‘We Are Golf’ releases Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019)
2019 We Are Golf
National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA)
The Canadian golf industry generated $18.2B in economic benefits across our nation in 2019, according to a recent economic analysis conducted by Group ATN Consulting Inc. on behalf of the National Allied Golf Associations (We Are Golf).
According to The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019), the Canadian golf industry employs the equivalent of nearly 249,000 people through direct and spin-off effects and contributed to $10.6B in household income. The industry also contributed $4.5B in government tax revenue ($1.8B federal and $2.1B provincial) used to support a variety of programs for all Canadians.
Based on nationwide surveys completed by golfers and golf course operators in 10 provinces and three territories along with multiple industry data sources, The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) is a follow up to previous comprehensive and independent assessment studies (2014, 2009) of the economic impact of the golf industry in Canada. The $18.2B economic impact of golf represents a 14% increase in contribution to Canada’s GDP between 2013 and 2019.
“The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) further reinforces the enormous financial, employment, charitable, tourism and positive environmental impact that the sport and the business of golf are affecting across Canada,” said Laurence Applebaum, Chair of We Are Golf and CEO of Golf Canada. “This third iteration of the study provides the golf industry with a powerful snapshot of the scale and magnitude that our sport has on the Canadian economy and within the communities where we live, work and play.”
The study presents economic insights for each of the 10 provinces and three territories from coast to coast. Also captured in the report are comparisons to international economic insights from select countries and regions including the United States, European Union, and Australia.
The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) was conducted on behalf of We Are Golf by Group ATN Consulting Inc., a world leader in economic development and analysis for communities, regions, and industries. Group ATN previously conducted the 2014 and 2009 Canadian Golf Economic Impact Studies (based on 2013 and 2008 data respectively) which have allowed the Canadian golf industry to benchmark the game’s economic impact over five-year periods.
“Every industry has its own unique circumstances to allow for, and the ability to repeat the same application of our model for Canadian golf is a significant advantage,” said Tom McGuire, Principal with Group ATN Consulting. “Beyond consistency, we have also been able to further improve certain aspects based upon learnings from the prior studies we did for the National Allied Golf Associations (We Are Golf).”
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF GOLF IN CANADA (2019)
The game of golf accounts for an estimated $18.2B of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is up 14% from the $15.9B reported in 2014*. Included within the 2019 economic impact:
The golf industry directly employed nearly 150,000 full-time, full-year equivalent positions, representing many more individuals who are employed in the sector. This number grows to approximately 249,000 when accounting for direct, indirect, and induced employment.
The golf industry directly contributed $4.8B in household income, rising to $10.6B when considering the combined direct, indirect, and induced impacts.
The golf industry generated $4.5B in government tax revenue; including $1.8B in federal tax revenue and $2.1B in provincial tax revenue.
Conservatively, course operators invested $727M industry-wide on capital expenditures.
*Note that 2014 figures are adjusted by the consumer price index and reported as current dollars.
Additional Insights from The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019)
Employment – The golf industry is a significant job provider for youth with 48% of its workforce identified as students.
Travel – Canadians along with international visitors contributed to $8.6B in golf-related travel nationwide. Canadians made approximately 4.8M trips involving golf, including 3.0M in their home province and 1.8M outside their home province and abroad.
Golfer Spending – golfers in Canada spent approximately $19.3B on items such as green fees, memberships, lessons, equipment, travel, hospitality, events, and other golf-related expenditures.
Canadian Course Operators – a total of 2,283 facilities were estimated to be operating in 2019, accounting for 2,043 courses (18-hole equivalent); course operators collectively spent approximately $3.8B in course expenditures.
Land management – Golf course operations manage between 155,000 and 175,000 hectares, including 30,000 to 35,000 hectares of wildlife and wetland area.
Charitable Impact – The golf industry generated an estimated $330M in charitable impact through more than 51,000 tournaments and events.
Golf Participation – Canadian golfers played an estimated 57.0M rounds in 2019.
Although released in 2020, The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) does not factor in the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Canadian golf industry.
“Establishing a baseline for the economic impact of our sport measured against pre-2020 Covid-19 spending is an important benchmark consideration for the integrity and continuity of the study,” added Applebaum. “Based on what we learned through the 2020 season, the safety of golf through this pandemic and the potential for a lift in participation and spending on the game, we are optimistic in looking ahead.”
An executive summary along with a complete report outlining the results of The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) is available by clicking here or by visiting any of the We Are Golf partner websites.
NGCOA Canada releases golf data from 2020 rounds played
OTTAWA – The National Golf Course Owners Association Canada’s monthly Research Reports, presented by Club Car, continue to show impressive increases in both rounds played and revenue for the 2020 golf season.
NGCOA Canada Rounds Played Reports for the month of July showed an increase of 25.5% nationally year-over-year. All provinces were up by double digits with Saskatchewan leading the charge with an impressive increase of 40.1% followed with BC at 38.9%, 24.6% in Ontario, 22.9% in Alberta, 21.7% in Atlantic, 19% in Quebec and 17.2% in Manitoba.
What is even more impressive is the 2020 year-to-date increase of 9.3% nationally, considering the late start to this season in many regions due to COVID-19. At the end of May, the national Rounds Played results were down 25.9%. But the portion of May that courses were able to open was very strong and that continued through the first full month for all courses in June, and throughout the summer.
“Back in April, the uncertainty from COVID-19 and government mandated closures meant that the entire golf season was at serious risk”, stated Jeff Calderwood, CEO of the NGCOA Canada. “And now we’re tracking for record setting 2020 results!”
July rounds played also outpaced the past 5-year average by an impressive 25.6% which further reinforces the success golf is experiencing.
In addition to the golf benefitting as one of the safest activities during COVID-19 restrictions, NGCOA Canada’s Weather Impact Report shows that weather has also contributed to the success. Tracked regionally, the collective weather impact reported by all golf course operators scored an 8.1 index on a 0-10 scale where 5 is “normal”. The Reports show that Atlantic, Quebec and Ontario benefitted the most from favorable weather conditions.
Nationally, golf courses are also experiencing corresponding increases in revenues. Of particular note, credit card transaction revenues increased by 73.2% over July 2019, with Quebec and Ontario seeing the highest increases! The increase in online and contactless payments coupled with the renewed popularity in golf appear to be the main contributing factors.
That tremendous growth in July credit card transactions brings the 2020 year-to-date increase to almost 20%, more than offsetting the large decreases seen in March and April. All regions had significant growth with the exception of Atlantic Canada where it appears member and local play is driving the increase in rounds while the lucrative golf tourism market has been seriously curtailed by restrictions on both inter-provincial and International travel.
Calderwood goes on to note that “We had been hearing how busy golf courses have been and we saw positive data coming out of the June, the first full month this year. But our July Rounds and Revenue Reports confirm that the anecdotal comments and early positive data have indeed translated into a very sustained positive 2020 trend for Canadian golf. This may be a record-setting year despite the challenges associated with COVID-19”.
We Are Golf (The National Allied Golf Associations/NAGA) are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our members, golfers, staff, volunteers and industry stakeholders as well as every Canadian in the communities where we live, work and play.
The COVID-19 crisis is an unprecedented and difficult time for Canadians. We Are Golf fully supports the recommendations and guidelines of Health Canada, the World Health Organization and regional public health experts to stop the community spread of the virus. As leaders in an industry that employs more than 300,000 Canadians and includes nearly six million golfers from coast to coast, our priority above all else is the health and safety of our people and our communities.
Where governments have not mandated the temporary closure of golf courses, operators of those facilities should take every health and safety precaution. We Are Golf also advocates for the essential need for golf course property maintenance during any of the temporary closures to be ready for operation while taking every health and safety precaution.
We look forward to better and healthier days and when the time is right for Canadians to return to recreational normalcy, clubs and courses will be ready to welcome golfers back to the tee.
Canadian Golf Industry Show announced for November 2020
(Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel)
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – It was announced today that the Canadian Golf Industry Show (CGIS) will take place the week of November 9, 2020 in Vancouver, B.C. The CGIS will feature The Canadian Golf Course Management Conference, presented by the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA); The Golf Business Canada Conference, presented by National Golf Course Owners Association Canada (NGCOA Canada) and the Tee Talks National Teaching and Coaching Conference, presented by the PGA of Canada alongside supporting partners; Golf Canada, BCGSA, NGCOA Canada BC Chapter and PGA of BC.
The event will see the individual conferences of the presenting partners coincide at the same location at the same time. The selected location for the conference events is the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel. This location will allow each individual conference to take place under one roof. The trade show that is an integral part of each event will see exhibitors from all sectors including turf, business and the pro-shop. This approach is a great benefit to the delegates and broadens the marketing value for suppliers. The show is branded as the Canadian Golf Industry Show and will take place at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
“CGSA is very excited about this partnership. Our positions as owner/operators, superintendents and golf professionals compliment each other in our workplaces, so bringing our associations together is a natural fit. There is much to learn from each other and bringing the whole industry together is paramount in a day and age when we’re all so easily separated. We’ve been looking at this opportunity for some time, so to be able to see it come together for the betterment of golf business in Canada is exciting” said CGSA President, Greg Austin.
“The NGCOA Canada is honoured to be partnering with the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association and the PGA of Canada for the inaugural Canadian Golf Industry Show in Vancouver” said Lesley McMahon, President of NGCOA Canada. “This kind of collaboration is what the NGCOA Canada is all about and bringing together these three events under the same roof alongside a shared trade show will benefit the entire industry.”
“We’re excited to congregate in Vancouver for this ground-breaking event that will undoubtedly be a game-changer for golf in Canada. Bringing together the business leaders across the various sectors of our industry under one roof aligns perfectly with our vision of increased collaboration to continue to grow the game and business of golf in Canada” said PGA of Canada President, Mark Paterson.
Watch for additional information on the Canadian Golf Industry Show to be released in the coming months.
Golf industry celebrates National Golf Day on Parliament Hill
Adam Stanley/ Golf Canada
OTTAWA, Ont. – On a day that was perfect to play golf, Canada’s golf industry was on Parliament Hill touting the benefits of the sport to nearly 70 members of parliament and a handful of Canada’s senators as well.
It was the first year the National Allied Golf Associations (composed of Golf Canada, the PGA of Canada, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the Canadian Society of Club Managers, and the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association) decided to change their outward marketing approach to align with the American golf industry associations.
NAGA, as its known, will remain the administrative name for the body of industry associations, but moving forward the brand will be called ‘We Are Golf.’
We Are Golf set up a junior golf clinic on Parliament Hill in concert with Golf in Schools, and welcomed nearly 100 students from Carson Grove Elementary School on Tuesday, many of whom had never played golf before.
“What’s been amazing is that we’ve been able to get the word out about We Are Golf,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum, who has just recently celebrated one year at the helm of Golf Canada.
From left to right: Charlie Beaulieu (Vice President, Golf Canada), Leslie Dunning (President, Golf Canada), Laurence Applebaum (CEO, Golf Canada), Patrick Kelly (President, B.C. Golf)
The objective of the day was to continue to grow awareness of golf in the country’s decision makers, as leaders from each of the respective organizations had a day chalk-full of meetings on Parliament Hill with MPs from across the country.
Jeff Calderwood, the CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association and chair of NAGA, said one of the main objectives of the day was based on how many people the organization got to meet with, and he said they ended up exceeded that number.
“It’s up to us to tell the story about golf and let the nearly 70 MPs and the few senators know all about what the golf industry is really about. Without that, you’re susceptible to politicians just seeing this as a game,” said Calderwood. “It could be a great game, and a game more people could play than any other sport, but if you need to go beyond that and give them the rest of the story. That’s when they start to treat you the way you need to be treated to have a fair outcome on anything environmental, tax-related, or funding-related.”
Calderwood said a key message would be around how golf is a vital industry in almost every community in Canada. Well north of 75 percent of all communities (or ‘ridings,’ in political vernacular) have a golf course – save for downtown ridings like Toronto Centre or Ottawa Centre, for example – and even the ones that don’t are only 10 minutes away from the nearest course, said Calderwood.
This past election was a first for Calderwood, he said, as more than 200 MPs that came into the legislature were first-timers. He admitted Tuesday that with the next election only 18 months away, there would be a lot of education for the new MPs on the golf industry – its economic benefits, its environmental benefits, and more.
“It never ends,” he said. “This time they had 200 new members of parliament, which is an unusually big turnover. You start back at ground zero with their awareness of the golf industry, but the education needs to be a perpetual thing. This gives us a chance to highlight (golf) early in the year and sync up with National Golf Day in the U.S.”
Unlike Calderwood, this was Applebaum’s first time on Parliament Hill lobbying on behalf of the golf industry.
He said the day was a positive one, and he was impressed to see how many rookie MPs play golf, along with their families. Specifically he was happy to hear from MP Roger Cuzner from Cape Breton-Canso, who has seen millions of tourism dollars flood the island thanks to the worldwide success of Cabot Links, Cabot Cliffs, and Highlands Links.
Getting the message out about golf’s positives was key, said Applebaum, speaking specifically to its impact on Canada’s GDP ($15 billion) and employment (more than 300,000 across the country).
While in past years NAGA was on Parliament Hill lobbying for tax fairness for the golf industry – to allow people to claim a round of golf on their taxes in terms of entertainment as a bonafide business expense – that wasn’t on the agenda Tuesday.
Applebaum said that is still an “important issue” as an industry, but instead the day in Ottawa was more for “advocacy, information, and sharing.”
“We’re not here for an ask. We’re just here to let the MPs know how active their constituents are with golf, and down the road we’ll address the tax issue,” he explained.
Moving forward, Applebaum is hopeful that National Golf Day results in more awareness, and maybe even days off for people to go play golf. But he would say the first iteration was a success.
“We’ve gotten together as an industry, which we don’t always do so well, and we’ve been able to get our voice heard,” he said. “That makes for a really nice day for us.”
Getting into the swing of things on Parliament Hill
OTTAWA – Today, to mark Canada’s first annual National Golf Day, Canadians are invited to take a swing on Parliament Hill with a number of We Are Golf interactive golf activities. As well, PGA of Canada professionals will be on hand to provide golf tips and share their enthusiasm for the game with golfers and Ottawa-area school students.
The event is aimed at raising awareness among the public and government decision-makers on the many positive health, economic, social, environmental and charitable impacts of the golf industry across Canada.
“Golf is a game for everyone. And not only do more Canadians play golf than any other participation sport, our industry also drives more economic impact, employment and charity fundraising,” said Jeff Calderwood, We Are Golf Chair. “So we want to celebrate the golf onNational Golf Day and we invite Canadians to join us on Parliament Hill to talk golf and take a few swings.”
The conversations will include the healthy fitness benefits of the sport, with a typical 18-hole round being an eight to ten- kilometer walk that burns up to 2000 calories. And the environmental stewardship of golf preserving over 175,000 hectares of green space managed by over 2300 golf course operators, including 30,000 hectares of unmanaged wildlife habitat.
There will also be an emphasis on junior golf, noting that golf develops important life skills for children of all ages. Programs like Adopt A School and Take A Kid To The Course will be promoted on the front lawn during National Golf Day. Thirty-seven percent of the 126,000 Canadians employed by golf are also youth students.
Since golf is not only a great game, but also a highly developed industry, the economic impact generated is substantial and leads all other participation sports in Canada. Golf’s $14.3 billion annual direct GDP includes tourism benefits exceeding one million overnight trips by Canadian golfers, creating spending of $2.5 billion annually on golf travel within Canada. Foreign visiting golfers spend an additional $1.6 billion on golf related travel each year.
“We are looking forward to welcoming golf enthusiasts, area residents and students out to the We Are Golf activities on the front lawn of Parliament to learn about all the many ways that the golf experience contributes to life in Canada,” added Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “There are so many meaningful benefits that golf delivers in communities from coast to coast and it will be exciting to share those insights on National Golf Day.”
Golf activities are available on the front lawn of Parliament Hill from 9 am to 5 pm, May 29, 2018.
Canadian golf industry launches “National Golf Day”
Chilliwack Golf Course.
(Chilliwack, B.C.) - May 12, 2017. Future Links, driven by Acura Pacific Championship.
Photo by: Golf Canada
National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA)
OTTAWA – Today, Canada’s national golf industry associations announced the first annual National Golf Day, May 29, an event aimed at raising awareness to the public and government decision makers on the many positive impacts of the golf industry.
“More Canadians play golf than any other participation sport and our industry is #1 in driving economic impact, employment and charity fundraising,” said Jeff Calderwood, National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) and We Are Golf Chair. “Combined with golf’s diversity, healthy fitness benefits and environmental stewardship, we really do have such a positive message to communicate.”
National Golf Day provides the opportunity for Canada’s golf industry leaders to discuss these wide-reaching benefits of the sport directly with MPs, Senators and policy advisors at Parliament Hill. A May 28 evening reception will also be held in Centre Block, and NAGA will be hosting a day of interactive golf activities on the front lawn where MPs and visitors will be able to participate. This day of outdoor golf activities will include a focus on junior golf.
“We are really looking forward to our time in Ottawa and expect that government officials from all parties will be impressed to learn about all the ways golf contributes in virtually every riding throughout Canada,” added Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “There are so many meaningful benefits that golf delivers in communities from coast to coast and it will be great to share all those insights on National Golf Day.”
Golf courses and all related stakeholders throughout Canada are encouraged to promote the same positive messages. NAGA will provide shareable social content.
NAGA is also announcing a rebranding of its public facing name to We Are Golf. This aligns with the same brand name used by the American golf industry for allied association activities such as National Golf Day. NAGA does carry on as the administrative body but will use the We Are Golf brand for all public communications.
Please watch for additional We Are Golf and National Golf Day communications over the coming weeks as we lead up to the May 29 event itself.
NGCOA Canada honoured at the NGCOA U.S. annual awards ceremony
Jeff Calderwood, CEO, and Mark Seabrook, founding President, presented with Paul Porter Award
Two of NGCOA Canada’s leaders were recognized at the NGCOA U.S. annual Golf Business Conference Celebration & Awards Dinner in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday. Jeff Calderwood, CEO, and Mark Seabrook, founding President and owner of the Canadian Golf & Country Club, were presented with the Paul Porter Award. This award recognizes a NGCOA member who left an enduring mark on a national or international affiliate through the highest level of commitment, service and leadership.
“It’s an honour to be receiving such high recognition from the NGCOA U.S. for our NGCOA Canada success over all those years,” says Jeff Calderwood, CEO, NGCOA Canada. “From that modest beginning 25 years ago to our leadership position today representing the majority of golf course operators and the business side of Canadian golf, it has been a very rewarding experience. Everyone involved, from all our board members, staff, golf course owners, suppliers, allied associations and related stakeholders deserve so much credit for us fulfilling that original NGCOA Canada vision. Mark and I will proudly accept this Paul Porter Award on their behalf and look forward to many more years of serving the Canadian golf business.”
“Associations are indeed about the programs and services provided to a membership, but it all happens because of people with a heart and head for the mission,” says Jay Karen, Chief Executive Officer of NGCOA. “No duo in golf have been more important and impressive than Mark and Jeff, as evidenced by the success of NGCOA Canada. What they built has served as inspiration for all of us in the North American and European NGCOA family for many years.”
This award comes on the heels of the Association’s 25th Anniversary celebrations where both Jeff and Mark were awarded with NGCOA Canada Lifetime Achievement Awards for their dedication and leadership in growing the Association.
T-Jay Creamer wins Assistant Superintendent of the Year
(Victoria Golf Club)
ETOBICOKE, Ont. – The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) and The Toro Company are pleased to announce Mr. T-Jay Creamer from the Victoria Golf Course in Victoria, British Columbia, as the first CGSA/Toro Assistant Superintendent of the Year Award winner for 2017.
The new CGSA/Toro Assistant Superintendent of the Year award recognizes the specific achievements of a golf course assistant superintendent whose performance and contributions to the success of the facility go beyond those that would normally be expected. The award is to be presented to an individual who has contributed to his or her golf facility in a significant way and who has demonstrated professionalism, leadership, innovation and a team approach in their work.
T-Jay has been a CGSA member since 2016 and has been with the Victoria Golf Club (VGC) for over 12 seasons, the last 6 years as the Assistant Superintendent of Links. Paul Robertson nominated T-Jay for this inaugural award and said, “T-Jay has become our greatest asset embodying all the characteristics of a great assistant and ultimately the ideal superintendent. He has the depth, diversity, dedication and the dynamic management skills necessary to be a star in our industry. The ultimate goal of an assistant is to become a golf course superintendent. When I think of the perfect golf course superintendent, I think of T-Jay Creamer”.
“I first had the pleasure of getting to know T-Jay Creamer when he was a member of the 2017 CGSA Conference Planning Committee which helped organize the first ever ‘Assistants Night’ during the 2017 conference in Victoria that was a huge success. So, it gave me great pleasure to be the one who called him to inform him that he is the first winner of this prestigious award!”
– Jim Flett, AGS, CGSA President
As the CGSA/Toro Assistant Superintendent of the Year winner, T-Jay will receive an “All-Access” registration to THE CANADIAN 2018 Golf Course Management Conference in Quebec City, Quebec from February 26 – March 1, 2018, 4 nights’ accommodation and transportation costs. Toro will provide a $500 CAD VISA gift card for meals and incidental expenses during the conference. T-Jay is also invited to attend the Toro Experience for Assistant Superintendents, an exclusive event hosted at The Toro Company Headquarters in Bloomington MN in August of each year, including round-trip airfare and accommodations during the event.
“Toro is proud to honour outstanding Assistant Superintendents, like T-Jay, who represent the next generation of industry leaders. As part of our cultural legacy of giving back, we strive to provide opportunities for personal growth and career development for the people who have chosen a career in the golf industry. T-Jay will benefit from the experience and education while at The Canadian, and also join 30 Assistant Superintendent peers for networking and education during the upcoming Toro Experience for Assistant Superintendents.”
– Tony Ferguson, Sr. Golf Marketing and Business Development Manager, The Toro Company
T-Jay will be presented with the CGSA/Toro Assistant Superintendent of the Year award during the CGSA Awards Ceremony in Quebec on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
Canadian golf leaders, executives, professionals and enthusiasts were in attendance on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Canadian golf industry expo for the state of the industry town hall conducted by the PGA of Ontario.
Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum was among the leaders who spoke from the featured panel at the Nottawasaga Inn Resort in Alliston, Ont.