Continuing GNN’s discussion with Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons, he chats extensively with Hutch about a wide variety of topics including a look back on 2014, the upcoming Pan Am Games, a new membership model and exploring options about where to play the RBC Canadian Open in 2016 and beyond.
You can listen to that interview below. Please allow for about 10 seconds on each segment as the sound cues up.
In segment 1, Simmons looks back at some of the performances turned in by Canadian golfers in 2014 and discusses the possibility of golf receiving designation as a business deduction for tax purposes.
“What you’re seeing last year isn’t an anomaly. This is going to be what it’s going to look like for our nation for years to come.”
In segment 2, Simmons discusses a new membership model that will be rolled out by Golf Canada this year.
“Our membership base is relatively stable from a club perspective. From an individual perspective, it’s been declining two to three per cent a year for the last five or six years. It’s in synch with the economic downturn. I don’t see that as something that’s disastrous.”
“Having said that, you can’t just sit on your laurels and hope that it’s going to turn around on its own.”
In segment 3, Simmons says that the gold medal winners for men and women at the Pan Am Games in Toronto will receive exemptions into the RBC Canadian Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, respectively. Other competitors will be invited to Monday qualify. He also points out that Golf Canada is taking a hard look at where the Canadian Open will be played in the future. He also says he’d like to make an announcement on the location of next year’s Open will be played and while most believe that it will be played at Coppinwood in Uxbridge, Ont., there are still issues to be worked out.
“We’re looking at all possible options to try to figure out what the best, optimum formula for our national Open going forward.”