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Around the course: Questioned poll; Curtis wins; and others

Score editor Bob Weeks has raised some significant concerns about an RCGA/Ipsos Reid poll on the amount of participation in the game of golf in Canada. Weeks appears stunned by the results which indicate the game is growing.

If the news out of Golf House yesterday is to be believed, the number of golfers in this country has grown by more than one million people since 2001. That’s an unbelievable number – and I mean that in the truest sense of the word.

I really have a hard time believing it and a number of other findings released in the study done by Ipsos Reid.

Weeks, and others, like many quoted in this story by the Globe’s Michael Grange, turn to course owners and associations to note that many see rounds falling or flat. I wonder if some way of explanation is that new courses have continued to come on at a signficant rate since the last poll was done by the RCGA several years ago. In Toronto, the likes of Copper Creek, Eagles Nest, Angus Glen North, Watsons Glen, Mystic GC, Whistle Bear, Rebel Creek and Bond Head have all been added to the mix since the last poll was done.

I’d be intrigued at seeing the volume of new courses that have come on in the past five years and compare it to the 1 million new golfers that have been added. In the Toronto market, if you are a bigwig at some Bay Street corporation, it isn’t inconceivable to think you might get invited to a half dozen tournaments at places like Angus Glen each year. And that might be some of the golfers Ipsos Reid was picking up in its poll. Still, I agree that the number seems high, especially since Weeks rightfully pointed out that RCGA Executive Director, Stephen D. Ross, said golf was flat in a story in the magazine earlier this year.

  • It looks like former British Open winner Ben Curtis isn’t going to be a complete flop after all. He was leading by eight shots yesterday in the Booz Allen Classic, before a storm shut everything down.

    “Hopefully, for me, it’s a step in the right direction,” Curtis said, “where I can dote on it and get a few more wins.”

    Curtis has led after every round, carding 62, 65 and 67 on the TPC at Avenel. His worst shot Sunday was his last, when he hit his 4-iron approach at No. 12 in a creek, putting him in position for what appears will be only his second bogey of the tournament.

  • This week: I’m off to see Black Bear Ridge, Timber Ridge and Coppinwood. Expect to see reviews of all three in coming weeks.

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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

  • I also find this story to be a load of crap. I talk with course owners all the time who are looking for new ways to attract golfers to their courses.
    The RCGA seems to be trying to hide the problem rather than tackling it head on. Like they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

  • Have fun at Timber!
    I thought it was a really nice track. Very isolated, lots of trees. A number of interesting holes.
    Only questionable hole in my mind, was the par 3, 3rd, with the pond on the right. When we played last year they had it marked at 190 yards or so, but it was playing a good 25 yards shorter. When we questioned the starter he said they dont measure the distance to the flag, but along the fairway. It was a par 3 though!!

    Anyways, aside from that, it has a decent practice range and nice clubhouse.

    For the money, I thought it was well worth the drive!

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