WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

How Congressional: Golf Industry Lobbies Lawmakers At AT&T National

Play associated audio
Tiger Woods walks on the 16th green during a pro-am round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club June 27.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  Tiger Woods walks on the 16th green during a pro-am round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club June 27.

Play gets underway this morning at the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda. But befitting of a tournament near Washington, D.C., top golf officials spent the practice rounds yesterday lobbying members of Congress right on the course.

Congress does have a "golf caucus." It doesn't have anything to do with playing the sport, though most of its approximately 50 members do hit the greens from time to time. Their actual focus is on golf as a business — a business that contributes 2 million jobs to the U.S. economy, according to the World Golf Foundation.

The number of public courses has grown significantly in the past 20 years, according to Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), who heads the caucus and attended the practice rounds Wednesday. That has allowed many more people to play the sport, he added. 

"That helps promote not only the golf course but the business and the people that work there," Baca said. "The people who work at the restaurant, the people that work behind the desk, the landscapers, the marshals. It presents an opportunity for people to be exposed to the game."

Baca and the golf caucus members who toured the course Wednesday got their picture taken with tournament host Tiger Woods. But they also heard from people like World Golf Foundation CEO Steve Mona. He wants lawmakers to okay a bill that would allow golf courses to receive federal aid after natural disasters like flooding.

"It puts golf, which is a legitimate business, just like any other business in a local community, at a decided disadvantage," Mona said, "when other businesses in a community can apply for things like disaster relief and receive it, but a golf facility can't."

The World Golf Foundation is headquartered in Florida, where they're all too familiar with flooding, thanks to the numerous hurricanes that hit the state.


In An Alternate 19th Century London, Sins Are Marked With 'Smoke'

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Dan Vyleta about his novel, Smoke. It's set in an alternate 19th century London, where the morally corrupt are marked by a smoke that pours from their bodies.

The Judgment Of Paris: The Blind Taste Test That Decanted The Wine World

Forty years ago, the top names in French food and wine judged a blind tasting pitting the finest French wines against unknown California bottles. The results revolutionized the wine industry.

Donald Trump Dredges Up Clinton Scandals Of The '90s

The scandals of the 1990s are back as likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump dubs likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton an enabler of her husband's extra marital affairs.

$81 Million Bangladesh Bank Heist Sparks Push For Stepped-Up Cybersecurity

The head of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication acknowledged at least two security breaches in addition to February's spectacular theft involving Bangladesh's central bank.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.