WE ARE GOLF, a new coalition led by four of the game’s leading associations and supported by other small businesses, met with key members of Congress today in conjunction with the 3rd annual National Golf Day to promote the true face of golf, one that reflects the vast benefits of the industry across the nation.
Founded by the Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association and The PGA of America, WE ARE GOLF is a broad-based coalition designed to maximize the industry’s synergy. Its growing membership includes multi-course owners, association members, manufacturers and golf facilities.
“The solidarity the industry showed today on Capitol Hill is critical,” said Mike Hughes, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association. “Securing a seat at the policy table in Washington, D.C., requires us to better define and illustrate the ‘we’ in WE ARE GOLF – that golf is more than just a game; it’s one in 75 jobs, the monthly mortgage or car payment.”
Beyond demonstrating golf’s economic clout, WE ARE GOLF will illustrate the industry’s environmental initiatives, its health and wellness benefits and its unparalleled charitable giving. The goal of WE ARE GOLF is to get members of Congress to understand golf’s contributions to communities across the country when they’re developing important legislation and to share information with media, elected officials, regulators and other key constituents. The coalition’s website, WeAreGolf.org, launched today and will play an integral role in advocacy efforts.
WeAreGolf.org will introduce policymakers to the “faces of golf,” the men and women whose lives depend on golf, such as Rafael Barajas, GCSAA certified golf course superintendent at Hacienda Golf Club in La Habra Heights, Calif. At 14, Rafael emigrated from Mexico to California. Attracted to the serenity of a local golf course, he landed a position with the golf course management staff. He steadily advanced through the ranks and ultimately, with no formal college education, became a certified golf course superintendent, the highest level of professional development for that position.
“I am not sure where I would be without the golf industry,” Barajas said. “Golf has provided me a career and a means to provide a college education for my four children.”
The two million U.S. jobs the multibillion-dollar industry generates and its vast economic reach are at the core of the coalition’s message. The golf industry believes it can play a vital role as policymakers continue their efforts to boost employment and get the nation’s economy back on track.
“WE ARE GOLF allows our industry to work as one with lawmakers on a wide range of issues that affect small business. We have important insights and experiences to offer, and WE ARE GOLF gives us the platform to offer them,” said PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka. “Today, we began a new era in golf’s collaborative dialogue with federal policymakers.”
WE ARE GOLF www.WeAreGolf.org