Matt Ceplo, CGCS Rockland Country Club, President of the Tri-State Turf Research Foundation
It’s safe to say that it has been a long, hard and cold winter for golfers in the Met Area, and many of us are still suffering from a bit of cabin fever. Finally, the weather seems to be warming up a bit and as you get ready to get back on the links, Golf Course Superintendents are hard at work preparing your courses for the season. We, as a golf community in the Met Area, have an obligation to support this great game, and part of that support includes promoting the environmental and economic benefits of our courses. In an ongoing effort to “grow the game,” it’s important for each of us to encourage our friends and neighbors to grab their clubs and head to a course or driving range.
As you mark your calendar for your club or course’s opening day, there are two other upcoming dates to remember:
Thursday, April 16th is National Golf Day. On this date we acknowledge and celebrate the good that the game of golf provides by sharing many of its benefits. Here are some important facts about the game that may not be common knowledge:
- There are more than 15,000 golf courses in the U.S. and more than 10,000 of them are open to the public. There are more than 200 public access facilities in the Met Area to take advantage of.
- The total direct impact of golf on the economy nationally is $68.8 billion.
- Golf courses provide much needed open space with 91% of the acreage on a typical 18 hole golf course considered “green space” - that’s over two million acres. To break it down even further, the average 18 hole course is 150 acres with 50 acres of rough, 30 acres of fairway, 6 acres of greens and tees, 24 acres of forest and 11 acres of water.
- The total economic impact of golf in America including direct, indirect and induced impacts is: $176.8 billion.
- In New York State alone, it is estimated that over $5 billion is spent annually on turf maintenance, and the game supports nearly 60,000 jobs.
- Golf also provides major health benefits. Besides breathing all the fresh air and soaking up the vitamin D, walking 18 holes is equal to a 5-mile walk or 3.5 mile run. Walking a typical round will burn up to 2,000 calories and golfers typically exceed 10,000 steps which meet the recommended guidelines for daily exercise.
On Wednesday, April 22 we celebrate Earth Day. Join me and millions of others as we protect and secure a sustainable future. Golf and its courses have a positive impact. We improve water quality, provide wild life habitat, conserve water and energy and countless other benefits too numerous to list in this short article.
Golf is the greatest game played on the greatest arenas. We are blessed to have so many great courses in the Metropolitan Area. Let’s give special tribute to these great green oases for these two days and proudly carry on this practice as we get into the heart of the golf season.