About the Museum
The two major golf museums in the United States are both located on the East Coast. Golf House, headquarters of the United States Golf Association, is in Far Hills, New Jersey. The World Golf Village, which includes the World Golf Hall of Fame, is in St. Augustine, Florida.
The game needs a museum of similar stature and importance on the West Coast. Of all the potential sites for such a museum, the Coachella Valley is easily the best and most logical choice.
Unlike other potential West Coast sites, the Coachella Valley has already established a long and celebrated history with the game of golf. The image of the Coachella Valley as a golf mecca began in the last 1950s and early 1960s with the golf exploits of Hollywood stars like Bob Hope and national figures like Arnold Palmer and former President Dwight Eisenhower.
The desert is annually the home to some of the top professional golf events in the country, including the PGA Tour's Bob Hope Classic and the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco Championship. The national television coverage of these has helped cement the image of the desert as immersed in the game.
By the end of 2006, the desert's permanent population of about 450,000 was able to choose from more than 125 golf courses, easily the higher number of courses per capita in the country. In addition, the desert's population swells to between 1.5 and 2 million in the winter. Part-time residents from northern climates and Canada, so-called snowbirds, come to the desert for the Coachella Valley's near perfect weather in the winter. Most snowbirds come to the desert to play golf, either owning second homes at area country clubs or taking advantage of the more than 50 public and resort courses.
The Coachella Valley attracts visitors and golfers from throughout the United States. Virtually every head of a Fortune 500 company owns a first or second home in the Valley, and they are heavily represented in the membership of the private country clubs in the area. Forty percent of visitors came from Southern California, according to the Convention and Visitors' Bureau, including the massive Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas. Both areas are within two hours' drive from the Coachella Valley by major freeway. A staggering 19 million car trips per-year are logged on the I-10 Freeway that passes through the Coachella Valley, and 12 percent of all visitors are international travelers. The Coachella Valley is strategically located--within 130 miles of almost 20 million people.
Based on the Coachella Valley's solid and long-standing reputation for golf, interest in the game by permanent and part-time resident and visitors, access to major metropolitan areas in Southern California, access to national and international travelers via air and an already well-established tourism and service industry, we believe the Coachella Valley is a perfect location for a national stature golf museum. West Coast golf fans would finally have access to such a museum without traveling across the country, while national and international visitors would be treated to the history and traditions of the game as part of their vacations and pleasure trips. We also believe the museum would be an additional attraction for golf enthusiasts who visit the desert for their vacations rather than other potential western golf vacation sites such as Phoenix, San Diego and the Monterey Peninsula.
Presently, the International Golf Museum is continuing to refine costs and operational issues while holding discussions with a number of private donors and government agencies in the Coachella Valley concerning a potential site for the museum.
If negotiations are successful, it is anticipated that a site for the museum will be obtained with and developed by the museum's Foundation through its organization and fund-raising efforts.
Market Conditions and Plan
Presently, there is no museum of international stature in the Western United States. There are several small private collections housed in country clubhouse lobbies, garages and in storage facilities in a variety of areas throughout the West, but no concerted effort has been made to establish a grand repository for this artifacts and mementos in the Western portion of the country.
The Coachella Valley has approximately 450,000 full time residents and 3.5 million visitors. The International Golf Museum will be the preeminent West Coast venue to showcase golf utilizing 21st century technology and a variety of components that will make it one of the outstanding tourist attractions in the State of California.
Museum Organization and Activities
1.) Cost and operational issues related to the International Golf
The museum will be funded and operated by the International Golf
Museum Foundation, a non-profit corporation that will work with many of
the sport's governing bodies to not only fund the construction and
operation of the museum, but will sponsor many educational and junior
golf programs. It will involve the most modern of technologies and will
offer visitors an interactive experience and embrace educational
opportunities through the use of seminars and conference facilities that
will be built.
2.) Additional future components of the Museum Foundation would
include a Golf Walk of Fame, a Golf Institute tied to a major
university, a sports medicine facility and an affiliation with the
Smithsonian Institution to become that organizations' first and only
golf affiliated museum.
3.) Start-Up Objectives:
Site Location: Several sites are currently under consideration in
the Coachella Valley that will provide high visibility, a central
location and a connection with the Valley’s thriving golf and tourism
Conceptual discussions with builders and developers are on-going and
there is considerable interest in becoming involved in this project.
Hiring of Basic Staff: It is anticipated that consultants will be hired at first to guide the initial phases of the project, including land planning. Eventually, staff would be paid to develop, manage and operate the museum and its programs, including a General Manager/Executive Director, Marketing Director and Operations Manager.
Relationships with other organizations: Interest in helping with the
International Golf Museum effort have been received from a number of
local and national golf organizations. Various civic leaders, including
included elected officials, have also pledged to help the museum.
Various civic leaders, including the office of Congresswoman Mary Bono, have also pledged to help the museum.