Friday, April 10, 2015

Politics are Local Like You!

My guess is this month’s issue of The Newsletter from the GCSA of New England could be called the “Advocacy Issue.”  With the chapter coming off of the first-ever Massachusetts Golf Day on Beacon Hill, and follow-up visits with legislators in conjunction with Ag Day, the GCSANE has engaged in some heavy hitting government relations work.  With a quick recap of high school civics, I will remind you that government has federal, state, and local levels.  GCSANE has put a big fat check mark next to the “state” level this past month.  GCSAA will assist all members in knocking the federal level off the check list on April 15 at National Golf Day with the We Are Golf coalition. 
What about the local level?  Remember the old adage that states “All politics are local”? This was no more evident than at Mass. Golf Day, when I was engaged in a conversation with Christopher Yancich, legislative aide for Rep. Jeffrey Roy of Franklin.  As luck would have it, we had a superintendent from Franklin in the house -- Michael Luccini, CGCS, from Franklin Country Club.  We were able to put the two of them together and it was magic, or at least very productive.  It turns out Rep. Roy is an avid golfer, Yancich plays recreationally and wishes he was better. But more importantly Yancich and Luccini had mutual acquaintances with people who worked at FCC and also talked about the property.  Luccini was encouraged to reach out to Rep. Roy’s office for any issue that the golf industry might need assistance with.  This one interaction could develop a real, local connection that can assist in creating beneficial relationships for the golf industry should future needs arise. 
Consider the following information:

We Are Golf (National)
       465 Million Rounds Played
       $68.8 Billion Annual Impact
        Supporting 2 Million Jobs
ü  $55.6 Billion from U.S. Jobs
       143,000 Charitable Events Annually
ü  12 Million Participants
ü  $3.9 Billion Annual Impact
Massachusetts State Golf Day (State)
  $2.7 Billion – Total economic impact of golf in Mass., including direct, indirect and induced impacts.
• $1.7 Million – Total size of the Bay State golf economy.
·         Nearly 25,500 Massachusetts jobs.
ü  $796.8 Million – Total wage income
• $74.3 Million – Total amount of charitable giving attributed to golf in Massachusetts.

What your facility or company contributes matters to your local legislator too.  Can you fill in the blanks?

Your Facility Here (Local)

·         ______ Rounds Played

·         ______Total revenue generated

·         ______Number of Jobs

ü  ________Total wage income

·         ______Number of charitable events

ü  ________Total number of charitable participants

Mother Nature has dealt the Northeast region another long and arduous winter.  Rest assured, the public will again know the grass might not be greener on the other side of the fence, but it certainly is on the other side of Rae’s Creek.  As the Masters brings our industry into focus, be sure you are focused on the impact your golf facility, or even golf related company, provides to the local economy.  Make sure your members and customers know as well.  With national, state, and local efforts educating legislators we all stand a better chance of changing misperceptions of our industry into the reality that golf is good.

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