WE ARE GOLF representatives gather on the steps of the Capitol in 2017 for National Golf Day activities. (Courtesy of WE ARE GOLF) Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA, conducts a press conference in Washington D.C. during National Golf Day in 2017. (Courtesy of WE ARE GOLF)

Lobbying, free lessons all part of National Golf Day

Wednesday, April 25 is National Golf Day. It's also National Telephone Day, National DNA Day and National Hug-A-Plumber Day, to name a few. But as far as we're concerned in the golf business, it's National Golf Day, and it's the 11th year that we're celebrating this occasion. It's a day of government lobbying, free lessons, maybe even taking the day off to play a round, and basically touting the game we love.

According to "We Are Golf," which represents golf's associations and industry leaders, National Golf Day celebrates the game's nearly $70 billion economy, $4 billion annual charitable impact and many environmental and fitness benefits.

Furthermore, We Are Golf is touting that a record 38.5 million people are interested in golf, and 2.5 million tried it for the first time last year.

National golf instruction specialist company GolfTEC is also conducting mini-lessons in Washington D.C. on National Golf Day.

National Golf Day also follows the day after 175 members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association, completed a community service project that focused on 11 different turf projects from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. The project included beautification, preservation and helping the National Park Service with turf maintenance.

Who is We Are Golf?

If you're wondering what groups make up the We Are Golf coalition, it's was created in 2009 and is made up of the game's major associations and industry partners. They include the PGA Tour, PGA of America, United States Golf Association Golf Course Superintendents Association, National Golf Course Owners Association and U.S. Golf Manufacturer's Council.

Representatives from this group - 235 of them from 40 states - have more than 230 Congressional meetings planned for this occasion. They are set to visit 80 of the 100 Senate offices and 145 House offices, meeting with members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss golf's nearly 15,000 diverse businesses, two million jobs impacted, tax revenue creation and tourism value.

Ultimately, of course, the goal of We Are Golf, is to influence laws and regulations that impact the golf industry. For example, We Are Golf is lobbying that golf courses be eligible for disaster relief.

According to the website: "Our country has experienced several natural disasters in the last few years, causing incredible flooding and destruction to golf courses (Hurricane Katrina - 2005, Super Storm Sandy - 2012). Unfortunately, public courses have been grouped in with a select group of companies not eligible to receive disaster tax relief – which WE ARE GOLF is seeking to overturn."

Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation in St. Augustine Fla., where We Are Golf is also based, says that these Capitol Hill meetings help educate people about the game's benefits to society, grow participation and preserve golf's legacy for future generations.

"With one in 75 U.S. jobs impacted by golf, the industry plays a significant role in stimulating our economy nationwide," Mona said. "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.”

More free golf lessons

In addition to what GolfTEC is doing in Washington, Topgolf is also offering free lessons on National Golf Day. From a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., customers who come into any of 26 Topgolf location in the United States (excluding Las Vegas) can get a free five-minute lesson. Last year, Topgolf gave more than 2,000 free lessons.

"Topgolf is everyone's game, and we know that for many of our guests, Topgolf is their first interaction with the sport," said Dolf Berle, CEO of Topgolf Entertainment Group and Topgolf. "We are excited to make golf even more accessible with complimentary lessons that will help kick players' games up a notch. No matter your age or skill level, anyone can enjoy playing golf, so we hope to see new faces at our venues on April 25."

And finally, you can get a little help with your game at PGA Tour Superstores as well, as part of National Golf Day. The folks there are offering free one-hour clinics to customers, at noon and at 6 p.m. at all 32 of its locations. Additionally, anyone who takes part in the free clinics can also get a voucher for a free 45-minute lesson to be used at later date.

Apr 24, 2018

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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.