Golf’s Stakeholders Unite
On Wednesday March 28th Tara and I along with 79 other key stakeholders in the golf business in British Columbia attended the Allied Golf Association of BC’s (AGA BC) first ever symposium at Richmond Country Club. Participants were from a variety of regions and all the golf associations in BC making it a very diverse group. The purpose was to bring everyone together to discuss the current state of the golf industry and begin discussing the process of how all the various associations can work together to grow the game of golf and hopefully improve the financial picture for those who work in the game.
Who Is the AGA BC?
The AGA BC is made up of regional British Columbia golf associations. It includes the Western Canada Turfgrass Association (WCTA), British Columbia Golf (BCG), Canadian Society of Club Managers BC (CSCM), National Golf Course Owners Association BC (NGCOA), PGA of BC (PGABC), BC Golf Superintendents Association (BCGSA), Industry Suppliers and DMO’s. The DMO seat on this board currently sits empty while the group tries to fill the position.
The day began with an introduction and overview of the various associations along with a brief mention of a possible funding model. You can view the slides for Golf Symposium – Final Mar 2012 here. Next up was a state of the golf industry or more appropriately, where have all the golfers gone? Be aware if you work in the golf industry, these numbers are not good and perhaps even a bit of ‘doom and gloom’ but that is why this group was assembled, to look at where we are and to discuss how we can get the game to better place. You can view the State of the Golf Industry slides here. Following those presentations Drew Mitchell of the BC Sport Agency gave a good presentation on how kids and sports have changed in the past decade and offered some was to engage kids. View the Drew_Mitchell slides here. After lunch there were two small round table break out sessions.
The question about how to improve the game of golf is deep and certainly not one that was going to be solved in this first meeting. We think it was encouraging to see all the various associations get together in an open and transparent way for the first time ever (we think). For our taste there was a little to much history and where we are today (we think everyone knows the game is in trouble) and not enough focus on what we do now (to right the ship). There was a bit of discussion on mid and long range solutions, however golf needs immediate changes or a lot of courses will be out of business and people unemployed if the short term isn’t acted upon quickly.
Overall it was an encouraging day and if you have read this blog to the end we will assume you are in the golf business. Please do two things, one leave a comment on your thoughts and two, attend the next AGA BC symposium. You have a vested interest in improving the game! You can also read our other industry blogs here.
I think it was a good start, but lots of work to do. Maybe similar types of courses with similar market demographics should work together to discuss their best practices. Group was almost too diverse.