About Me

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Los Gatos, California, United States
Kevin is currently the certified superintendent at La Rinconada Country Club. Kevin was the Director of Maintenance at Lahontan Golf Club for over 14 years. Some of the responsibilities over the expanse of his career include the daily upkeep of multiple golf courses, natural resources, environmental compliance, and roads and streets. The wide ranging expertise has come from a combination of education and experiences. Degrees in Meteorology (1987 University of Nebraska/Lincoln), and Horticulture (1992 Colorado State), complete the formal side of this important combination of qualifications. A lifetime of experience around golf courses, and the game of golf was provided by Kevin's father.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Not having been to our nations capital before, I was very excited and tried to keep pre conceptions to a minimum, suppressing those Hollywood images of a rather complexly bleak, and serious city.  What I have found after one day around the city and a day "on the hill" is it is very much a place to discover and get to experience on what ever level of complexity you choose, and it was not bleak.

Mike Herzdan and Michael Breed working Capital Hill 
The We Are Golf Coalition came to the capital with the goal of establishing more relationships with law makers and letting them know the economic, environmental, health, and other benefits of our industry.  The expectation is that there will be increased consideration for the golf industry in introducing and passing legislation that can impact golf by lobbying our interests.  I am not a big fan of playing politics myself, but I do realize its importance when someone is going to make a decision that will impact you, and specifically when it affects your lively hood. With that in mind I gladly agreed to seize the opportunity to come to Washington to talk with legislatures as part of the coalition.

The main messages that were emphasised over and over, verbally, and in writing were that golf is a $76 billion dollar business, that it provides 2 million jobs, there are 2,244,801 acres of green space on golf courses in the US, that there is $3.5 billion in annual charitably impact, and over 10,000 public golf courses. 

In one day 80 different one on one meetings took place with legislators to educate them on the facts and to ask for there support on specific legislation.  That legislation being HR 1964 that gives tax incentives for monies given to create open spaces and golf is currently excluded. HR 2718 that gives tax breaks to businesses that are impacted by disasters, and currently golf is not recognized as a business worthy of disaster tax relief. HR9 the small business tax cut act of 2012.  There was also legislation specific to regions and states that was discussed. One of those discussions that I took place in was with in respect to the Chesapeake Bay and we were able to sit down with Representative Robert Hurt who was receptive to our message.

Sadly to say, a lot of law makers have an image of golf that is as misconceived as the Hollywood version of Washington D.C. Too many legislatures see golf as elitist, overly manicured, misusing resources, and in seemingly no financial difficulty. I suppose if you did not experience public golf, and your brethren at the capital played the myriad of fantastic private courses in the D.C. area you could begin to think that  is the majority of the courses and they need no legislative help.  Hopefully the We Are Golf group helped that image improve and future legislation will be more positive towards the golf industry.


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