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May 2019

Issues Come Into Focus at Capitol

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By Steve Mona
Executive Director, We Are Golf

One of the primary aims of the World Golf Foundation is to represent the game’s interests through WE ARE GOLF (WAG), a coalition of golf’s leading organizations.

 The 12th annual National Golf Day was held May 1 in Washington, D.C. In 2019, for the first time, Canada’s National Golf Day was held simultaneously on that date. On National Golf Day, representatives from across the industry convened to share golf’s positive messages. This year, there were more than 220 participants attending more than 250 meetings, both all-time highs.

 National Golf Day celebrates the game’s $84.1 billion economy, its nearly $4 billion annual charitable impact and many environmental and fitness benefits. Industry leaders met with members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss golf’s 15,000 diverse businesses, two million jobs impacted, tax revenue creation and tourism value.

 WAG advocates on behalf of the sport through its government relations coalition, focused on communicating the positive story about golf at the federal level. The golf industry seeks to ensure equitable legislation and regulation for the golf industry among policymakers, regulators and legislators at the national level of government.

 Each year, a federal agenda is established with the areas of focus the industry seeks to accomplish. These issues form the core messaging that WAG brings to Capitol Hill each year during National Golf Day.

 This year the federal agenda focused on three specific areas:
 The first focused on environmental regulation and its impacts on golf properties. The three objectives included seeking support for funding of the National Turfgrass Research Initiative, replacing the Clean Water Rule (WOTUS) and seeking support of the passage of the “Reducing EPA Duplication to Advance Pesticide Enforcement Act” (REDTAPE Act).

 A second area of focus was on increasing participation in golf and promoting its health benefits. The industry is seeking support and co-sponsorship of the PHIT Act to improve health in America by encouraging more active lifestyles.

 The third area focused on golf businesses and current labor issues. We are seeking an increase in annual H-2B Visas to meet golf labor needs, educating DHS and DOL about golf’s labor shortage and urged them to release full allotment of additional H-2B Visas and encouraging legislators to act to strike arbitrary anti-golf business provisions from Section 144 of the U.S. Tax Code.

 All three of these areas are important to the industry and collectively we are working to make sure that our voices are heard.

 Additionally, the industry annually gives back by holding a Community Service Project. This year, for the third time, representatives of the industry undertook projects to maintain and beautify the National Mall.

 I would like to send a personal thank you to everyone who took part in this special event and for their support of the golf industry.

 

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