From time to time, we read various articles about the ‘powers that be’.
Does anyone wonder who this really is and who decides where the power lies? What power do the‘powers that be truly exert?
In my opinion, the powers that be are a euphemism for “I’m not happy with my circumstances and I’m blaming an entity that I perceive to be influential.”
One of the ‘powers that be’ in this country is Golf Canada. Its web site lists a staff of 65 people with a payroll budget that logically must be in the millions of dollars and headquarters in the old convent buildings at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.
Golf Canada regards itself as the keeper of the rules. It organizes a multitude of tournaments across the country including the Canadian Open, it oversees the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum and is involved in the general development and promotion of the game.
Through Golf Canada, each province is represented by its own local association that administers a parallel agenda but with a more specific set of programs.
Also on the national level are the PGA of Canada, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association, the Canadian Junior Golfers Association, the Canadian Society of Club Managers and Canadian Golf Industry Association.
Similar to Golf Canada, most of these also have provincial associations. Across the country, there are over 65 different golf-related associations.
Admittedly, the national departments act on national matters and the provincial segments perform regionally. My point is, however, that there is a tremendous financial burden on golfers to pay for all these services.
In simply using 50-plus years of experience with provincial and national groups and plucking a number out of the sky, I would say the combined, annual cost to operate all of these bodies is in the neighbourhood of about $25,000,000 to $40,000,000, of which every dollar comes directly or indirectly from greens fees, memberships or some form of assessment.
Additionally, most of these groups, particularly at the provincial level, host some type of annual get-together, either for an AGM, a golf day, buying show or idea exchange.
They all organize seminars, educational programs, fund raisers and promotional events. Each one has legal representation, accounting needs, insurance requirements, all paid for through golf fees.
Golf is a very big, far-reaching industry. The expense incurred by course owners participating on the most committed scale is approximately $10,000 to $15,000 per course per year not to mention the time, effort and cost required to become involved in the political scene.
Thousands of employees work for all of these groups all in the name of making golf a better game and it has all merely evolved. From time to time, there are power struggles, but the bottom line is that nobody is the one power in Canada.
Nobody is the complete key or cornerstone. Removal of one might seriously affect the functionality of another.