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Golf Gives Back
By Anne Marie Goslak


I was at the dedication of the Carolinas PGA Headquarters at Bryan Park this March. Many of the PGA club professionals were in attendance. Mixed in the crowd, I saw every level of political representative, including Congressman Howard Coble and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, as well as numerous commissioners and council members. All had worked together for one common cause, to bring the PGA Headquarters to the Triad. Why would they go to such an effort? Regardless of their political orientation, they all understood a simple fact. Golf is good for our community.

Golf is a 7.6 billion dollar industry in this country. Through the sport, more than 3.5 billion dollars, annually, are given to charities. That is more than any other sporting activity.

Locally, North Carolina's golf industry floods more than $5.3 billion dollars into our state, benefiting hotels, restaurants, commercial real estate and vacation destinations. Over 68,000 jobs were reported in 2007 alone, representing over $1.7 billion dollars of wage income. There is strong evidence to believe those numbers have increased present day.

As I stood there, watching the dedication ceremony, listening to the statistics, I suddenly began thinking of the impact golf has on our community. Every weekend, at golf courses across the Triad, there are fundraiser tournaments to benefit every charity under the sun. There are groups, such as The First Tee, that have impacted the lives of more than 15,000 children in the Triad, and millions of children, worldwide.

So how can you get involved? Consider volunteering to help a fundraiser tournament. You can do something as simple as register golfers, or ice down drinks the day of the event. Consider volunteering for the Wyndham PGA Championship as a standard bearer or walking scorer. If you enjoy working with children and can spare a couple hours a week, The First Tee of the Triad is looking for volunteer coaches. You don't need to be a golfer to apply. All are welcomed. Visit www.TheFirstTeeTriad.org

Golf, as a sport, gives back. Golfers, as a community, give back. Everyone benefits in the end.

-Anne Marie Goslak