Monday, May 7, 2018

The 11th Annual National Golf Day

On April 25th I attended the 11th annual National Golf Day in Washington DC. It was my seventh time attending the event, which is coordinated by We Are Golf. We Are Golf was created in 2009 as an advocacy initiative designed to communicate to members of Congress and other federal policy makers the significant impact of golf on the nations economy and way of life. The ultimate objective is to ensure that laws and regulations impacting the golf industry are appropriate to an $84 billion dollar industry, which impacts close to 2 million American jobs and generates nearly $4 billion annually in charitable giving.

The We Are Golf coalition is managed by a board of directors comprised of a representative of the Club Managers Assocaition of America, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, The PGA of America, the PGA Tour, the United States Golf Association, The U.S. Golf Manufactures Council and the World Golf Foundation.

At this years National Golf Day, the 2nd annual community service project was also held. The focus was on the beautification and preservation of the National Mall. This years project saved the National Park Service approximately $30,000 in contracting costs.

Darren (second from the right) mowing the National Mall
A first for the event, this years attendees were provided an informative and entertaining keynote presenattion by FOX Chief Political Anchor, Bret Baier. Baier provided an insiders perspective on the current political climate on Capitol Hill.

Darren with FOX Chief Political Anchor Bret Baier 

My congressional meeting schedule this year included appointments in the offices of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Congressman Francis Rooney, Congressman Ted Deutch and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. The message I provided was, since its emergence as a spectator sport in the 1920's, the game of golf has provided recreation and enjoyment for millions of Americans. But, it is much more than a game, it is a major contributor to the American economy. Beyond its entertainment value, golf courses are small businesses that generate jobs, commerce, economic development, and tax revenues in communities across the country. Golf brings visitors to states, drives new construction and residential development, generates retail sales and creates demand for a myriad of goods and services. And, although Olde Florida Golf Club is a private club I also informed those I met with that of the over 15,000 golf courses in the U.S., more than 10,000 were open to the public. Furthermore, 8 out of 10 golfers play public golf courses with a median green fee of $38. In addition to the business aspects of golf, I also detailed the numerous positive environmental attributes of golf courses and touched on the health and social benefits of the game.

Darren with U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. Diaz-Balart represents a large portion of Collier County, including Olde Florida Golf Club