Industry to conduct more than 250 virtual meetings with members of Congress; National Golf Day virtual forum to center around workplace inclusivity
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The golf industry will convene this week to take part in the American Golf Industry Coalition’s 14th annual edition of “National Golf Day”. Taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 10-11), industry professionals will lead advocacy efforts and conduct more than 250 virtual meetings with members of Congress to reinforce golf’s economic, societal, environmental and health benefits.
In addition to its advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill, the industry will hold a virtual forum in conjunction with National Golf Day centered around workplace inclusivity as part of the sport’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative: Make Golf Your Thing. The 90-minute virtual forum will be held on Tuesday, May 10, and be moderated by Golf Channel & NBC host and reporter, Damon Hack.
Initially launched one year ago at National Golf Day (2021), Make Golf Your Thing is the industry’s movement to make golf accessible to individuals from all backgrounds. Led by six cross-industry work groups, the initiative is specifically focused on: education & skill development, talent acquisition, procurement, human resources, youth & adult player development, and marketing/communications.
Golf as an industry in the United States has experienced a surge since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, led by participation growth among diverse segments of the population (source – National Golf Foundation):
- Overall rounds in 2021 (529 million) is the highest play total on record and is +5.5% vs. 2020 (502 million)
- 3.2 million people played on a golf course in the U.S. for the first time in 2021 (an all-time high). Beginners also were 45% more likely to be non-Caucasian and 35% more likely to be female compared to the current base of golfers
- In 2021, there were 5.2 million non-Caucasian on-course golfers, +8% over the past two years. African American, Asian and Hispanic golfers accounted for almost 21% of overall on-course participants, the highest total since 2013
- There were 6.2 million women on-course golfers in 2021, an 11% increase over the past two years.
While the potential success of Make Golf Your Thing ultimately will be measured over the span of many years, over the past 12 months, the industry’s collective commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has led to preliminary growth initiatives, including:
- Establishing inclusion guidelines for golf course facilities across the U.S., and creating a Make Golf Your Thing toolkit with resources for facility engagement
- Conducting an employee survey measuring workplace inclusivity within the golf industry, with 35 organizations taking part (more than 2,300 participants)
- Launching a Grassroots Grants program to support groups dedicated to increasing participation among underrepresented populations in golf $300,000 in funding has been awarded to more than 70 organizations thus far, with an additional $750,000 in funding to be awarded this year
- Creation of a golf industry-specific database of diversely owned businesses, which to-date encompasses more than 1,600 diverse-owned suppliers
- Initiation of a “careers in golf development” program to offer opportunities in the sport to underrepresented communities
- A soon-to-be launching Make Golf Your Thing directory for consumers to easily find a golf program, clinic, event or coach best suited for their skill level
- Progress toward establishing an industry-wide job board that will implement a comprehensive recruiting plan to attract more diverse talent to the industry.
Representing a partnership among golf’s leading organizations, the American Golf Industry Coalition is committed to addressing the collective interests of the industry. The coalition also works to amplify tangible examples of key initiatives at both the grassroots and industry workforce level and advocate in support of issues that impact the industry at the state and federal level.