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Can Golf Canada break even?

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 5.18.34 PMAt its AGM in Halifax, Golf Canada announced it lost almost $1-milion last year, about $500,000 less than it lost a year previous. I spent about a half hour talking with Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons about the finances of the operation and what it can do to break even given the current situation. Getting there is both easy and difficult. I tried to reconcile that in my column for Global Golf Post this week. I’m actually sympathetic to Golf Canada’s plight — but I’m not sure how it resolves the situation.

Here’s the intro:

Break even. For Scott Simmons, chief executive of Golf Canada, that concept seems both attainable and, at the same time, so far out of his control.

At its annual meeting in Halifax, Golf Canada, which is the national sport organization for golf in the country, announced it lost $915,465 over its 2015 year. The good news is that loss was almost $500,000 less than a year previous. The bad news is the organization ran a deficit of nearly a million dollars, and that’s with a relatively successful RBC Canadian Open and the fact Golf Canada made almost $2.5 million in revenue more than the year previous.

Even the organization’s once heralded investment fund, generated from selling Glen Abbey to ClubLink 17 years ago, is slowly declining, sitting at $23.2-million, down from $25.6-million a year earlier. Expenses were up $2 million as well.

In some ways Golf Canada’s investment fund is like the retirement savings plan of the average Canadian. In the years when the economy isn’t strong—say oil melts down as was the case in 2015—your savings takes a hit. In a year when the Canadian economy struggled, Golf Canada simply didn’t see as high a rate of return as it expected on its investment money. When that happens it has to dip into its nest egg to cover its costs.

The full column is here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Expenses up $2MM. Maybe, its due to idiotic group think that leads to annual meetings to be located in places like Halifax. Airfare, hotels, out-of-town meals for staff that must trek out. I would hazard that a min. 10% of the deficit is related to this meeting and given other unnecessary personal agendas, this would make up a fair % of the overall deficit.

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