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GAU Stands Ready to Support Salt Lake City Golf

Golf Enhances Quality of Life for all Utahns
The Golf Alliance for Utah stands in support of Salt Lake City’s owned golf facilities. Today’s city council leaders should be encouraged to continue investing in public golf facilities to protect the long-term economic, environmental and enhanced quality of life for all Utahns.
Utah’s past state, county and city government officials recognized the intrinsic value, enhanced quality of life and benefits Utahns receive from public golf – whether they play the game or not. It is now up to current government officials to maintain Utah’s legacy as one of the top providers of accessible and affordable public golf. We must continue the funding of public golf courses and the game’s rich traditions, which provide incredible value, physical and emotional health benefits, economic growth and vitality, much needed green space and wildlife habitat in urban locations and gorgeous recreational amenities for residents and visitors throughout Salt Lake City.
Golf in Utah is not an elitist sport.  It is estimated that over a quarter of a million Utahns take advantage of the incredible value available from publicly owned and operated golf operations throughout our state. That equates to one of the highest per capita participation rates in the country.  Utahns also enjoy some of the most affordable green fees available.
Public golf fees in Utah allow citizens of all socio-economic classes to enjoy the physical and emotional health benefits along with the development of positive character traits inherent to the game of golf.  The government entities that made the decision decades ago to provide these recreational amenities for both residents and visitors should be praised for their vision, and today’s leaders should be encouraged to continue the necessary budget investment into facility capital repairs and improvements, as well as operating budgets that will protect the long-term economic, environmental, and quality of life benefits Salt Lake City residents receive from participation in the game of golf.
Utah’s state and municipal golf operations run as efficiently as anywhere in the country.  Both maintenance and pro shop-related operating costs at public courses throughout the state are kept well below industry standards.  As a result of this efficiency, Utahns of all demographics enjoy affordable golf and beautiful playing conditions.  Our public golf leaders are offering a greater cost per value factor than many other recreational activities.
Salt Lake City’s public golf facilities benefit all Utahns by providing beauty of park green space, much-needed oxygen exchange, and wildlife habitat in urban settings; convention, meeting and reception space for businesses, families and non-profit groups; and venues facilitating the development of business deals as well as the contribution of millions of dollars annually for Utah charities; all while promoting physical and emotional health benefits vital to the quality of life we enjoy.
The Golf Alliance for Utah membership stands ready to assist with the growth of Salt Lake City’s golf courses and programs. Many of the city owned and operated golf facilities are entry points for junior golfers and others willing to learn the game. Without such family friendly facilities available to provided education, instruction and recreation, the game of golf in Utah and its inherent benefits to all citizens, will vanish.
Over the last few years multiple Utah golf management, economic and environmental impact studies have been conducted to determine the benefits of public golf in Utah. The GAU is offering to be an educational resource for city council members and other leaders tasked with budgeting decisions now and in the future in reference to Salt Lake City Golf’s benefits.
Salt Lake City officials are not alone in facing these issues. The GAU has resources on a national level that could help inform those involved in the budgeting process regarding the benefits worth the investment in public golf.
These benefits include: community pride and beautification, preservation of natural habitat in urban settings, employment opportunities, growth of surrounding businesses, youth instruction and education programs, fostering of positive, productive and exemplary citizens, economic growth and vitality, as well as community participation and awareness.
It is our belief that the game of golf and Salt Lake City Golf facilities are vital to enhancing these benefits for all of Utah’s population. Salt Lake City’s footprint in the game is of vital concern to the Golf Alliance of Utah. We have a collective voice ready to help.
Golf Alliance for Utah members
Bill Walker, Executive Director of the Utah Golf Association
Scott Whittaker, Executive Director of the Utah Section PGA
T.A. Barker, President of the Intermountain Golf Course Superintendents Association
About the Golf Alliance for Utah
In 2013 the Golf Alliance for Utah (GAU) was formed consisting of Utah’s major allied golf organizations and golf facilities. The GAU is tasked with championing the economic, environmental, recreational and lifestyle assets of the game of golf in Utah.
The GAU recently contracted with Stanford Research Institute to provide an economic and environmental impact study specific to the state of Utah. These studies clarify the important position the golf industry holds within Utah’s greater economy, while also providing valuable information regarding golf’s stewardship of Utah’s natural resources and preservation of green space. The GAU will maintain a legislative presence at the Utah State Legislature. This presence will both promote golf industry initiatives and protect against negative legislation.
The GAU is in the process of incorporating under a Utah state not-for-profit charter. The Utah Section PGA is currently handling all GAU financial and administrative processes. All finances are audited by the PGA of America under strict tax compliance policies.
For more information on the Golf Alliance for Utah and our support of Salt Lake City’s owned golf facilities, please contact any of the following:
Scott Whittaker, Executive Director of the Utah Section PGA (801) 566-1005
Bill Walker, Executive Director of the Utah Golf Association (801) 563-0400