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3 Reasons Why You Should Support the American Golf Census

Golfers: Stand up and be counted! That’s what the National Golf Foundation (NGF) is asking of us with the American Golf Census. But why should we bother, and isn’t this just another invasion of our privacy? In fact, the census is very important to the future of golf because the data gathered will improve the golf industry’s marketing capabilities and inform policymakers about how golf improves quality of life for millions of Americans. Plus, participants in the census are automatically entered into the biggest sweepstakes in the history of golf!

Consider these numbers: In the United States, more than 27 million golfers play nearly 500 million rounds each year. The golf industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country and contributes billions of dollars annually to the nation’s economy and charitable organizations. According to a new study conducted by GOLF 20/20, golf flushed $76 billion into the U.S. economy in 2005. Simply put, golf’s impact on our economy is huge!

The census will be an ongoing effort and the data will be used to create the most comprehensive database of American golfers to date. This will be leveraged to improve the industry’s marketing capabilities and reach, stimulating the number of rounds played and boosting the sales of equipment and other golf-related products. The effect will be felt both nationally and locally as the census will help golf courses, teaching professionals and other B2C golf businesses grow and enhance their own databases, in addition to building the unprecedented national database. Businesses promoting the census with links on their websites will receive complete information on all census registrants originating from their websites from the NGF.

“With information about golfers, businesses can develop innovative products and programs to offset attrition and grow the game,” says Rich Katz, Managing Director of Buffalo Communications, the agency selected by the NGF to promote the census.

It’s important to note that the NGF takes golfer privacy very seriously: “Every golfer who registers with us will be able to ‘opt out’ of any future communication,” said NGF CEO & President Dr. Joe Beditz in an interview with Macali Communications. “All of our partners in the census have to agree to abide by the same email best practices guidelines, and all applicable laws. But you know what … most golfers who have registered so far have opted IN, not out.”

A more accurate count of golfers will also help policymakers to better understand how golf enhances the lives of millions of Americans. This goal is especially important because in the last few years of economic woe, several politicians had the nerve to wag their fingers at golf, indicating that it represented excess. First, in 2008, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed to put a tax on golf. Then a few months later, we had the Northern Trust Corporation fiasco, where Representative Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Senator John Kerry, blasted Northern Trust for sponsoring a PGA Tour event after receiving bailout money from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. These politicians who tax and spend with abandon are ignoring what sponsored events do for the communities that host them. Sponsors infuse big hospitality dollars into the local economy and distribute much needed funds to deserving charitable organizations. Since its inception, PGA Tour sponsors have doled out approximately $2 billion, yet Barney Frank thinks golf is the bad guy? Clearly, policymakers need to be better informed about how important golf is to our economy, and the census will be instrumental in meeting this goal.

Last but not least, the census offers a compelling incentive to golfers for completing it: the biggest sweepstakes in golf history! Participants are automatically eligible to win some spectacular prizes, from once in a lifetime golf vacations to Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, St. Andrews and Ireland, to high-level golf instruction and equipment prizes from TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike and other top brands. The census form takes less than two minutes to complete and requests a minimal amount of information. At the same time, your participation will contribute to an effort that will have “positive and far-reaching effects in support of the game” and “is vital to ensure the best possible future for golf,” according to Beditz.

The NGF, a non-profit established in 1936, is an objective and independent organization dedicated to supporting all the people, companies, facilities, and associations hat make up the golf industry in the United States. Equipped with the data they need, the NGF can “go to bat” for us in a multitude of ways and also deflect negative interference from those who shortsightedly label golf as an excess.

This is your chance to support the game you love! Golf provides us with enjoyment, camaraderie and competition, and is deserving of our support and recognition. Please visit www.americangolfcensus.com to stand up and be counted!

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