The perils of the economic crisis facing this country have dominated newscasts in recent months. The negativity has driven many (me included) to take the approach that sometimes it’s almost better to not watch the news.Golf has recently taken its fair share of beatings, too. Political leaders including John Kerry and Barney Frank have been openly critical of financial institutions that have devoted dollars to the sponsorship of sports marketing, particularly PGA Tour events.
That being said, marketing
still is an important part of doing business.
Sports marketing has been extremely effective. Bank of America’s Ken Lewis stepped to the plate in the past few days and took a swing at critics who say bank bailout recipients shouldn’t be sponsoring glitzy sporting events.
Lewis, whose bank has received billions of taxpayer funds and has numerous sports sponsorships across the nation, bluntly told a business crowd in
Internal data show that for every dollar spent on sports marketing, Bank of America gets $10 in revenue and $3 in profit. Bank of America has sponsorships with the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.
Lawmakers hit the roof when another bailout recipient, Northern Trust, sponsored a California PGA Tour golf tournament last month.
Jerry Tarde, Golf Digest publication chairman and editorial director, wrote recently, “It is time for golf to stop apologizing and start defending itself. … Private enterprise has been involved in golf sponsorship and entertainment for 100 years, not because the boss plays but because it’s good for business.”
Here are a few facts about the golf industry.
There are 2 million people in the
$61 billion annually is paid in golf wages. Golf is about wages, not wedges.
Not only does golf provide jobs,
jobs, but it also generates tourism dollars, produces tax revenues, creates recreational benefits, raises real estate values and promotes efficient use of water.
Golf donates $3.5 billion annually to charity.
Seventy percent of all golf is played on public courses at an average fee of $27. This game is affordable.
Get Golf Ready is a new five-day program introduced by Golf 20/20 in January by the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association. Many in golf would suggest this is the most exciting and affordable instructional program to ever hit golf
For only $99, those interested in learning how to play golf can sign up at participating PGA-staffed facilities and receive five golf lessons and accompanying on-course experiences.
Clubs and other equipment are not required. Participating courses will provide this at no cost.
A maximum of eight students will be a part of each session. You can sign up with friends or as a single.
When students complete the five-lesson Get Golf Ready experience, they will:
Have the basic skill and foundation to play the game
Know how to keep score
Know what to do when arriving at the course
Have an understanding of the differences between golf clubs
Know the importance of playing “ready golf”
Understand the proper usage of golf carts
Remember safety tips
And have an appreciation for the history, rules and etiquette of the game.
“We need to look at programs that will turn out golfers. In my opinion, this is different because there is a clearly defined start and finish to the program,” said Mike David, executive director of the Indiana PGA. “The on-course experiences are extremely important and will help make people feel comfortable at the golf course.
“I expect this program to be a huge success.”
If you are interested in more information on the Get Ready Golf experience, I encourage you to contact the following facilities who are registered with Play Golf
Legends of Indiana Golf Course, Franklin; Scott Downing, PGA, Ryan Ford, PGA, Tony Clecak, PGA, and me; 736-8186
Otter Creek Golf Course,
Ted Bishop is director of golf for The Legends of Indiana Golf Course in Franklin and secretary of PGA of America.
Photo Caption: The perils of the economic crisis facing this country have dominated newscasts in recent months. The negativity has driven many (me included) to take the approach that sometimes it’s almost better to not watch the news.
Golf has recently taken its fair share of beatings, too. Political leaders including John Kerry and Barney Frank have been openly critical of financial institutions that have devoted dollars to the sponsorship of sports marketing, particularly PGA Tour events.