Name: Justin Gravatt

Facility: The Home Course

Hometown: Olympia, WA

PGA Member Since: 2010

Tell us about your golf beginnings.  How did you get started?  Why did you decide to pursue this career?

My aunt and uncle had a place out at Alderbrook Golf & Yacht Club in Union Washington. My dad and I would drive from Olympia every Saturday to play early in the morning before the Men’s Club would tee off. I have so many fond memories at Alderbrook. One that left a lasting impression on me was my time spent with the PGA Head Professional at the time, Mike Fields. He was and is what the PGA Professional represents. He was kind, patient and his passion for golf was infectious. There were times that I would just watch Mike interact with customers and members. He was not only knowledgeable and inviting, but most of all it was obvious he really loved being a golf professional. That’s when I decided that I didn’t just want to be a PGA Professional, but I wanted to be a PGA Professional like Mike Fields.

What is this tax lodging grant magic that you use to find extra funding?

One question that I get often from fellow golf professionals is about our use of lodging tax grants to help fund events and promotions. So many of our local facilities and associations could also benefit from this underutilized resource.  For those of you that are not familiar, lodging tax is the fee that hotels collect when you book a hotel room. By law, those funds must be redistributed in the form of a grant for the purpose of generating additional tourism for the area. Basically, if you host an event that has golfers staying overnight in local hotels, you also can receive these funds.

One way that I have utilized lodging tax grants is for our stay and play program “Summer Golf Fest”. I have partnered with the five area hotels to include two free rounds of golf with every night stayed. Unlike a typical stay and play, the golf fees are not added to the package. The customer only pays for the room fee and the golf is paid for by the grant money. The lodging tax grant will then reimburse me $80.00 for every round of golf redeemed during the summer. Coupled with an additional grant application for the marketing of our stay and play promotion, we have received roughly $330,000 in lodging tax grants over the last three years for our stay and play alone.

Another great use of the lodging tax fund is if you host championships. College events, association events (WA Golf, PNGA or PGA) and any other event that will result in people staying overnight in local hotels. I have worked with several college coaches and PGA professionals to help them successfully procure funds to make their events more financially successful. Over the last three years my facility alone has been the beneficiary of over $130,000 worth of college and association grant applications. Additionally, after working with Jeff Ellison at the section office on the grant process, he too has been able to secure roughly $36,000 in lodging tax grants for our major championships. That $36,000 went directly back in the pockets of fellow PGA professionals in the form of larger purse money. These funds are widely available and terribly underutilized. The golf industry has proven to be able to turn these grant funds into room nights in the local hotels. I encourage anyone interested in learning more to reach out to me directly.

Justin Gravatt, PGA
General Manager – The Home Course