Columnist image

TSN Senior Reporter

| Archive

Even before this summer’s boom in golf activity due to the pandemic, Canada’s golf industry was humming along at a healthy clip according to a new study done for the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA).

The report, released on Monday, showed that golf in Canada contributed $18.2 billion in economic activity in 2019, a 14 per cent increase from 2014, when the last study was completed.

The numbers show that even though the game is played at more than 2,800 individual facilities from coast to coast, the combined activity of all players in the sport makes it a huge industry in this country.

NAGA is an advocacy group made up of the leading associations in golf including Golf Canada, the PGA of Canada, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association and the Canadian Society of Club Managers.

Working under the consumer-friendly name of We Are Golf, the group previously commissioned economic impact studies in 2009 and 2014.

The latest report showed a number of other impressive numbers:

- The golf industry has 150,000 full-time employees, which grows to 249,000 when seasonal workers are added. Many of those part-timers are students who look for money to pay for education.

- Canadians took 4.8 million golf trips that added $8.6 billion to the economy.

- There was a hefty $330 million in philanthropic money raised through more than 51,000 charity golf events.

- Government coffers were also winners, with the golf industry generating $4.5 billion in government tax revenue; including $1.8 billion in federal tax revenue and $2.1 billion in provincial tax revenue.

- Golfers in Canada spent approximately $19.3 billion on items such as green fees, memberships, lessons, equipment, travel, hospitality, events, and other golf-related expenditures.

- Memberships and green fees totalled $5 billion

- Golfers spent $108.9 million on lessons and coaching and $2.7 billion on golf equipment and supplies.

“The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) further reinforces the enormous financial, employment, charitable, tourism and positive environmental impact that the sport and the business of golf are affecting across Canada,” Laurence Applebaum, chair of We Are Golf and CEO of Golf Canada, stated in a release.

“This third iteration of the study provides the golf industry with a powerful snapshot of the scale and magnitude that our sport has on the Canadian economy and within the communities where we live, work and play.”

The report, which was compiled by Group ATN Consulting Inc., indicated that in 2019, there were 57 million rounds played in Canada. It’s expected that number has increased significantly in 2020 with golf being one of the activities deemed safe to play in the pandemic.