Even if you were working, we hope you had time to light a sparkler, throw back a cold beverage or consume a hot dog or two to celebrate Canada Day on Sunday.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, there seems to be a renewed optimism within the Canadian golf industry this year for several reasons such as a steady economy and good weather for the most part so far in 2012, leading to more business.
It’s still wise to keep an eye on the horizon for stormy weather and by that, I mean economic as well as thunder, lightning and rain. The economic situation in Europe could affect the global economy and record household debt here at home could have economic consequences, too.
That’s not to rain on the parade. There’s reason to celebrate working in the Canadian golf industry these days, so let’s go with it. We’ve had enough of economic, weather and participation challenges these past few years.
It’s great to be working in a country with one of the highest rates of golf participation in the world, right? Is that a fair claim or just bragging?
If you look at the top level of the game, Canadian players haven’t had a PGA or LPGA Tour win in years and we’ll see what the future holds, but while a lot of people use the pros as a measuring stick for a country’s success in the game, it’s a very narrow way of looking at this subject.
It’s great to have success at the highest echelons of the game, but the impact of the pros in participation is limited, despite the stock that the media and fans put into it. If you look at it the other way, thriving participation increases the chances of producing the next great pro.
In the old chicken-and-egg scenario, which comes first: participation or success at the game’s highest levels?
From a business standpoint, increased participation is what fuels rounds played, pro shop, food and beverage sales and there was a time when Canada claimed that it led the world in golfers per capita.
Can we still make that claim? Are we still in the top five? That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
Back in 2009, the National Allied Golf Association unveiled an economic impact study, which claimed that Canadians played approximately 70 million rounds of golf in 2008, which was as much as 10 per cent lower than those played in previous years.
That study was conducted just before the economic downturn of 2008-2009 took place, so you have to think the downward trend continued through the downturn. How much participation dropped, we’re not sure with few numbers available, but certainly, anecdotal evidence indicates that’s the case.
So, is Canada still one of the leading golf nations in the world, based on participation? Remember, we’re talking Scotland, England, Ireland, Spain and the United States, among other countries.
Tee it up at the GNN Poll below or on the home page and, as always, feel free to expand your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Do you believe Canada is still among the top five countries in the world in terms of rounds played per capita?
- YES (77%)
- NO (23%)