLF was formed in part, says the organization’s Steve Mona, “because it had become clear the industry was misunderstood by too many elected officials. Longstanding perceptions of the game simply didn’t square with the facts. By focusing on those whose livelihoods are tied to the game, WE ARE GOLF has leveled the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up the industry.”
Let’s take a look at the key areas and activities that WE ARE GOLF has set out to bring together and put under the spotlight:
National Golf Day—The pinnacle event of the year for WE ARE GOLF is National Golf Day. This was held on April 24-25, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. National Golf Day celebrates the game’s $84.1 billion economy, its $4 billion annual charitable impact, as well as golf’s many environmental and fitness benefits.
The 2018 event on April 25 saw more than 300 industry leaders meet with Members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies across 230 meetings to discuss golf’s 15,000-plus diverse businesses, with two million jobs impacted, and with tax revenue creation and tourism value.
“With one in 75 U.S. jobs impacted by golf, the industry plays a significant role in stimulating our economy nationwide,” says Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf Foundation, administrator of WE ARE GOLF.
“Last year, a record 2.5 million people tried golf for the first time, further cementing why it is vital to share golf’s interests with our country’s lawmakers, showcasing the game’s many economic, charitable and fitness benefits.”
Impact—Since its emergence as a major spectator sport in the 1920s, golf has provided lifelong recreational opportunities and enjoyment for millions. Golf is also a major U.S. industry generating jobs, commerce, economic development and tax revenues for local communities.
Charity—Golf has a longstanding history of giving back to society. It starts with the values of sportsmanship, respect and integrity that are inherent in the game and passed on to kids who learn the game, and continues with billions of dollars raised annually for charities across the country.
Sustainability—The golf industry is dedicated to continually improving the construction and management of responsible and economically viable golf courses, which provide significant value to the environment.
Golf makes a positive social and environmental impact, adding value across the land it manages, resources it uses, and people and communities it touches. Additionally, golf can be a catalyst to driving sustainability awareness in front of millions of individuals, communities and businesses.
Fitness benefits—Playing the game of golf can improve your quality of life. Walking nine or 18 holes of golf (with or without a cart) can help oxygenate the body, improve posture and renew your spirit.
Growing golf—Raising awareness of the significant influence can have on young people’s lives through several organizations such as The First Tee; Get Golf Ready; PGA Jr. League; Drive, Chip & Putt Championship; LPGA*USGA Girls Golf; and Carry the Game.
Accessibility – Promoting golf as a game for all. It’s a fun, recreational activity for millions of people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.
Capitol Hill—WE ARE GOLF advocates to Congressional leaders in D.C. on a daily basis with regard to key issues that impact upon the golf sector, influencing the decisions made on Capitol Hill to ensure a positive impact the golf industry.
It’s clear that WE ARE GOLF has not only set the agenda for the future of golf, WE ARE GOLF has also accepted the challenge, by uniting the golf industry and, in Steve Mona’s words, “showcasing the game’s many economic, charitable and fitness benefits.”
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