Today is National Golf Day.
Actually, it's the fifth annual National Golf Day.
Take that in for a moment.
I'm not a mind reader, but I can guarantee you're thinking one of two things: 'Why am I at work and not playing golf?' or 'Why the hell does golf deserve a day?' Now, I realize we failed at making Opening Day a national holiday and I'm currently at work writing this, so you have my sympathy, but before you go scoffing at the credibility of golf's importance to this country -- and around the world -- please give me a few moments to enlighten you on why this day does in fact matter.
Aside from celebrating the game, the real purpose of National Golf Day is to give the industry leaders -- including our very own Jerry Tarde and Robert Carney -- the opportunity to speak to members of Congress on the continued growth of golf and its importance to society. Furthermore, this will allow them to lobby for pending legislation that could benefit the sport -- opportunities it has not always been afforded despite a record that overshadows some other sectors of society that do.
For example, did you know that the U.S. golf economy totals over $76 billion, employing over two million Americans and creating an annual wage income of $61 billion? That's more than both the movie and recording industries. Golf also generates $3.5 billion per year in charitable giving, more than the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL combined.
But beyond the economic and environmental impact the game has had on our country, it has greatly affected our culture. And because I cannot honor my invitation to Capitol Hill to lobby on behalf of golf today, I've decided to offer up the five greatest cultural contributions golf has given us. Consider my voice heard.
5. Catch Phrases
4. The Concept Of A Mulligan
Before golf, we had no term for a do-over.
3. Arnold Palmer Iced Tea
Before golf, we had no term for half iced tea, half lemonade.
2. All Fashion That Involves Plaid Or Knickers
(Henry "Toots" Cotton circa 1930. Photo: Getty Images.)
Need I say more?
Happy National Golf Day!
-- Derek Evers