I suspect it isn’t altogether surprising that changes in the industry occur during a year when many in the golf business are struggling. The most recent job announcements hit Angus Glen GC, which saw long-time president Kevin Thistle depart for Coppinwood earlier this year, and Nigel Hollidge from Bond Head move over to help run the two-time Canadian Open host club. Now it turns out that JC Cunningham, long operations director at the club who was often referred to as GM, has departed, resigning last week for parts unknown. Cunningham was at the club for more than a decade and made up part of a team that dominated corporate golf in the Greater Toronto Area for many years. Increased competition surely made that more difficult recently, and Hollidge’s appointment suggested Cunningham’s tenure was likely near an end.
The other industry news is that Mark Dottori, former Toronto Raptors PR guy who took over Callaway Canada’s PR in recent years, has found himself without a job. Callaway quietly phased Dottori out amid difficult market conditions. Dottori helped raise the profile of Callaway among Canadian media after a couple of years of struggles for the company in Canada. Interestingly, only one of the Canadian equipment companies — Nike — has a PR guy pushing their products, and in that instance it is an outside contractor. TaylorMade uses marketing wiz Richard Sullivan for their media, while Titleist also does everything within their marketing department. Maybe it is an indication that the Canadian golf writing business isn’t what it once was….