Thursday, May 21, 2009

Golf Courses Would Like Some Federal Aid

from Los Angeles Times May 13 article, "Golf courses hit a rough patch":

"In today's economy, golf is in the rough. And with a bad lie. Once-haughty country clubs are offering specials. Courses have closed or cut back on maintenance. The world's top golf ball manufacturer has seen demand for souvenir balls stamped with company logos drop off.

"And so officials in the golf industry have joined the nation's bankers, auto makers and insurance companies in marching to Washington in search of understanding. They're not asking for a bailout, but they do want greater appreciation of their industry's importance."

"..... Singerling and others will be in Washington today to make sure Congress does not lump the golf industry in with massage parlors, suntan facilities and liquor stores as businesses undeserving of federal help.

""We're in an unprecedented era of government involvement in business, so we have to be in D.C. to be able to make sure that people, when they're writing law or making comments about our industry, realize all of the positive impact that golf has," said Joe Steranka, chief executive of the PGA of America."

""Even in a recession, people are pursuing their passion, but they're moving down the value chain, sort of the Wal-Martization of golf," explained Mike Hughes, chief executive of the National Golf Course Owners Assn. "Where they were paying a $60 green fee, they might go to the lower end and pay $20 to $30 for a round.""

Remember Mr. Larry Flynt asking for $5 billion bailout for porn industry, citing the importance of the industry in difficult times? Well, Hollywood got bailout money. Motorsports racetrack facility owners got bailout money. Why not golf courses?


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