Gov. Herbert names May 2014 as Utah Golf Month

Gov. Herbert officially declared May 2014 as Utah Golf Month in a ceremony held in the Gold Room at the State Capitol today.

“I love to play,” said the governor. “My wife calls it an addiction.”

I’m pleased to be here this morning to celebrate the game we all enjoy and means so much to Utah and our economy.

The governor was joined by Ron Jibson, chairman of the Salt Lake Chamber, Colby Cowan, president of the Utah Section of the PGA, David Terry, Salt Lake City golf director, who also serves as Golf Alliance for Utah Chairman, Jeff Beaudry , Western director of employment services for the PGA of America, TA. Barker, president of the Intermountain Golf Course Superintendents Association and Bill Walker, executive director of the Utah Golf Association.

The late Paul Harvey put it this way, “Golf is a game in which you yell “fore,” shoot 6 and write down 5.”

Golfer may occasionally fudge the numbers just a bit on the scorecard, but the actual economic impact golf has on our state is impressive.  As the newly released Utah Golf Economic and Environmental Impact study attests, golf is certainly a major part of our sports and recreation economy.

Utah’s golf industry:

  • Generates $805 million per year to our economy.
  • Supports more than 9,600 jobs
  • Results in the payment of more than $250 in wages, and
  • Accounts for more than $11 million in annual charitable giving
  • Draws tourists from across the country and around the world, generating more than $91 million in golf-related spending.
  • Is as great or greater than all our professional sports in Utah combined

And our Utah golf facilities – all 120 of them – not only contribute to our state’s sport’s landscape, but also to the beauty of Utah.

From Sand Hollow in Southern Utah to Thanksgiving Point in Lehi and Valley View in Layton, our golf courses are as easy on the eye as they are fun and challenging to play.

Golf is also longstanding tradition in Utah … It became popular in the early 1900s and hasn’t slowed since.

In fact, Utah boasts the oldest consecutively played golf championship in the country – The Utah Amateur Championship, It is 116 years old today! Our state also has the highest number of public and municipal courses per capita in the nation to go along with some of the finest Country Clubs anywhere. The Country Club in Salt Lake City, for example, hosted the Utah Open, which was one of the original PGA Tour stops in the 1950s and 1960s, and Willow Creek Country Club is the host for the WEB.com Tour’s Utah Championship, which is sponsored by the Utah Sports Commission and is our state’s only PGA Tour event. Combine these factors with the fact that we have some of the best-conditioned golf facilities in the country and the lowest costs to play – and Utah is one of the best golf values in the country.

Our golf courses also double as scenic and environmentally responsible green space for more than 100 Utah communities. This not only fosters community pride, it also serves as a major draw in attracting more golfers and new business.

You know, the great golf we have here in Utah didn’t just happen. It is a direct result of the efforts of you who are here today as part of this Golf Alliance of Utah. Thanks to their efforts, Utah’s sports and recreation industry continues to grow and contribute to our economy and enviable quality of life.

Declaration

Whereas, Utah is home to a diverse selection of well-maintained golf courses, which provide scenic and environmentally responsible green-space for more than 100 communities throughout the state, and is recognized as a national leader in the percentage of publicly owned and operated golf courses and the number of golfers per capita;

Whereas, golf is a major player in Utah’s sports and recreation industry and contributes a total of $805 million to our state economy, supporting more than 9,600 jobs and generating $250 million of income, as well as accounting for more than $11 million in annual charitable giving;

Whereas, golf courses represent nearly four percent of the turf grass in our state, but consume less than one percent of diverted water, and so generate significantly higher economic returns per acre-foot of water used than other industries;

Whereas, Utah’s beautiful golf courses, many of which are recognized nationally for their quality, not only draw tourists from across the country and many foreign countries, helping generate more than $91 million in golf-related spending, but also play a vital role in the quality of life enjoyed by Utah residents;

Whereas,  and the continued health and growth of golfing in Utah has a direct bearing on our state’s economic strength in terms of job creation, commerce, economic development, and tax revenues; and

Whereas, we encourage all Utah residents to recognize the important role golf plays in our state, and we commend the golf associations and facilities, led by the Utah Section PGA and Utah Golf Association, which have come together to form the Golf Alliance for Utah to protect both the game and business of golf’, and we also recognize the Utah Sports Commission and other local golf and travel related groups for their work in promoting the game of golf as a fun and beneficial form of recreation, exercise, and sport;

Now, therefore, I, Gary R. Herbert, Governor of the State of Utah, do hereby declare May 2014 as

Golf Month in Utah