Earlier this month, New York State announced a several new programs aimed at promoting and improving the State’s park system and, specifically, the golf courses under New York State’s management. Here are some highlights from the Governor’s press release.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that approximately $2.6 million in NY Works projects to improve State Park golf courses are currently underway this year. The Governor also launched “I Love NY Golf” to highlight the more than 1,000 golfing and tourist opportunities available across the state. As part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to improve infrastructure, create jobs and increase tourism in New York State, these improvement projects will help maintain high quality public golf courses and facilities to attract other major events like the PGA Championship and encourage visitors to travel to Upstate New York.
“I Love NY Golf” is the Governor’s initiative to brand and promote the more than 1,000 publicly- and privately-owned golf courses in New York State under one umbrella. Similar to the Governor’s “Path Through History” initiative, I Love NY Golf will highlight the state’s golf assets and help fuse golf tourism and major events like the PGA Championship, the LPGA Championship that was also held in Rochester earlier this year, and the U.S. Open that has been held several times on Long Island. The initiative will promote New York State golf and extend beyond the state to target international golfers in markets such as Canada, the UK, Japan, Korea and China.
Four NY Works projects, funded by the 2013-14 Budget, are currently underway to improve infrastructure at State Park golf courses. This funding includes:
$1.25 million to improve the irrigation system at the Sunken Meadow State Park golf course on Long Island;
$1 million to improve the irrigation system at the James Baird State Park golf course in the Hudson Valley;
$200,000 to design a new irrigation system for the 18-Hole Championship Golf Course at Rockland Lake State Park in the Hudson Valley; and
$140,000 to build an outdoor event shelter at the Soaring Eagles Golf Course at Mark Twain State Park in the Southern Tier.
Additionally, State Parks is developing plans to revitalize the golf patron area of Beaver Island State Park in Western New York, including a new pro shop and café.
New York State Parks currently maintains and oversees 29 golf courses located at 21 State Parks across New York. Approximately 700,000 rounds of golf are played at State Park golf courses each year, bringing in an average of $17 million in annual revenue.
State Park golf courses support local economies and quality of life, hosting tournaments, outings and charity events. Every year, golfing has a positive impact of billions of dollars on the New York State economy. According to the WE ARE GOLF coalition, in 2007, golfing in New York produced a total economic output of $5.3 billion, supported 56,594 jobs, and generated $1.6 billion in wages. Nationally, the golf sector generated a total economic impact of $176.8 billion in 2011, including 1.98 million jobs and $55.6 billion in wage income, according to a study by SRI International for GOLF 20/20.