I attended National Golf Day in Washington, D.C. on April 24-26th. During this time I was honored to be able to advocate for golf through many different ways.
Monday, April 24th was arrival day. This day was all about briefings for the upcoming meetings and events and an evening reception for the GCSAA delegation teams.
Tuesday the 25th was very exciting! For the first time ever, a community service project was planned for the National Mall. Attendees to National Golf Day volunteered and were assigned to teams to do mowing, edging, aeration, rock clean-up, bench clean-up, and irrigation. This project lasted from 8:00 a.m. until noon. It was amazing to see over 100 golf professionals participating to make an impact on this area. Hats off to the ringleader, Steve Mona.
After the service project the buses returned us to the Hyatt Regency where we attended several briefing meetings to prepare for the legislative visits the following day. That evening the National Golf Day Launch Party was held in the Microsoft Innovation & Policy center. I had the opportunity to meet Chantel McCabe from the Golf Channel.
Wednesday the 26th was the day that all legislative meetings were scheduled to take place. I started off the morning by attending The First Tee Congressional Breakfast at the Capitol Visitor Center. This was a great way to start the day! We had the opportunity to hear firsthand how golf has shaped the lives of two First Tee scholarship recipients.
After the breakfast it was time to take the group picture on the U.S. Capitol steps and go to Capitol Hill for the legislative visits. I was honored and happy to represent Texas as part of the Texas contingent. National Golf Day showcases how the industry is taking an active role in promoting legislation to help the game. For the congressional meetings, there were nearly 200 attendees from 35 states. This strong attendance demonstrates how golf gives back.
Our team met with representatives for Senator Ted Cruz, Senator John Cornyn, Rep. Kenny Marchant, Rep. Kay Granger, Rep. Sam Johnson, Rep. Pete Sessions and Rep. Joe Barton. In these meetings we highlighted three important issues: the impact of environmental regulations on golf, specifically the Clean Water Rule and NPDES Pesticide General Permits, H-2B labor regulations, and the PHIT Act (H.R. 1267 & S.482)
We were focusing on:
-Asking Congress and the Administration to repeal the Clean Water Rule and work with all stakeholders, including golf, to write a rule that reinstates state/federal cooperation and ensures a clean environment and healthy economy.
– Asking Congress and the Administration to support and co-sponsor S. 340, the “Sensible Environmental Protection Act of 2017” and H.R. 953, the “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017” which would clarify congressional intent that CWA permits are not required for lawful pesticide application.
-Urging Congress to renew the H-2B Returning Worker Exemption in appropriations legislation to fund the remainder of FY 17 as well as FY 18.
– Asking Congress and the Administration to support and co-sponsor S.792, the “Save Our Small & Seasonal Businesses Act of 2017” and H.R.2004, the “Strengthen Employment and Seasonal Opportunities Now (SEASON) Act”.
– Asking Congress and the Administration to support and co-sponsor the “Personal Health Investment Today” (PHIT) Act, S.482 and H.R.1267.
This was a successful trip were we had many opportunities to have our voices heard and express the important impact the golf industry has on our economy. I am looking forward to another successful year and seeing what the next NGD has in store!