Op-Ed: In Congress, a Mulligan for golf
The following is an excerpt from Congresswoman Ellmers’ op-ed in The Hill:
In North Carolina, golf is more than just a pastime – it’s an economic job engine. Home to over 550 facilities, golf’s total economic impact exceeds $5 billion a year while supporting 68,000 jobs and $1.7 billion in income. Yet it seems that for some policymakers and opinion leaders, golf remains a mere stigma of the privileged and barrier to the middle class.
When you look beyond the dated stereotypes of the game, you will find a vibrant industry where millions of Americans spend their weekends honing in a skill and love of a game that can benefit them throughout their life. The United States is home to approximately 26 million golfers – and of those, the vast majority come from the middle class, according to figures from the National Golf Foundation. Today, nearly 11,000 of the country’s 16,000 courses are open to the public, and as PGA Performance Trak estimates, this accounts for more than 76 percent of the rounds of golf that are played each year.
As we celebrate National Golf Day today, it’s important to illustrate the families, jobs, and industries that have come to rely on this great pastime. Golf is a $76 billion industry – even larger than the motion picture and recording industries – and supports nearly 2 million American jobs. The game fuels business activity in sectors as varied as manufacturing, real estate, travel and publishing as more and more men and women of all ages discover the rewards of mastering their performance.