|Mike Herzdan and Michael Breed working Capital Hill|
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.