Lawrence, Kan. (Feb. 21, 2017) — For more than 100 golf industry advocates, the 10th annual National Golf Day in Washington, D.C., on April 26, will begin a day early when they tackle a community service project to help beautify about 40 acres on the National Mall adjacent to the White House and national monuments.
“There is no shortage of work that needs to be done, that’s for sure,” said Michael Stachowicz, turf management specialist for the National Park Service and a retired 25-year member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). “I am looking forward to this day and having turfgrass professionals come in and give us the maintenance needed to act as a great foundation for the rest of the year.”
The five-hour project is expected to include aerifying, seeding, pruning and general beautification to an area that welcomes 30 million visitors a year and includes national landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
“Helping other people goes a long way in our profession,” said Chris Harriman, golf course superintendent at Cattail Creek Country Club in Glenwood, Md., and the immediate past president of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Golf Course Superintendents. “We are interested in working and showing the public what we can do. We are happy to do it.”
“This is a great new addition to National Golf Day,” said Dane Gamble, golf course superintendent and owner at Bridge Creek Golf Club in Bozeman, Mont., who will attend and take part in meetings Wednesday with his local and state representatives to share the positive benefits offered by the golf industry. “This is a chance to be part of something bigger than ourselves. The whole event promotes the profession, and it is invaluable.”
Superintendents will be organized into small groups with a team leader, and each group will be responsible for a task. GCSAA members interested in registering to attend and help should visit wearegolf.org/capitol-hill/national-golf-day/register-to-attend.
“It feels like we are preparing for a tournament,” said Stachowicz, 47, who was the golf course superintendent at Dedham Country and Polo Club in Dedham, Mass., for nine years before joining the National Park Service staff four years ago. “The National Mall reflects what America is all about and why we are proud of our democracy, and this is an opportunity to bring superintendents together to support that vision.”
Each spring since 2007, GCSAA and We Are Golf, a coalition of the game’s leading associations and industry partners, have come together in the nation’s capital to promote the benefits of the game, sharing with congressmen that the sport represents $70 billion in economic impact, creates two million jobs and contributes $4 billion annually in charitable giving. There were 120 congressional meetings at the 2016 event alone, and the NGD16 Twitter campaign eclipsed 52 million impressions and reached 17.7 million accounts.
The large golf course superintendent contingent, some of whom are members of GCSAA’s Grassroots Ambassadors program, is eager to connect with legislators again this year. These superintendents will focus on priority topics of business and labor laws impacting the golf industry. But this time, they will also leave something behind for all to enjoy – a spruced up National Mall.
About GCSAA and the EIFG
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.
The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at www.eifg.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.