NAGA announces results of Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study

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Golf Canada

Ottawa, Ont. (NAGA) — The Canadian Golf Industry generated $14.3 billion in economic benefits across our nation, according to a recent economic analysis conducted by Strategic Networks Group, Inc. on behalf of the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA).

The Canadian Golf industry employs the equivalent of 300,100 people through direct and spin-off effects, generating more than $8.3 billion in household income.  The industry also contributes more than $36.1 billion in total gross production through direct and indirect and induced spending; generates more than $1.4 billion in property and other indirect taxes; as well provides an estimated $2.2 billion in income taxes used to support a variety of programs for all Canadians.

Based on a nation-wide survey of more than 15,000 golfers and more than 300 golf courses in 10 provinces and three territories, the 2014 Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study provides a follow up data set to the initial comprehensive and independent assessment of the economic impact of the golf industry in Canada released in 2009.

“The Economic Impact Study reinforces that the game of golf in Canada continues to have a tremendous financial, charitable, tourism and positive environmental impact in communities across Canada,” said NAGA Chair Jeff Calderwood, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada. “The study outlines the considerable scope and magnitude of the impact that our sport has on the Canadian economy.”

The 2014 study was once again conducted on behalf of NAGA by Strategic Networks Group (SNG), a world leader in economic development and analysis for communities, regions and industries. SNG also conducted the 2009 Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study which allows the Canadian golf industry to benchmark the game’s economic impact over the past five years.

“We were very pleased to have been invited back to conduct this important research on behalf of the Canadian golf industry,” said Thomas McGuire, SNG’s Vice President. “This 2014 study draws on a massive sample of Canadian golfers and course operators and clearly demonstrates that the Canadian golf industry continues to be a significant nation-wide driver of economic impacts. What this study shows in relationship to the 2009 research is that golf in Canada has been able to maintain itself over a period of very challenging global economic circumstances that had left no sector of the economy untouched.”

The announcement of the Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study was made on a media teleconference from Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Following the media teleconference golf industry leaders from the NAGA partner associations met with legislators and members of Parliament in Ottawa as part of a golf industry lobby day.


The game of golf accounts for an estimated $14.3 billion of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is up from the $12.2 billion reported in 2009*. Included in that economic impact are:
•    300,100 direct, indirect and induced jobs (342,000 in 2009)
•    $8.3 billion in household income ($8.0 billion in 2009)
•    $1.4 billion in property and other indirect taxes ($1.3 billion in 2009)
•    $2.2 billion in income taxes ($2.6 billion in 2009)
•    Canadian golf industry generates $14.3 billion in economic activity (GDP)
•    Industry employment estimated at more than 300,100 golf related jobs,
•    $533 million in philanthropic dollars generated at more than 37,000 events at golf courses
•    Golf related travel within Canada generates nearly $2.5 billion in tourism annually
•    Estimated 60 million rounds of golf played in Canada in 2013

*Note that 2009 figures are adjusted by the consumer price index and reported as current dollars.

Golf in Canada generates an estimated $36.9 billion in total gross production (see end notes in the Economic Impact Study for definitions) through the combination of direct, indirect and induced spending impacts.

The total direct economic activity (total direct sales, golf related travel, capital spending) resulting from the Canadian Golf Industry is estimated at $19.7 billion. Direct revenues generated directly by golf courses and their facilities, and stand-alone driving and practice ranges ($5.0 billion) rivals the revenues generated by all other participation sports and recreation facilities combined ($4.8 billion) in Canada.

Additional key benefits and impacts of golf in Canada include:

•    Environmental Benefits – Over 175,000 hectares of green space managed by approximately 2,308 golf course operators, including 30,000 hectares of unmanaged wildlife habitat under golf course stewardship.

•    Golf Participation –SNG estimates, based on starts reported by operators and rounds played reported by Canadian golfers, that approximately 60 million rounds of golf were played in 2013 (approximately 70 million rounds of golf were reported in 2009).

•    Employment Opportunities – The Canadian Golf Industry provides an excellent employment opportunity for 126,000 people, with as many as 37% of those working at Canadian golf courses being students. (approximately 43% reported in the 2009 study)

•    Charitable Activity – In 2013 there were nearly 37,000 charitable events hosted at Canadian golf courses (25,000 were reported in 2009). Using conservative estimates, these events raise more than $533 million for charitable causes across Canada ($473 million in 2009 dollars).

•    Golf Tourism – In 2013 Canadian travellers spent $2.5 billion annually on golf-related travel within Canada (including on-course spending at courses visited). Foreign visiting golfers spent $1.6 billion on golf related travel and on-course spending (approximately $2 billion reported in the 2009 study).

An executive summary outlining the results of the Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study is available by clicking here.