The question in this week’s GNN Poll is a simple one.
Is Canada headed into a recession?
Sometimes, I wonder if there is a true definition of recession. Generally, it’s considered two successive quarters of economic decline although economists tend to check peaks and valleys in the business cycle to draw their conclusions.
Whatever definition you use, there are some indicators that jump out at you and I mentioned a few in Monday’s blog. Admittedly, those signs could correct themselves over the next few months and we’ll forget all about the R-word. Or maybe not.
In the early going of this week’s GNN Poll, the majority thinks we’re not headed into a recession, but a good portion of respondents believe we are going there.
It’s still too early to get a true read on what the industry thinks, so we’ll report on the voting later this week or just keep an eye on the poll on the GNN home page.
Wherever we are headed in the near future, there is bound to be some speculation from both sides of the spectrum. Media reports are often considered too focused on the negative and that may only be because we understandably don’t want to hear the message, even if it is based in fact.
On the other hand, you might recall that there were predictions that the recession of 2008-2009 would be as severe as the Great Depression and while it did hit some countries and regions harder than others, that original prediction turned out to be hyperbole, especially here in Canada.
Offsetting the negative stories, or those perceived to be negative, are the overly-optimistic types who deny the coming of recession until it officially arrives and they can’t deny anymore.
These are usually business people and governments, whose best interests are served by a thriving economy and people not afraid to reach into their pockets to make a purchase without it being a major concern.
Personally, I find the overly-optimistic side more misleading than those perceived to be negative because businesses and people need to get their heads around the potential for recession and how to deal with it if it does come. If it turns out to be a false alarm, all the better.
I often kid GNN blogger Kevin Thistle about being a cockeyed optimist and he is, but in my discussions with him, his optimism is more about dealing with the tough times than denying they exist. In that respect, he’s very much a realist.
After all the challenges that have faced golf over the past few years, you’re likely still in the business if you’re reading this blog. Something got you to this point over all of those rough patches and, if a recession is coming, it will get you through that too. Trust it.
You’ll recall last summer when a plethora of media reports painted a grim picture on the future of golf, but here will are still talking about the future of golf. Those stories might have gotten you down and so will a recession if it happens, but you get through it.
Let the economists worry about the peaks and valleys on a chart in their offices because golf operators at the green grass level shouldn’t be taking that roller-coaster ride from positive to negative and all points in between. In good times and bad times, business needs to get done.
Of course, it’s tougher in a recession than it is in the good times, but the difference is the same as playing the game on a windy day and a calm, sunny day.
On the calm day, your drives are landing in the fairway and you’re going pin-hunting with no breeze and receptive greens and you’re just enjoying the day.
On the windy day, it’s a lot uglier and your ball might be all over the golf course, but the objective is the same. It just takes more scraping and scratching to get there.
The conditions are different, but the objective is the same. You may not be putting up a bunch of birdies on the windy day, but it may force you to become more creative in your shotmaking in order to win.
At many majors, par is your friend and those are the ones at which a player is best remembered, if successful. There’s no point denying the conditions. You’re best to accept them and deal with them.
The point is you have to keep a calm outlook on the golf course and in business and stay even not matter what’s thrown at you.
Pointing out that a recession could be on the way isn’t negative, nor is it a prediction. In this case, it’s just seeking a consensus of the industry.
What would be truly negative is if you allowed an economic downturn to get in the way of customer service, promotion and all the necessary ingredients of a successful business, even if you’re trying to get more for less.
Let’s hope that isn’t in Canada’s immediate future, but let us know what you think. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to vote at the GNN Poll on the home page.