Over the past decade, the Michigan Golf Alliance — made up of the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association (MiGCSA), Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Section PGA, Greater Michigan Club Managers Associations and Michigan Turfgrass Foundation — has organized the annual Michigan Golf Day at the Capitol, which takes place on the Capitol lawn in Lansing, Mich.
This year's event began with Representative Jason Sheppard from Monroe County providing opening remarks. Rep. Sheppard discussed the economic impact golf plays in Michigan, as well as the continued efforts to introduce new players to the game. Hailing from a golfing family, he is well versed in some of the issues facing the industry. Last year, Governor Rick Snyder signed a proclamation declaring June as 'Michigan Golf Month.' This year, Rep. Sheppard presented the proclamation to the presidents of the associations who make up the Michigan Golf Alliance. Tim Skubick, host of the PBS television show 'Off the Record' and long-time political columnists in the state of Michigan, followed Rep. Sheppard. Mr. Skubick offered his insight on the upcoming national election in November and spoke on various legislation currently being discussed in Michigan, outlining how it may impact our industry.
I accompanied MiGCSA Executive Director Adam Ikamas, CGCS, and Saginaw Country Club superintendent Rob Steger, CGCS, during our visits to the offices of various state senators and representatives. During our visits, we relayed information regarding the $4.2 billion economic impact golf has in Michigan, the 58,000 jobs the game supports, the environmental benefits and the $118 million charitable impact the game provides. With the work and preparation of the Michigan Golf Alliance, every state legislator's office was visited throughout the day to discuss golf's important role in Michigan.
'Lunch on the Turn,' which takes place on the Capitol building lawn, was once again catered by Eagle Eye Golf Course. This lunch provides a great opportunity to meet with various legislators on a personal level to discuss issues which take place both on and off the course. Some of the state and national issues which came up most often were the Department of Labor's new overtime wage regulations, the future use of water and the role the golf course superintendent plays at the facility. Legislators could also have their swing examined by Michigan Section PGA Professionals, as well as receive putting tips at displays set up on the lawn. Both the House and Senate were in session during the day, which worked out well, as nearly every state legislator came out to the Capitol lawn to join us for a golf inspired lunch.
Many of the legislators we spoke to during the event were looking forward to Michigan Golf Day, which is a testament to the preparation and work the Michigan Golf Alliance does to promote, not only the day but the entire industry. A massive 'thank you' goes out to all Michigan Golf Alliance members who made the trip to Lansing, The MiGCSA once again had a solid contingent, with members taking time away from the course, in order to support this important day for the golf industry, and create key relationships with state legislators.