My latest Sympatico golf column is now online. This one discusses the NAGA study that came out earlier this week.
Here’s a taste:
Golf is big business in Canada — $13.6 billion according to a study of the game and its economic forces that was released this week. With that in mind, will golf finally garner the respect and attention it deserves?
That’s the question that should be top of mind after the National Allied Golf Association, a collective of seven golf-related groups from club managers to equipment makers, put out their first survey of the economic impact of the game on Canada on Tuesday.
The numbers are remarkable. Golf creates $11.3-billion in gross domestic product, $13.6-billion in overall economic activity, along with 341,794 jobs. Sip-and-slice golf tournaments and other events accounted for $439-million in charitable dollars. Approximately $1.9 billion in income taxes are generated from the game. These are numbers of consequence.
The study, conducted by Strategic Networks Group in Ottawa, polled 4,000 golfers and 350 courses. The survey is considered accurate to within plus or minus1.55% 19 times out of 20 in relation to the golfers polled, and 4.76% within the courses. Unlike previous studies of the game in Canada, this one had broad industry support and many are treating it as a first in the country.
Canadians clearly love their golf. Even with a decline of 10% in rounds in 2008, there were still an estimated 70-million golf rounds played last year, and Canadians took an estimated 1-million golf trips all the while spending $1.9-billion on travel within our country. Apparently golf isn’t just a great game “ it’s great for the economy.