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 Legislature Golf Awareness Day A Huge Success

3rd Annual BC Legislature Golf Awareness Day

Members of the Allied Golf Association of BC invited members of the legislative assembly and their staff to the the 3rd annual Golf Awareness Day on April 28, 2015.  AGA-BC directors and industry representatives were on hand to showcase three pillars of the golf industry in British Columbia: economic benefits, environmental stewardship and health and wellness; and from all accounts, the information was very well received by everyone in attendance.

Trevor Smith - AGA-BC President. Photo: InsideGolf / Jeff Sutherland

Trevor Smith – AGA-BC President.
Photo: InsideGolf / Jeff Sutherland

“Our lobbying effort is paying dividends and we’re starting to see just how beneficial these relationships can be. Relaying messaging that our industry is a valuable part of the provincial economy, that we are good environmental stewards and that golf is a sport for life worth supporting, has been key to our success.” commented AGA-BC President, Trevor Smith

Throughout the day, the positive impact of the golf industry was shared with MLA’s and their staff. The Honorable Eric Foster (MLA for Vernon-Monashee) provided an introduction and presentation at the Legislature on the contribution of the golf industry to British Columbia early in the day. At the educational luncheon, representatives from the seven members associations including the National Golf Course Owners Association, Canadian Society of Club Managers, BC Golf Superintendents Association ,British Columbia Golf Association, the PGA of BC, Western Canadian Turfgrass Association, and the British Columbia Golf Marketing Alliance were all in attendance to showcase the variety of programs and initiatives underway within the golf industry.

Golf BC’s Andy Hedley spoke to the economic value of golf to the province delivering some very impressive numbers. “Golf is big business in BC, it employs more than 44,000 people and 43% of them are students,” said Hedley. “It contributes more than $2 billion to the BC economy and earns more than ski resorts, fitness centres, and spectator sports including the NHL. It also provides $465 million in taxes to the province.”

How Did We Score Ourselves

The Golf Industry Scorecard was presented to showcase successes (birdies) and opportunities (bogey) where the Province and industry can continue to work together.

AGA-BC- Scorecard-web-April 27, 2015

Educational programs such as the Western Canadian Turfgrass Association’s – First Green (thefirstgreen.org) were on display and well received by those in attendance. The following video produced by Kwantlen College from an event at the Vancouver Golf Club in 2014 was shown and started a number of discussions about how programs like this could be integrated into schools..

Feedback and Social Media Buzz

Photo opportunities were plentiful and many in attendance shared images and fact points about the industry.

Eric Foster & Naomi Yamamoto

Eric Foster & Naomi Yamamoto
Photo: InsideGolf / Jeff Sutherland

 

The Golf Awareness Day reaffirms that the golf industry is a valuable part of the provincial economy, that we are good environmental stewards and that golf is a sport for life worth supporting.