May 19th, 2014 by Patrick Hodgson
Who’s excited for National Golf Day 2014? WE ARE GOLF certainly is. Celebrating its seventh annual NGD, golf leaders and partners from several renowned organizations like the Club Managers Association of America and PGA of America will head to Capitol Hill to chat about the positive impact of golf. WE ARE GOLF plans to use NGD14 to highlight to Members of Congress how the game has funded $3.9 billion yearly in charity. Other areas of focus for NGD14 will include golf’s positive effect on fitness and the environment.
Steve Mona, CEO of World Golf Foundation (WGF) and administrator of WE ARE GOLF, says that the near $4 billion in charitable giving from golf is the finest in sports. In fact, you might be surprised to know that golf raises more money for charity than the big four of professional sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) combined. While that is a staggering statistic, perhaps more astonishing is the fact that the bulk of the funds get dispersed to causes unrelated to golf. A 2011 study by the National Golf Foundation found that from the 75% of U.S. golf properties that held 143,000 events that year, the sport averaged $26,300 per event. Despite NGD14 taking place on May 21, WE ARE GOLF and other golf devotees have taken to various social media channels to boast about these accomplishments by including the hashtags #NGD14 and #GivingBack. One of the ways that American Golf has contributed to charitable success in the sport is through our Golf Tournament Management website, which emphasizes an educational perspective and comprehensive resources.
“With Golf Tournament Management, we are helping a nationwide network of non-profits and community organizations become more profitable through seminars, courses, and services that are designed to craft ideas for fundraisers and help them maximize those efforts,” said Jennifer Tinney, National Director of Sales, Tournaments.
One of the most intriguing revelations from the GOLF 20/20 report from 2011 is that playing golf is a viable fitness choice. For example, individuals who play the game four times a week while walking the courses can cut out about 8,000 calories. WE ARE GOLF’s awareness campaign for fitness isn’t just about fancy stats. They are also a central contributor to Phit America, a non-profit association that tackles obesity. In addition, WE ARE GOLF and other key groups in the golf industry are huge supporters of legislative items such as the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) and Physical Education Program (PEP). PHIT allows individuals to use pre-tax medical accounts for costs related to physical activity. PEP gives educational institutions grants that are designed to rebuild health and fitness programs. On NGD14 it should be interesting to see if WE ARE GOLF leaders push congressional members to adopt further legislation that could compliment both PHIT and PEP.
WE ARE GOLF’s environmental agenda should be a particular topic of interest for those interested in growing the game of golf. For instance, golf is the only sport globally that has an eco-label from the Rain Forest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council. That’s quite impressive since the typical 18-hole golf course contains 50 acres of rough, 30 acres of fairway, six acres of greens and tees, 24 acres of forest and 11 acres of water. Because golf courses in the U.S. account for more than two million acres of green space that is essential to a strong eco-system, there is optimism for sustainability. What potential outcomes might arise from this discussion, especially on the subject of developing and renovating courses for less irrigation?
NGD14 should be a thrilling day for the golf industry. It will be a moment in which WE ARE GOLF shows why golf is so imperative to society. If you’re feeling the spirit of golf and want to promote NGD14, share posts on your social media accounts, use the #NGD14, and spread the word. We are golf!