I’ve been following the news that the golf industry and the National Allied Golf Associations will be meeting with provincial and federal governments.
Government lobbying has been going on forever and I think it’s more about education than anything else. I read the NAGA report and it mentions how there are more people playing golf than hockey in Canada.
There was also the economic impact report that came out. When you look at golf, it’s big business now, not a mom and pop operation.
When you consider what is spent at golf courses, on staffing, at big box stores such as Golf Town, on tournaments and how much is raised for charity, maybe it is time to lobby government on matters such as writing golf off as a business expense.
When I worked at Angus Glen in Markham, Ont., we would get a lot of foursomes, eight-somes or 12-somes in which a company would bring clients out for a day of golf and couple it with a business meeting.
When you’ve got somebody there for a business meeting first, then you take that person out for golf, I really don’t understand why you can’t write the golf off.
The list goes on and on with issues such as property taxes and environmental issues such as pesticides. By reaching out to different levels of government, the industry will be able to discuss each individual issue with the appropriate group of decision-makers.
When we say lobby, it sounds like a bad word. I think it’s about educating people. When we talk about property taxes, it’s not about lobbying to get golf courses to pay zero taxes. When we talk about pesticides, we need to talk about the responsible spraying practices that are in place and why spraying is so necessary.
Why not lobby for certain tax exemptions for entertainment at golf courses. That one issue would help our industry a lot and there are plenty more.
It all starts with educating governments on the challenges we face as an industry.