TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Golf Florida Alliance - a collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the state's golf industry - celebrated "Florida Golf Day" at the State Capitol.
Members of the Golf Florida Alliance met with the House of Representatives and Senate to discuss the industry's economic impact, growth of youth development programs and enhanced sustainability procedures.
Attendees included the Club Managers Association of America (Florida Chapter); Florida Division of Historical Resources; Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association; Florida State Golf Association; Florida State University PGA Golf Management Program; Florida Turfgrass Association; Golf Channel; Keiser University College of Golf and Sport Management; LPGA; National Golf Course Owners Association; PGA of America (North and South Florida sections); PGA TOUR; The First Tee; USGA Green Section; World Golf Foundation; and World Golf Hall of Fame.
Based on a 2007 study commissioned by GOLF 20/20 and conducted by SRI International, the state's direct golf economic impact is approximately $7.5 billion a year, supporting more than 167,000 jobs and $4.7 billion in annual wage income. Florida is home to more than 1,100 public and private golf course facilities, the most of any other state in America. In addition, Florida's golf industry has a charitable impact of $312 million annually, raised through local outings and contributions from professional golf events.
"Florida's golf industry has a huge influence on the state's overall economy," says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. "Our unified message today about the importance of the game resonates well with legislative decision-makers and we look forward to growing interest and participation in the sport."
Headquartered in St. Augustine, Fla., The First Tee has 189 chapters and nearly 750 programming locations, spanning all 50 U.S. states. Since 1997, the organization has impacted the lives of 7.6 million participants (ages five to 18). Through after and in-school programs, The First Tee positively influences young people by reinforcing its "Nine Core Values" including honesty, integrity, respect, responsibility, courtesy, sportsmanship, confidence, judgment and perseverance.
"Getting kids involved in golf as early as possible is nothing but positive and it gives you the opportunity to learn honesty, how to conduct yourself in a professional manner or learn something as simple as math," says Representative Ed Hooper, Chairman of the Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee. "Golf helps young kids grow into responsible adults and it's a game they can play for the rest of their lives."
An interactive swing zone was set up in the Capitol Courtyard and featured Brad Brewer, ranked a "Top 50 Instructor in Florida" by Golf Digest and "Top 100 Teacher" by GOLF Magazine. In addition, House and Senate members competed in a charity putting contest and attendees had the opportunity for a picture with THE PLAYERS Championship replica trophy.
Florida hosted the "PGA Merchandise Show" and "Golf Industry Show" in Orlando earlier this year with thousands of attendees and exhibitors. In total, the state will host 17 professional golf tournaments in 2014: six PGA TOUR, three Champions Tour, one Web.com Tour, one LPGA Tour, one Legends Tour and five Symetra Tour events.
More info: www.golf2020.com, www.wearegolf.com
About GOLF 20/20
GOLF 20/20 is a unique collaboration of all segments of the golf industry, from associations and manufacturers to golf course owners/operators and the media. It was launched in 2000 and is designed to unite and activate the industry around key strategic initiatives that increase participation and retention, involvement and interest in the game.
For more information about GOLF 20/20, visit www.golf2020.com.