Legislators learn golf industry’s impact on Golf Day at the Capitol

Legislators learn golf industry’s impact on Golf Day at the Capitol

Greg Johnson 

State Senator Ken Horn of Frankenmuth, Michigan proclaimed June as Michigan Golf Month on behalf of Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature; and former Lt. Governor Brian Calley, who is now the president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, coached Michigan Golf Alliance members on how to approach their legislators and build relationships.

It was all part of the Legislative Day 2019 Golf on the Capitol Lawn event Thursday, June 6, 2019 in Lansing, Michigan in the shadow of the Capitol Building. Members of the Michigan Golf Alliance, a cooperative body of six state golf associations, visited each state legislator in their Senate and House offices and then invited them and their staffs to have “lunch at the turn.” 

State Senator Ken Horn of Frankenmuth

“Golf is a great sport where you get to be outside to enjoy Michigan,” said Horn, before reading the proclamation. “Where I live in Frankenmuth people can come and enjoy a beautiful golf package along with the other great things to do in our community, and it is like that in a lot of our communities around the state.”

Calley told the Alliance members to try and move the message from its fun to go out and play golf to what’s at stake when there is legislation that impacts the golf industry.

“What’s at stake is an industry that is integrated into so many other things that happen and are important in our state,” Calley said. “Let them know the economic impact in Michigan is $4.2 billion—yes, billion with a ‘b’. Let them know 60,000 people are employed by Michigan golf courses and that Michigan has the most public course in the nation. Build a relationship and tell them what is at stake. That is what you have built here and you should be really proud of it.”

The Michigan Golf Alliance is made up of the Michigan Golf Course Association, the Greater Michigan Club Managers Association, the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Michigan Section PGA, the Golf Association of Michigan, and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation. 

For more than a decade golf course owners, operators, and superintendents have gathered each spring to voice a cooperative message. The executive directors, presidents, and members of the organizations in the Michigan Golf Alliance took part in the visits to offices and then shared conversation and concerns over a lunch.

“The Michigan Golf Alliance created this event to facilitate golf industry representatives introducing themselves and informing the Legislators and their staff on who we are and what our industry brings to the State of Michigan,” said Jada Paisley, executive director of the MGCA. “I can’t overstate the importance of this day in delivering the message to our government leaders.”