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Florida Golf Industry Leaders Meet with House of Representatives
Florida Golf Alliance - a collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the state's golf industry - celebrated "Florida Golf Day" February 21st at the State Capitol in Tallahassee.
Members of the Florida Golf Alliance met with the House of Representatives and Senate to discuss the importance of the golf industry and expansion of related tourism.
Based on a 2007 study by SRI International, the state's direct golf economic impact is approximately $7.5 billion a year, supporting more than 167,000 jobs and $4.7 billion in annual wage income. Florida is home to about 1,200 public and private golf course facilities, more than any other state in the U.S.
Florida Golf Day featured attendees from leading industry organizations. The PGA of America, PGA Tour, LPGA, USGA, Club Managers Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, World Golf Hall of Fame, World Golf Foundation, The First Tee, Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association, Florida Turfgrass Association, Florida Chapter of Club Managers Association of America and Florida State University PGM Program were all represented.
"Florida's golf industry has a direct bearing on jobs, commerce, economic development and tax revenues for the state," says Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation, administrator of GOLF 20/20 and the Florida Golf Alliance.
Congressional members also heard from Susie Doyens, Special Olympics Global Messenger from Rotonda West, Fla. Doyens has won more than 180 medals and credits golf as having a huge impact on her life.
"Not very long ago, I was unable to speak in front of others except my parents," says Doyens. "I am shy, but I love Special Olympics and golf so much, I wanted to share my joy with everyone."
An interactive swing zone was set up in the Capitol Courtyard and staffed by North Florida PGA and LPGA professionals. In addition, House and Senate members competed in a charity putting contest. The Senate won 12-11 and a $500 contribution was made to the First Tee chapter in Tallahassee.
"It's a great excuse to get outside, celebrate golf in Florida and the incredible economic impact it has in the state," says Senator Aaron Bean representing Florida District 4, which includes Duval and Nassau counties.
In total, Florida will host 17 professional golf tournaments in 2013: five PGA Tour, two Champions Tour, one Web.com Tour, one LPGA Tour, five Symetra Tour, and three Legends Tour events.
Florida's golf industry has a charitable impact of $312 million annually, raised through local outings and contributions from professional golf events. Beneficiaries include Miami Children's Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Baptist Children's Hospital, Children's Miracle Network hospitals, Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, The First Tee National School Program, Boy Scouts of America, the American Red Cross, the Alzheimer's Support Network, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southwest Florida, and others.
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