AGA-BC: Update From The President

It has been a pleasure to collaborate with a such a dedicated team of golf industry professionals on our AGA-BC Board toward considerable success these past two years, toward providing leadership, collaborative advocacy and a cooperative resource for the British Columbia Golf industry.

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.

Firstly, I believe we can all agree that the entire golf industry needs to be recognized by government as a key financial contributor to the economy of British Columbia. That was the belief in the beginning and the reality of where we are today: the government of British Columbia now recognizes the Golf Industry as a key contributor to the healthy economy of the Province and has been more than willing to involve us in a partnership on a number of different key financial, environmental and marketing fronts.

These opportunities have come to fruition through the lobbying efforts of Bluestone Government Relations and a very active volunteer board. I would like to key in on the active volunteer board, as there is no way we could have accomplished what we have without a paid lobbyist and a number of very dedicated board members contributing their time and expertise to what we deem important. Without their support, the weight put on the volunteers through this process would have overwhelmed them and not allowed for the insight and the government connections a paid lobbyist could supply.

Keeping this in mind, herewith a list of the positive outcomes the AGA-BC has accomplished:

  • With the initial direction of the NGCOA and its financial assistance, we took part in the original lobbying effort to overturn the golf cart licensing issue in BC.
  • We undertook the organization of three successful lobbying efforts with the Government and its MLA’s in Victoria.
  • We undertook a seminar for the golf industry to further move the collaborative efforts of the AGA-BC forward and to develop a mandate.
  • We developed a website including a news feed, minutes, events and the direction the association is heading.
  • We developed a Golf Industry Score Card that illustrates the mandate of the AGA-BC as an industry communication tool.
  • We developed a committee to work with the MOE on the environmental issues facing golf now and in the future.
  • We collectively worked with the Ministry of Environment on new regulations that would help both Industry and Government develop sound policy on both pesticides and water usage.
  • We received government grants of $35,000.00 to be put towards the creation of an IPM handbook to assist both the government and the Golf Industry in fair and equitable regulations.
  • We are presently engaged with the Metro Vancouver Water Authority and their consultants on developing equitable water use regulations for the 67 golf courses in Greater Vancouver.
  • We are working with ICBC on the creation of Vanity license plates for the Golf Industry – which will provide a potential funding source for both sport development and marketing.
  • We have expanded to include the BCGMA within the AGA-BC, toward viewing the Golf Industry as one unified entity.
  • Efforts of the BCGMA and the AGA-BC have resulted in an increase from $50K to $250K in co-operative advertising funding through Destination BC  for marketing BC’s golf courses. This may just be the beginning.
  • We syndicated the “First Green” program developed in Washington in conjunction with the WCTA for the advancement of golf industry public awareness. This program has been adopted by the USGA and utilizes the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teaching concept. This program has been very well supported, by both the Ministry of Environment and the Minister of Education. A very successful event was held at the Redwoods Golf Course with the Minister of Environment and a number of District school superintendents in attendance. It would appears that future events will be well accepted by the school system.

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

BC Golf Professionals In Full Preparations For Another Season Ahead

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By Donald Miyazaki, Executive Director, PGA of British Columbia

Throughout British Columbia, 2015 proved to be one of the driest, busiest, and most successful golf seasons in recent years.

The buzz around golf remained high throughout the year, in part to notable events in the area such as the CP Women’s Open at The Vancouver Golf Club and the proximity of the US Open at Chambers Bay. As well, record-shattering dry weather kept interest levels high which added to a lively season for PGA of BC Golf Professional.

These 650 highly skilled men and women who make up Club Professionals at over 200 facilities throughout the province are once again preparing for an exciting season ahead. Many golf facilities are already opened or are planning to open ahead of schedule and courses have been reporting some of the best spring conditions in recent years.

Individual responsibilities of PGA of BC Golf Professional may differ in a variety of different forms. Instructors, Managers, Retailers, Players, and junior golf promoters are just some attributes, but all share the same common goal of advancing the game in our province.

The 2016 campaign kicked off with an announcement of the PGA of BC Top 100, which highlighted some of the Province’s most dedicated Golf Professionals who have continued to further their involvement and education through a wide range of professional development platforms.

As a cornerstone of the Association’s grows the game portfolio, the PGA of BC is once again proud to continue the successful and popular Canucks Junior Golf Week thanks to a continued partnership with the Vancouver Canucks. This year’s program will take place July 4-11 where an anticipated 40 facilities throughout BC that will host elementary camps for new and beginner golfers. Throughout the first two years of the program, over 1,100 kids have taken advantage of the program and we are excited to see this number continue to rise.

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If you are interested in seeing some of the world’s best golfers, June will boost some great calibre professional golf events hosted throughout BC and the Pacific Northwest. The Mackenzie Tour (PGA TOUR Canada) has recently announced a new event, the GolfBC Championship hosted at Gallagher’s Canyon G&CC, June 6-12. During that same week, the LPGA Tour will see its first Major in Pacific Northwest, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club just East of Seattle. And finally, The PGA of Canada will host our National Championship, the PGA Championship of Canada featuring 64 of the Top Golf Professionals in the country competing in a unique Match Play setting at the prestigious Victoria Golf Club from June 12-16.

While providing strong leadership in the community through charity events and volunteerism, dedicated PGA Golf Professional will once again come together and join forces with the ALS Society of BC in the annual Golfathon for ALS. Throughout the twelve years of partnership, Golf Professionals and their supporters have lent their muscles to whose living with ALS, raising over $1.2 Million in the process to benefit patience services at the ALS Society of BC.

Regardless of the reasons to see a golf professional, they are highly regarded as experts in all aspects of the game. For this, PGA of BC members are often referred to as the most trusted source in golf. We hope you find time to introduce yourself to one of our members at some point throughout the upcoming golf season. To find a PGA of BC Golf Professional nearest you, please visit the Find a Pro feature located on our website, www.pgabc.org.