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National Golf Day Recap

Posted On: June 4, 2018 by VGM Club in: Agronomy Clubhouse Food and Beverage Pro Shop VGM Club

“We are Golf”…and you could be too!
Written by: Cam Schultz, VP of Marketing

April 25, 2018 marked the eleventh annual National Golf Day (NGD), a coalition created by several industry associations & led by the GCSAA and World Golf Foundation (more details can be found at www.wearegolf.org).

This year’s event was the first time VGM Club has participated. We were not alone as first time attendees either. The number of participants has grown from 40 attendees back at the inaugural event to nearly 200 industry professionals this year. When I talked with Dick Stuntz, CGCS and Owner of Oak Golf Inc. he mentioned what brought about this initial wave of golf industry professionals.

“Hurricane Katrina was a wake up call for the golf industry. After the federal money came in, we found out the golf industry was classified with massage parlors and casinos. We were placed in a category that has been regularly referred to as the “sin list,” much to our shock and dismay. 

That was the impetus to say, you know what? We don't believe that we belong in that category. We believe the golf industry has a greater benefit to this country and to society. So we moved to make a bigger footprint and grow awareness in Washington DC. Since that time it has grown significantly.”

Almost a month has passed since NGD and, during that time, three main takeaways have formed about the event:

This “day” is 48 hours.

​From the Monday afternoon prep meetings to Wednesday meetings on Capitol Hill, this event’s agenda keeps you busy.

Smack dab in the middle of the agenda was a community service project where we took on various landscaping duties at the National Mall. It wasn’t just for show either. The helping hands of nearly 140 of us helped the National Park Service make up nearly 2 months of maintenance on America’s front lawn—how about that!

It is a very well organized and orchestrated initiative. Kudos to Chava McKeel (GCSAA) and Peggy Norton (WGF).

Representing on Capitol Hill matters.

I’ll admit it. I didn’t know what to expect with our meetings on the Hill. My speculation, however, was these meet & greets would be some glad handing with 25-year old staffers. A quick picture, dropping off some literature then…nothing.

The reality was far from that assumption. The young staffers were driven, with bright eyes & ears for their respective representative. Several of our meetings gave us quality time with the elected official themselves. The iniatives we were representing ranged from seasonal employee work regulations to pesticide restrictions. Throughout all of our meetings, dialogue was candid and the respective offices truly listened our cause.

In the days since, I have received three separate emails from staffers on my respective state official’s offices. The day full of meetings truly lead to consideration (and hopeful action).

Strength in numbers.

As we walked Capitol Hill, we met other people that were participating in their own coalition days. Some were from a banking association and others were from a nursing association. A rough estimate was they outnumbered us in the golf industry 4-to-1. The sheer number alone made their message stand out.

It doesn’t cost anything to become a part of NGD (although travel and lodging in DC can cost a pretty penny). I would encourage all of you that call the golf industry your career to consider attending this special event at least once. I’m not the only one with this sentiment.

The date of next year’s NGD is going to be released soon. Be on the lookout for this and consider marking it on your calendar.

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