Partnership will begin as a pilot program in Southern California
Lawrence, Kan. (Jan. 2, 2023) – The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is pleased to announce the formation of a collaborative advocacy initiative between GCSAA and the PGA of America. This will enable the two organizations to expand the industry’s grassroots advocacy efforts with a larger, united voice.
The partnership will begin as a pilot program, with GCSAA working with the PGA of America and the Southern California PGA Section. Southern California was chosen as the pilot area due to its population, large congressional delegation, and the high number of legislative and regulatory challenges faced by the California golf industry in recent years.
“We see this collaboration with GCSAA as a great opportunity to strengthen golf’s voice collectively through joint efforts in advocating for the game,” PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said. “Our organizations’ members are at golf facilities and have the firsthand experience to best educate lawmakers on the key issues facing the golf industry.”
GCSAA has had a great deal of advocacy success with its GCSAA Grassroots Ambassadors program, which launched in 2014 as a way to establish a network of volunteers who are the go-to people for members of Congress on golf-related issues. Today, more than 500 GCSAA members are paired up with members of Congress. These one-on-one relationships have resulted in establishing dialogues with the congressperson and their staff, often leading to the member of Congress visiting the golf facility of their ambassador and getting a first-hand look at the many benefits golf courses provide to their congressional district.
“GCSAA is excited to add the PGA of America to this important initiative. As we know, advocacy is a team effort for the golf industry as the decisions of policymakers affect all of us,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “We have seen the positive impact of our grassroots advocacy programs, and we appreciate the opportunity to expand the industry’s voice in tandem with the PGA of America. Together, we will have more members with established relationships with lawmakers, more members with expert knowledge on the issues, and more members attending hearings, writing letters, and making phone calls that can make a difference for the industry.”
The first advocacy training is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2024, and the pilot program will continue through September 2024. More information will be forthcoming. Michael Lee, GCSAA senior manager, government affairs, will be the primary GCSAA contact for the program.