The Golf Association of Ontario will now be known as Golf Ontario.
The rebranding was announced in conjunction with the launch of the association’s new five-year strategic plan that has been worked on since 2014.
The new Strategic Plan is a reinvention of the current state of the association, designed to reconnect with golfers and industry partners with a new vision, mission and set of values.
Golf Ontario’s stated missions include breaking down walls of bureaucracy and introducing a more welcome community for all golfers and the golf industry as a whole.
“Golf is a game for life enjoyed by tens of thousands of Ontarians. Golf Ontario will be the driving force to introduce more people to golf, while enhancing the experience of those who have already discovered this great game,” said Golf Ontario president Christian Osborne.
“In conjunction with Golf Canada, all partners and stakeholders, Golf Ontario will invest, support and grow golf through community-based grassroots strategies,” added Osborne.
“Golf can be for everyone regardless of age, race, ability or means. I am excited for the future and especially the leading role Golf Ontario will play,” added Osborne.
The Strategic Planning process involved reaching out to stakeholder groups within the industry to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the association and how the association could improve in the future.
“We strive to align with all golf stakeholders through a connected golf community which will drive more people to play more golf, more often and most importantly, while starting at a younger age,” said Golf Ontario executive director Mike Kelly.
“All strategic pillars point to Golf Ontario becoming refocused on leading and supporting our industry partners to the benefit of golfers across the province,” he said.
The revised, refined and refocused vision and mission, along with the newly developed strategies and tactics, position the Golf Ontario brand in its leadership role for golf across Ontario.
Five strategies were announced as follows:
Transform the relationship with golfers in Ontario.
Build communities of golf across Ontario.
Provide leading high performance junior player development programs.
Support the development of golf with a diversified revenue generation strategy.
Transform the organization to deliver on the new plan and meet its mission.
These strategies will be supported by a new governance structure which will see certain traditional operational committees evolve into Golf Advisory Teams (GAT).
The GATs will be led by senior staff and made up of industry representatives and content experts in specific areas.
Along with the strategic plan and brand, comes a new visual identity for the association.
“The new Golf Ontario logo is clean and crisp. It maintains certain elements that establish professionalism that one would expect from a provincial sport organization, and it clearly brings together golf and Ontario, so that all who come into contact with it know exactly what it represents,” said Kyle McFarlane, director of marketing and communications for Golf Ontario.
“We feel it’s also very approachable and the removal of the words `Association of’ will help remove any stigma that Golf Ontario is only for private clubs and their members. As part of our goal to create a more welcoming golf community we are making it easier for golfers to relate to our brand,” he said.