Page 22 - GBC Fall English 2023
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Lee Tamburano
Lee is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Canadian Golf & Country Club in Ottawa. Lee is a retail, e-commerce, marketing and corporate product guru which includes more than 20 years in the retail, management, B2B and B2C sales and marketing. Contact him at or 613-794-1049.
     It has been about a year since the COVID pandemic finally reached a point where restrictions were relaxed, and golf courses were again able to operate with business as usual. Almost every facility saw a huge increase in demand during COVID and many golf courses had full tee sheets, an influx of members and in some cases, long waitlists for prospective new members. It has been an exciting 3 years for the golf industry in Canada as demand - which largely had been stagnate - accelerated suddenly and continued to persevere through the end of 2022.
In speaking with other operators, we were unsure what the 2023 golf season would bring with so many dynamics moving back to pre-COVID norms. This includes factors like a push for “return to work” or hybrid models, as well as the opening of competitive leisure activities that were unavailable or limited during COVID. On the positive side, most facilities experienced continued purchases of prepaid rounds and memberships at the end of 2022, indicating there was significant demand looking ahead to 2023.
Now that we are firmly into the 2023 golf season in Canada, we can better understand the new dynamic and the changing demographic of golfers in Canada. As an industry, we filled our tee sheets, our lesson programs (especially beginner
programs), our junior clinics and our leagues in 2022. So far, demand continues to be strong as those who were interested in the game transition into golfers and continue to move through instructional programs, purchase new equipment and start to play more rounds of golf.
Although the “return to work” push has reduced demand for Monday to Friday golf, it has been offset by the return of corporate tournament rounds stabilizing weekday demand and more than offsetting the drop in recreational golf. Golfers are also taking advantage of rate changes many public facilities are offering during different times of day. Because these golfers have more flexible work schedules, they can play weekday afternoons or early morning and can login to their
virtual office before or after rounds. This changing post-COVID landscape indicates that the golf industry should be stronger going forward than pre-2020, despite the inflationary and affordability concerns related to the Canadian economy.
In addition, and also very exciting for our industry, has been the huge influx of new Canadians over the last year. In fact, according to Statistics Canada in 2022 Canada welcomed 437,180 immigrants and a net total of 607,782 including non-permanent residents. The federal government’s mandate going forward is to welcome an average of 500,000 new Canadians every year for the foreseeable future, that’s a massive number given our population just hit 40 million. Some of these new immigrants may not be familiar
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