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

 

Province Supports Golf Channel Showcase of BC!

Never under estimate the power of beauty shots.  One of the advantages to holding a major golf event such as the 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship PGA Champions tour event at Bear Mountain Resort in British Columbia is the television coverage of the event.

The Golf Channel broadcast three hours of daily coverage of the Championship to 145 Million households worldwide. Bear Mountain Resort was a great venue to showcase to the world what golf in British Columbia represents. While there is a housing component, it was not visible and when each segment faded to commercial a background shot of Victoria from the 14th hole really shows really shows the beauty that screams British Columbia. Microphones can clearly hear players and caddies discussing the scenery.

The return on investment for supporting the event is significant and the Province of British Columbia is to be congratulated for the sound business decision of supporting this event. Sport drives tourism in the province and golf is a driver.

Thank you British Columbia!

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –

“This event is a great opportunity to showcase British Columbia as a world-class sporting event and tourist destination. Events like the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship help drive the economy in B.C. by attracting visitors to the tournament, and inspiring future visitors to B.C. when they view the tournament on the Golf Channel. Tourism is a critical sector in a diverse and growing economy and events like this are part of the reason for the outstanding results we have had in the last several years.”

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development –

“I am thrilled to be able to showcase our world-class amenities through hosting major international sporting events like the Pacific Links Championship. Hosting the PGA TOUR Champions event at Bear Mountain Resort will attract more recognition to our province and bring positive economic benefits to the host region.”

Charles Lorimer, chief operating officer, Pacific Links International –

“Pacific Links is delighted with the support of Destination BC and the Province of B.C. and is grateful for their generous partnership. Together, we look forward to delivering the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship to beautiful British Columbia.”