As anyone who got out to golf this year likely experienced, golf was a hot commodity when it came to staying busy and getting out into wide-open spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic and tee times became coveted across the country. Data recently released from the National Golf Course Owners Association backs the anecdotal evidence with an 18.9% increase in rounds played in Canada and BC continuing to outpace the nation with a year-to-date increase of 23.2% to the end of October 2020 and continuing to climb as Lower Mainlanders and Vancouver Islanders are still playing golf!
Rounds up Double Digits
Nationally, rounds across Canada were up 61.8% in October for 18.9% year to date. When comparing to the 5-year average, rounds were up 17.8% further reinforcing the success golf experienced during the 2020 season.
While 18.9% annual growth is impressive in and of itself, it is even more impressive when one considers that rounds were down 25.9% at the end of May. With rounds growth from June through October, supported by fantastic weather enabling season extensions, the Canadian Golf Industry recouped the first five-month deficit and catapulted the industry forward 18.9%!
British Columbia golf rounds played increased by 57.4% in October and 23.2% year to date, beating the 5-year average, and leading the country slightly ahead of Alberta and Atlantic Canada.
Golf course revenue follows a similar suit as round growth, showing that golfers are not only golfing more but also spending more (i.e. beverages and snacks). National data shows a revenue increase of 49.9% for the month of October (compared to 2019) and 28.6% year to date, but transactions increased a whopping 87.4% for October as well.
In British Columbia, revenues increased 45.8% in October (over 2019) and 16.6% year to date.
Looking Ahead to 2021
With new golfers to the game, equipment sales up significantly over the past summer, some sport and travel restrictions likely in place for a while, and continued implementation of COVID-19 protection protocols and ensuring golfers are offered an enjoyable experience during their visit, British Columbia golf courses can look forward to another busy season in 2021.
Report data highlights the importance of the golf industry to both the Canadian and Provincial economies; golf contributes 248,878 jobs nationally and 51,183 jobs in British Columbia
British Columbia is the second largest contributor to the national GDP total
Golf industry contributed approximately $3.9B in government tax revenue in 2019 ($1.8B federal and $2.1B provincial); British Columbia’s golf industry contributed $858.0M to government tax revenues (up 259.1% from $331.2M in 2013)
Delta, BC – The recently released Economic Impact of Golf in Canada report released by the National Allied Golf Association (We are Golf) underscores the importance of the Golf Industry in Canada and British Columbia. The headline statistic in the report details that the Canadian golf industry contributed $18.2 billion to national GDP in 2019, which is up 14.5% from the previous report, released in 2014 which was based on data from 2013.
Focusing on the figures for British Columbia, the report identified a contribution of $3.7 billion British Columbia’s GDP, an increase of 82.3% from the 2013 data. The Allied Golf Association of BC (AGA-BC) sees the report as an indication of the golf industry’s strength in B.C. and a reinforcement of the importance of golf to British Columbia’s economy.
“To me, what stands out is that there are numerous indicators pointing to strength across the Canadian and British Columbia golf industries. The NAGA report and the recent data highlighting the increase in rounds played during summer 2020 to yOy national growth of 11.5% and provincial growth of 16.8%, both speak to the work the Canadian golf industry, as a collective, has done to grow the game, create stability and lay the groundwork for continued success,” said Trevor Smith, president of the Allied Golf Association of British Columbia.
Highlights for the Canadian Golf Industry:
$18.2 Billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up 14.5% from $15.9 Billion (2109$) reported in the 2014 report (2013 data)
248,878 direct and indirect jobs with as many as 48% of those identified as students.
$10.6 Billion in Household Income (direct, indirect & induced, up 27.7% from $8.3 Billion in 2013)
$19.3 Billion in Spending from green fees to equipment, including $8.6 Billion in golf-related travel.
$3.9 Billion in Government Tax Revenue ($1.8B federal and $2.1B provincial)
$727 Million industry-wide on capital expenditures.
Highlights for the British Columbia Golf Industry:
$3.7 Billion toward British Columbia’s GDP (up 82.3% from 2.03 Billion in 2013)
52,183 Jobs (up 18.6% from 44,000 in 2013)
$2.3 Billion in Household Income (up 81.1% from 1.27 Billion in 2013)
$858.0 Million in Taxes (331.2 Million in 2013)
2nd largest contributor nationally to Ontario
As the unifying voice of five major golf industry associations in British Columbia, the AGA-BC also looks closely at how the industry coordinates amongst varied associations to achieve positive results. In this vein, Smith also highlighted collaboration as a key contributor to recent successes and as a core pillar of continued growth.
“One highlight in the report that could be missed is that the growth encompassed gains in both primary and supporting categories,” said Smith. “This goes to show that strong Canadian and British Columbian golf industries require all partners to be invested, involved, and collaborative. We all play a role in the success of golf – the more we can work together, the more we will be able to support the growth of the game, the economy of British Columbia, and the economic outlook for Canada, as a whole.”
Links to the full report and more information about the economic impacts of the golf industry in British Columbia can be found on the AGA of BC’s Website:
ABOUT THE ALLIED GOLF ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
The Allied Golf Association of British Columbia (AGA-BC) is a member of the National Allied Golf Association and unifies five provincial golf industry sector organizations (British Columbia Golf, British Columbia Golf Marketing Alliance, British Columbia Golf Superintendents Association, Canadian Society of Club Managers – BC, Western Canada Turf Grass Association) to provide one cohesive voice for the golf industry of British Columbia.