Virtual platform to celebrate progress, focus on future
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (May 4, 2021) – A diverse cross-section of golf industry representatives will come together May 10-12 as part of 2021 National Golf Day to celebrate and focus on continuing the momentum the sport has seen through the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Golf Day, traditionally held in Washington, D.C., will kick off virtually on Monday, May 10, during a general session that includes PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, PGA of America Chief Executive Seth Waugh, and LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan (the new CEO of the USGA), among other industry leaders.
“While 2020 presented challenges, the industry is bolstered by the interest, engagement and growth of our sport,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of World Golf Foundation. “We look forward to hearing from individuals across the golf ecosystem as we work collectively to continue the positive momentum and ensure golf is a game and industry for all.”
In March and April 2020, nearly half of all U.S. golf courses were temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, by May these courses re-opened and golf’s resurgence began as many turned to outdoor, socially distanced activities. Even during a stretch that saw an estimated loss of 20 million rounds, a total of 60 million additional rounds of golf were played by the end of 2020 vs. 2019, according to the National Golf Foundation.
As a result, the industry saw the largest increase of new and returning players ever recorded, including an additional 630,000 youth golfers and 570,000 beginners.
“With almost 2 million American jobs tied to the sport, National Golf Day is an important platform to share our collective impact and unify on strengthening the sport for years to come,” says Rhett Evans, CEO of Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and Chair of WE ARE GOLF. “As our way of life returns to a sense of normality, the industry is committed to a healthy and inclusive sport that plays an even greater role in charitable, economic and environmental aspects of local communities.”
As part of this year’s National Golf Day, the industry will preview a multi-faceted, multi-year movement to grow and diversify golf. The industry-wide collaboration is aimed at growing and diversifying the sport in the areas of education and skill development, talent acquisition, procurement, youth and adult player development, human resources, and marketing and communication.
The marketing element will show golf in new and non-traditional ways and will provide the industry with a platform – including national media exposure and creative assets – to use locally in support of inviting newcomers to the game, and especially those traditionally underrepresented in golf.
On May 12, individuals from across the golf industry will meet virtually with more than 250 elected officials to place a spotlight on the game’s $84.1 billion economy, nearly $4 billion charitable impact, 15,000 diverse businesses and 2 million jobs impacted across the United States annually. This will mark the 13th year the industry has come together under the banner of National Golf Day.
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