OAKVILLE, Ont. – Representatives from Canada’s six National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) met Friday during tournament week of the 2015 RBC Canadian Open.
Each of the association’s presidents and staff leaders met onsite at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., including Golf Canada, the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada, the Canadian Society of Club Managers, the PGA of Canada, the Canadian Golf Industry Association and the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association. Much of the discussion revolved around the positive impact of golf in Canada and an overall increase in rounds played over the past three years.
The Rounds Played Report, conducted monthly by the NGCOA Canada, confirms 2015 golf play to June 1 was up 14% compared to the national 3 year average and up 27% over 2014. Regionally, only the Maritime provinces were down, explained by unusually poor spring weather conditions, while the western provinces led the country with exceptional early season results.
Economic Impact of Golf in Canada:
Based on a Canadian golf economic impact study released in June of 2014, the sport of golf accounts for an estimated $14.3 billion of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Included in that economic impact are more than 300,000 jobs (direct, indirect and induced), $8.3 billion in household income, $1.4 billion in property and other indirect taxes, and $2.2 billion in income taxes.
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.
“The evidence of golf’s popularity in Canada is not surprising to those aware of the sport’s economics, and the good stories don’t stop there,” added Elizabeth Di Chiara, Executive Director Canadian Society of Club Managers and NAGA’s incoming president. “From environmental benefits to the charitable impact and tourism revenues, there are many reasons for the Canadian golf industry to be encouraged.”
Additional benefits and impacts of golf in Canada include:
Golf Participation – approximately 60 million rounds of golf are played annually by more than 5.7 million golfers.
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.
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).
Golf Facilities Report 2015:
Another report released in 2015 – Golf Facilities in Canada 2015 – revealed the following snapshot regarding golf facilities in Canada:
- Canada is home to 2,346 public and private golf facilities; ranking it third in the world in total supply.
- Seventy-seven per cent of the total golf supply is located in Canada’s four most populated provinces—Ontario, Québec, Alberta and British Columbia.
- While course construction has slowed during the past several years (a trend mirrored in many mature and developed golf nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom) golf remains extremely accessible in Canada. A little more than 90 per cent of the country’s supply is open to the public.
- Of the 2,126 public facilities in Canada, half are located in Ontario and Québec, which together account for 61 per cent of the country’s total population. Furthermore, the two provinces are also home to 73 per cent of Canada’s 220 private clubs.
- Nine-hole golf accounts for almost 37 per cent of Canada’s total supply, which outnumbers
18-hole supply in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan, 18-hole courses are outnumbered 3 to 1 by 9-hole courses.
- Canada features nine 12-hole facilities (six of which are in Ontario) and three 6-hole facilities.
- Resort golf, though a small segment of Canada’s overall supply, is a significant contributor to tourism in several provinces. Countrywide, 167 facilities (or approximately 7 per cent) of total supply are connected to a resort or a resort/real estate operation.
- Course construction peaked in the 1960s with the opening of more than 420 facilities. A second significant growth spurt occurred in the period between 1990 and 1999, when more than 310 courses—13 per cent of total supply —opened. The growth was highlighted by the opening of 257 facilities in the four largest provinces: Ontario, Québec, Alberta and British Columbia.
- Since 2010, 29 facilities have opened in six different provinces. In recent years, Canada has seen only moderate growth, and currently has 31 18-hole equivalent facilities in various stages of development.
- Of those facilities in various stages of development, 17 have broken ground including seven in Alberta and four in Nova Scotia. Nearly 60 per cent of new projects are tied to a real estate development.
- In the past five to 10 years, 158 facilities have closed. One in five of those closures were located in Ontario, which is home to 35 per cent of the total supply of Canada’s facilities. Three of Canada’s 10 provinces have seen fewer than five facility closures during the past decade.