What a week for the first-ever virtual National Golf Day week.
The week started off with a two-hour summit where important and timely topics were discussed by leading industry professionals.
First, there was the Diversity and Inclusion (DEI) Roundtable featuring Neera Shetty, senior vice president and deputy general counsel at the PGA Tour; Sandy Cross, chief people officer at the PGA of America; and Laura Diaz, director of foundation operations with the LPGA. Next, there was an Industry kickoff of the "Make Golf Your Thing" marketing movement featuring a presentation by Matt Corey, chief marketing officer, PGA Tour, and other industry professionals. This presentation and panel discussion included the historical background on how and why this new movement is an important, first-of-its-kind opportunity of the golf industry coming together to grow interest and participation in golf. Finally, there was a Leadership Roundtable which provided a thoughtful discussion with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, and PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh on how the golf industry continues to evolve and the important opportunities that lie ahead. GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans kicked off the summit reminding everyone that we must all work together to protect and defend the game of golf and golf course management.
During National Golf Day week, more than 200 individuals from the golf industry participated in over 250 virtual Congressional meetings. That number represented 45 states: 160 House offices and 90 Senate offices were touched. That is nearly half the United States Congress. Plus, many golf industry representative sent a message to Congressional offices through the National Golf Day action alert on the GCSAA website.
All those individuals who participated in virtual meetings on May 12 received issues training on May 11. They had a chance to meet the members of their state team and figure out a game plan for their virtual meetings in virtual practice rooms.
Everyone at National Golf Day talked about three important issues:
- The BMPs 50 x 2020 initiative. The industry got to showcase the groundbreaking accomplishment of having comprehensive environment and agronomic Best Management Practice programs in place in all 50 states.
- The PHIT Act , including asking for co-sponsorship of H.R. 3109 and S. 844 – The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, to help Americans return to physical activity and achieve healthier lives.
- The need for the “Returning Worker Exemption” for the H-2B Visa Program. There are not enough H-2B visas to meet the needs of non-ag, temporary, seasonal employers like golf. The RWE, which would not count H-2B visa workers from prior 3 years against the 66,000 annual visa cap, would support Americans already working at golf properties.
In every meeting, the above three asks were well received. Members of Congress are very impressed with the BMP initiative and wanted to know more.
The week was successful ,and now planning begins for a physical event in Washington, D.C., to be held in the spring of 2022, including the return of the Community Service Project. It will be great to be in Washington again with golf industry leaders to share the positive and important story of the role golf plays in this country. Thanks to everyone who helped make the first virtual event a huge success.