I talk to Golf Canada, the National Golf Course Owners Association and PGA of Canada regularly and recent reports that rounds are up this year comes as no surprise.As a matter of fact, rounds are up substantially this year, not 1.2 per cent for example.
The east coast was hit with weather and had an elongated winter, but I find, when I talk to people here in Alberta, I bet rounds are up 12 to 14 per cent. Some people are higher, but you take the low and the high and go with the median.
That’s fantastic news because so many reports have said the golf business is dead or dying and that’s been going on for about 10 years.
It’s not that the golf business was dead and rounds were suffering. It was more a case that golf was overbuilt. That means there were deals out there and that more people were desperate for that extra round or two that you see a lot of discounting or cutbacks on maintenance budgets.
That’s the nature of the beast.
Rounds are up significantly and I’m sure they were up last year over the year before, so I think we’re seeing a trend develop.
However, we can’t take our eye off the target ever. This is just one thing that we can point to that says maybe some of our initiatives are paying off. If we work together, we can get the message out that we’re doing some good things, we are going to win some battles and have positive things happen.
It’s still about growing the game and not letting history repeat itself. We need to look at the past and see what we’ve done right and wrong and make sure we don’t do the wrong again.
For example, just because rounds are up, I don’t want to see 30 new golf courses being built because that would just put us back to where we started.
We’ve got to look to the past, take what we did positively and continue forward in order to continue this trend of increased rounds.