Golf has a $4.2 billion total economic impact in Michigan, contributes $1.4 billion in wage income in the state, has a $118 million charitable impact in Michigan and generates more than 58,000 jobs.
That was the message brought by The Michigan Golf Alliance to the lawn of the state Capitol Thursday for Michigan Golf Day. The Michigan Golf Alliance consists of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association (MGCOA), the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association (MiGCSA), the Michigan Section PGA, the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM), the Greater Michigan Club Managers Associations and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation.
One legislator who was paying attention was Bruce Rendon of Lake City (R-103rd District). Rendon serves as the chair of the Committee on Tourism and Outdoor Recreation.
“I feel we’ve just scratched the surface on what tourism and golf as a big part of that can do for this state,” he said. “Tourism is a 19 billion industry just in direct sales in Michigan. The Golf Alliance is united in spreading its message, and that’s a big thing for golf and tourism.”
Rendon (R-103rd District) has impressed Bob Koutnik, the owner of Fox Run Country Club in Grayling and the current treasurer of the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association.
“In my view Bruce Rendon is what you want in a state representative,” Koutnik said. “He cares about a lot of things, including golf. He understands what our industry means to the state and to tourism and he communicates that and works to help us.”
“We have an important message, and this is a great way to get the attention of our legislators,” Kate Moore, executive director of the MGCOA. “The response has been great each time we do it and I can’t overstate the importance of getting the message out.”
David West, vice-president of Travel Michigan, told the Alliance members in the day’s opening remarks that they were an important part of Tourism in the state, and said the popular Pure Michigan advertising campaign would get a boost of $4 million in the state budget that was approved Wednesday in the Michigan House.
West concluded his remarks by reading a proclamation from Gov. Rick Snyder declaring June “Michigan Golf Month.”
In addition to office visits, leaders of the six associations that make up the alliance met in an informal question and answer session with House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mount Pleasant).