GNN blogger Kyle German not only enjoyed the competition at the recent PGA of British Columbia Championship,but he says it’s also great to hang out with people from across the province and sometimes talk shop. In this installment, he talks about the economy, tournaments, the recent fires that have been burning and how the pine beetle infestation is affecting that:
I recently participated in the PGA of British Columbia Championship at the Crown Isle Resort and Community and, while I could have played better, it’s always nice to play a course that’s new to you and to get together with people from across the province.
Of course, shop talk is inevitable with everyone together.
There were a lot of people surprised at how well Point Roberts is doing this year. The last time I checked, we were up 18 per cent which, in this economy, is definitely not the norm.
A lot of places around here really focus and rely on tournament business, We don’t at all.
With the economy, I think a lot of the courses have lost a lot of tournaments. Where some course may do 10,000 tournament rounds a year, it might be down to 7,000 and that’s a pretty big chunk.
I’m sure that will bounce back. I think golf, as far as corporations go, is still a great avenue and I think it will remain that way. The good news, from an overall perspective, is that I think everyone had a better second half of the year.
It’s getting close to budget time. The buying shows are coming up next month and budgets usually have to be done by the end of this month. I think people are going to sit down at the computer and get a little itchy.
I think everyone realizes that whatever numbers you look at in the industry North America-wide, it’s still down and golf course owners know that – everyone knows that we’re still transitioning.
We keep hearing that the economy is bouncing back. You see the stock market improving. I think everyone’s in that `We’re hanging on’ feeling and, hopefully, we get to the point that in January-February-March when the phones of tournament directors start ringing again.
Of course, people across the country have heard about the wildfires that have hit the province so hard this year, but there’s not a lot of panic compared to the situation in 2003.
There are some air quality issues with all of the smoke, ash and soot, but I think as far as facilities go, everyone’s safe.
I don’t think they’re seeing huge declines in their play because of it, but they’re probably seeing some because a lot of the affected areas are vacation spots, so they may not get some of the business to which they’ve become accustomed.
Unfortunately, it seems like it’s happening every year now to various degrees and one of the reasons for that is the infestation of the mountain pine beetle that has affected forests.
Being down around Vancouver, you know about it and you hear about it, but you take a drive up there and see what’s happened and it’s unbelievable what’s happened with the pine beetle. It’s devastating.
It’s hard to put into words when you know the beautiful forests that were there. Now, it’s dead trees.
When you think about natural disasters, you think of earthquakes and hurricanes. I don’t know what you would call this, but there are golf courses that have lost thousands of trees.
Like the fires and the economy, it’s yet another challenge that golf will get through as we move forward.