Mission:Linking golfers through cultural heritage tourism.

Vision: A more diverse, inclusive and equitable world of golf.                     

Purpose: Leverage African American Golfers to create community economic impact

GULLAH GOLF CORRIDOR

ORIGINAL GULLAH GOLFERS 

GULLAH GOLF CORRIDOR

This diorama, displayed in the Harbour Town Lighthouse Museum and Shop in Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island, was created by R.N.S. Whitelaw and illustrates the 1786 match at Harleston Green in downtown Charleston. 

 

Gullah Golfers: A Profile in Courage, Resilience and Opportunity

According to the African American Golfer’s Digest, a 2018 research study of its susbscribers conducted indicates that:

75% of readers are professionals

27% are business owners

19% are retirees (age 65+)

79% are college graduates

67% are male, 33% are women

84% own a personal computer

79% own a smartphone

26% are Veterans

74% own a primary residence

27% own rental property

89% own at least one or more vehicles

84% have one or more retirement savings plan

62% use a financial planner or broker

62% use wire transfer services

72% is a member of a golf organization

23% is a member of a private golf club

64% play 6-25 rounds a year

27% play 26+ rounds a year

Readers have an average household income of $150,000

Readers have an average household net worth of $650,000

Black golfers continue to use the Internet as a reliable tool when making decisions for their playing schedules, tournament participation, booking tee-times, purchasing golf products, communicating with their golf buddies/organizations and for continuing their personal success.

What We Believe 

 WE BELIEVE IN ORGANIZING BLACK (GULLAH) GOLFERS AND THEIR PASSIONS AROUND CULTURE, HERITAGE, BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY IMPACT.

GULLAH GOLF—WITH ITS HISTORICAL TRADITION OF GOLF PARTICIPATION —LINKS AND LEVERAGES ALL FOUR.

Gullah Golf Links believes:

In bringing golfers, communities, and businesses together through cultural heritage tourism to achieve our mission of community economic development for undeserved and underrepresented Gullah communities.

That combining golf, culture and heritage with business can be powerful catalytic forces for preserving,reinvesting, and revitalizing Gullah communities.

Gullah Golf Links serves as a facilitator for golf vacation groups, charities, foundations, associations, and corporations to harness that power for maximum community impact.

Gullah Golf Links believes in diversity, inclusion and equity in golf. Though we advocate for greater black participation in the sport, we also believe in going beyond the sport and thus seek to increase black economic participation in a equitable way. Because of the origins of Gullah culture and heritage, we are uniquely linked to the game of golf. Gullah’s have historically participated in every aspect of building the infrastructure of golf, from clearing the land, building the courses, clubhouses, caddying and spending discretionary dollars for golf equipment and golf tourism.

READ OUR FORTHCOMING WHITE PAPER FRAMEWORK: QUANTIFYING BLACK GOLFER ECONOMIC IMPACT IN THE $84 BILLION BUSINESS OF GOLF (UNDER DEVELOPMENT)

Golf’s $84 Billion Economic Impact 

Golf’s annual contributions to America’s economy include:

–$34.4B in revenue from golf courses, clubs, resorts, driving ranges and other facilities 
–$25.7B in tourism spending 
–$7.2B in new home construction in golf communities 
–$6B in sales of golf equipment, apparel and supplies
–$2.4B in professional tournaments, associations and player endorsements
–$1.9B in investment in existing golf facilities 

African American Travel Represents $63 Billion Opportunity. 

The economic value of African American travelers has increased in 2018 to $63 billion from $48 billion in 2010. African American “cultural” travelers are the highest spenders, with an average per trip spend of $2,078 versus $1,345 for all African American travelers.More than half reported that their most recent leisure destination was between 100-500 miles from home with Florida, New York City/New York, and Atlanta being top US destinations and Caribbean/Bahamas (38%) and Mexico (26%) mentioned as leading international destinations Food and shopping are leading spend categories with nearly half of travelers spending on local and/or regional cuisine on their most recent leisure trip. Shopping continues to be a popular activity for vacationers, most often at malls (41%) and outlet malls (34%), but also downtown (28%).

The report also highlights where and how African Americans source information on where to go, the activities they participate in, and segment analysis, looking at family reunion travelers, cultural travelers, and leisure travelers who also travel for business.

The African American story in America is one that resonates with cultural travelers of all types – the general market traveler, the international visitor — because the story of African Americans is the story of America. African Americans have contributed to the evolution of almost every facet of our culture – music, food, dance, art, literature, academics and social change movements. The success of attractions such as the Civil Rights Trail, Mississippi Blues trail, historic Overtown in Miami, and tours of Harlem gospel choirs, all of which are attended heavily by Germans, Japanese as well as American travelers, is testament to the universal draw of the African American experience.

According to Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO William D. Talbert, III, CDME, “The African American traveler is very important to the tourism market in Miami. Arts, culture and diversity make up the fabric of the community and key findings from this report show obvious alignment with interests of African Americans to the experiences and multicultural points of interest that Miami offers to both the leisure visitor and convention attendee.”

Kevin Dallas, CEO of Bermuda Tourism Authority and study sponsor comments, “Given the rapid growth in this market segment, increasing the number of African American travelers to Bermuda is a strategic goal of our recently released National Tourism Plan. The Mandala research, paired with other qualitative and quantitative data, has convinced us that the African American travel market presents an exciting business opportunity for Bermuda’s tourism industry – we believe our destination has the cultural touchpoints that make African American travelers feel right at home out here.”

The importance of African American culture and history also plays a role in destination choice for these travelers. Sixty-four percent of cultural African American travelers, the highest spending segment of travelers, say the availability of African American cultural and heritage attractions is very important to their choice of destination for their leisure travel. For family reunion travelers, the importance of African American cultural and heritage attractions is 43%.

While the major barriers to travel are similar to the general travel market, with 28% saying they are too busy to travel and 25% reporting they can’t afford it, 15% say that concerns about racial profiling play a role in their travel decisions, similar to the impact of not having anyone to travel with, or airport hassles (13%).

According to Gloria and Solomon Herbert, publishers of Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine, “Since the last historic Green Book (Negro Travel Guide) was published in 1966, the growth in numbers and frequency of travel among African Americans continues to increase at unprecedented rates.  In 2001, the African American market was identified by the United States Travel Association (USTA) as the number one fastest growing segment in the travel industry.”

They added, “Historically, Black people have tended to travel in groups for camaraderie and to some extent for protection. Now with the increased popularity of black travel clubs and networks, African American ‘baby boomers’, with more time and money, are exploring the world in a way they were never able to before. For Millennials of color, travel is being considered somewhat of a rite of passage. Now this market is actively courted through marketing and promotions by prime destinations such as Baltimore, Bermuda, Miami, Virginia, and other key markets.  Their outreach makes them attractive locations for African American leisure and business travelers.”

COMMUNITY ECONOMIC IMPACT MATTERS

Going beyond golf and business, Gullah Golf Links also believes that Gullah Golf Matters with respect to Black Economic and Environmental Impact.

Gullah Golfers tend to be professionals, executives and entrepreneurs with the incomes needed to support their passion for levering golf and cultural heritage tourism as an community economic development strategy to impact the community and golfing industry.

COMMUNITY ECONOMIC IMPACT MODELS

OUR COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MODEL OF INSPIRATION:

THE PGA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, EAST LAKE GOLF CLUB AND THE EAST LAKE FOUNDATION 

THE PGA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP:

East Lake Golf Club has been the permanent home of the TOUR Championship since 2005. The TOUR Championship event has raised millions for the East Lake Foundation and The First Tee® of East Lake. The East Lake Foundation is grateful for the thousands of golf fans, PGA TOUR players, the PGA TOUR, Coca-Cola Company, Southern Company, and the thousands of volunteers who make the tournament possible each year. The PGA TOUR and its tournaments have donated more than $3 billion to date to support local organizations. Learn more about PGA TOUR IMPACT! 

EAST LAKE GOLF CLUB: GOLF WITH A PURPOSE

This home course of legendary golfer Bobby Jones and permanent home to the PGA TOUR’s season-ending TOUR Championship. East Lake Golf Club is not only a historic golf club, but a philanthropic one as well. The Foundation benefits from several golf related events hosted at the Club, the TOUR Championship, East Lake Invitational and East Lake Cup, and a portion of the Club’s operational proceeds are donated to the East Lake Foundation to help revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. 

EAST LAKE FOUNDATION: 

The East Lake Foundation was established in 1995 to transform the East Lake neighborhood and create new opportunities for the families who live here. Today, the Foundation provides comprehensive programs and facilities that attract people of all ages and incomes seeking a sense of community.

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: Its History and Economic Impact

This economic boost from golf tourism is a significant benefit of the Trail. In 1990, before it was created, tourism in Alabama generated about $3 billion annually. Today, it approaches $13 billion.

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail tells how a bold, imaginative investment by a public employee pension fund turned into a world-class tourist attraction that helped change the image and boost the economy of an entire state. The pension fund was the Retirement Systems of Alabama, and its alternative investment was in a string of golf courses and affiliated high-end hotels and spas. In business-speak, this was an “economically targeted investment” designed to diversify returns, create jobs, and increase tax revenue. Twenty-five years later, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is known worldwide for the quality and beauty of its courses and the hospitality and elegance of its resorts. It has significantly increased Alabama’s infrastructure for tourism and conventions, provided millions upon millions in new tax revenues, spurred construction of thousands of units of adjacent housing, and helped persuade other businesses to locate in the state. Making the Golf Trail a reality involved not only the initial vision of CEO David G. Bronner and his associates at RSA, but also the design genius and reputation of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the hard work of many dedicated engineers and builders. It also required the cooperation of scores of local and state elected officials and economic developers. This book is the illustrated historical account of the financial, legal, political, and economic impact details of RSA’s investment in the RTJ Golf Trail. Such a detailed history could not have been written without the years of economic analysis conducted by author Mark Fagan dating back to the earliest stages of the concept. Fagan’s ongoing involvement with Dr. Bronner and those working to develop the Trail made possible the mammoth one-of-a-kind history that is presented in this book.

SUPPORT OUR MISSION

DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: Woke Opportunity Kapital Foundation (WOKF) is a District of Columbia non-profit corporation operating through a fiscal sponsorship with Players Philanthropy Fund (Federal Tax ID: 27-6601178), a Maryland charitable trust with federal tax-exempt status from the IRS as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3). Contributions to WOKF are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

PARTNERS AND SPONSORS