AGA-BC: Update From The President 2018

It has been two, very quick years since you last received an update on the activities of the AGA-BC. In that period of time we have experienced a change of Government, increased pressure throughout the Province regarding water usage, increased pressure on small business through increased taxation and minimum wage increases, not to mention the continuing environmental pressures we are faced with in our daily activities. These are to name a few, of the increasing difficulties facing the golf industry.

Having said that, all is not doom and gloom as we have made great strides in dealing with a great number of these issues and have truly set the path forward to finding solutions and opportunity for growth.

Positive Outcomes:

  1. Conducted a Metro Vancouver Water Survey and Golf Industry Townhall in collaboration with the WCTA and BCGSA that helped shape the Metro Vancouver Water Use Plan and will provide a foundation for increased engagement of municipalities throughout the province.
  2. Facilitated changes to the redline liquor licensing boundaries for golf course operations in British Columbia together with the NGCOA
  3. Oversaw the production of an IPM Manual to assist both the government and the Golf Industry in fair and equitable integrated pest management regulations
  4. Continued lobbying of Government to introduce an adult fitness tax credit for British Columbians to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. This is one of the tax initiatives we have put forward every year to the select standing committee on finance.
  5. Continued collaborative lobbying efforts with Bluestone Government Relations towards maintaining our excellent relationships with government.
  6. Assisted with the expansion of the “First Green” program across Canada with the WCTA for the advancement of golf industry public awareness. This program is administered by the GCSAA (Golf Course Superintendents Association and America) and utilizes the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teaching concept to educate school aged children on how golf integrates into the community, from playing it to its environmental impact.
  7. Facilitated annual $250,000 Co-Operative Marketing Partnership Program applications to Destination British Columbia as the legal entity for the British Columbia Golf Marketing Alliance and six sub-provincial / regional organizations to together implement over $1 Million in marketing initiatives toward growing golf tourism in our province.
  8. Presented our AGA-BC objectives and accomplishments to the CSCM Canadian Society of Club Managers – Interior Sector in Kelowna.
  9. Attended the USGA Symposium in Vancouver, bringing all of the golf associations in North America together under one roof to discuss programs implemented and ways of collaboration.
  10. Met together with new Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum to discuss the successful role of the AGA-BC and explore opportunities for collaboration. I cannot underscore enough the role British Columbia Golf has played in fostering relationships between all of the Associations. Under the direction and leadership of Kris Jonasson we have been able to bridge many issues with both financial and administrative assistance.
  11. Revised our operating process to ensure compliance with the new Societies Act
  12. Commenced a strategic planning process facilitated by Shawn Ireland and Chelsea Craig, with a completion goal of the Spring of 2019.
  13. Our Golf Industry Scorecard remains a key communication tool for us and is accessible on our website with print copies also available should you have a need.

Next on the AGA-BC Tee:

  • Golf Awareness Day at the BC Legislature – May 28th
  • Continued strategic planning including a sustainable funding model for ongoing government relations and priority initiatives as well as a communications strategy.

I would also like to take this time to thank an outstanding group of board members who have worked tirelessly as volunteers to keep the golf industry firmly in front of Government. Without their dedication I am sure we would not be able to move forward with many of these initiatives.

I don’t mean to repeat myself but when something makes sense there is no point in trying to recreate it.  “Our hope is that this report will provide insight into the importance of what we are trying to accomplish and convey the need for all associations to participate – mentally, physically and financially. Given the breadth, depth and scope of work we do and that still needs to be done, the need to work together as a group for the betterment of the Golf Industry is both clear and imperative. No one group can do it alone. We look forward to another year of positive collaboration.”

If there are any questions please feel free to call me.

Sincerely,
Trevor Smith
President, AGA-BC
Tel: 250-320-6411
Email: president@aga-bc.org

Golf Canada CEO Meets with BC Golf Industry Leaders

by Jeff Sutherland

Barely into his start, Golf Canada’s new CEO is already making the rounds.

Laurence Applebaum, who spent the last five years as executive vice-president of the Women’s Tennis Association, set an aggressive 21-day schedule to meet with golf industry leaders across Canada… all on their home turf.

His stop in BC was July 19th, hosted by the Point Grey Golf and Country Club and was an opportunity for break out meetings with four separate groups including the directors of the Allied Golf Association (AGA) of BC (a collective of individual provincial golf sector leaders). The meeting was a mix of meet-and-greet, tailgate, and open discussion about specific programs and services offered by Golf Canada. Topics ranged from the number of golf associations across Canada, to detailed talk about green fee pricing at Vancouver municipal golf courses, charitable contributions originating from golf in Canada and the financial state of the industry itself.

In review of AGA-BC’s efforts, tangible success stories were brought up such as the recent increase in matched government golf marketing funding from $50k to $250k, development of a new IPM manual for turf managers with $35k from the Ministry of Environment to help, three successful golf awareness days in Victoria and regulatory advocacy work on the issues of pesticides, water use and liquor laws.

Applebaum was visibly impressed remarking, “This is an awesome initiative, I haven’t met with any other group like this in the other provinces.”

It is clear that growing Golf Canada and driving the game is on Applebaum’s mind, “There are financial opportunities for Golf Canada to pursue such as Olympic sport funding and additional corporate sponsorship… We need to create a profitable, robust business of golf. Marketing and communication is key.”

But it is also clear that Applebaum would like to see the role and perception of Golf Canada change. “Golf Canada has been described as being an inch deep and a mile wide. We need to narrow our focus, change our culture and as a take-away from this meeting, expect ‘upservice’ from Golf Canada in the near future.”

 

Image courtesy AGA-BC

AGA-BC Directors meet with new Golf Canada CEC, Laurence Applebaum, at Point Grey Golf and Country Club. L-R: Jerry Rousseau, Western Canada Turfgrass Association, Donald Miyazaki, PGA of BC, Mike Whalen, Canadian Society of Club Managers, Laurence Applebaum, Golf Canada, Kris Jonasson, BC Golf Association, Joan Probert, National Golf Course Owners Association, Erica Beck, National Golf Course Owner’s Association, Trevor Smith, Allied Golf Association of BC President, Dale Jackson, Golf Canada