After more than two decades operating Ottawa-based GAL (Golf-Around League), owner Marie Seabrook-Fleming is handing off her business and putting it in the control of another.
November 1st marks a transition of the operation she founded in 1996 as a women’s-only golf league and network, into the ownership of Rob Knights, a familiar face in the National Capital golf scene.
With so much time invested, Seabrook-Fleming has developed the league and its related events greatly over the years and she feels confident that will continue in the hands of Knights, a former golf professional who is currently the Vice-President of Operations for TMSI Sports Management. TMSI is a multi-facility operator in the region. He will continue to work with them.
“Over the last couple of decades, I have enjoyed meeting, playing and working with these incredible women to bring GAL to where it is now,” said Seabrook-Fleming in a media release. “It’s more than just a business, it’s a family to me and I feel it’s being passed on to someone with the experience, knowledge and passion to continue to improve and add value to the GAL leagues for years to come.”
That value looks like it will be a focus for Knights, according to the intentions he laid out on Wednesday.
“I believe Marie was an industry leader when she launched her first leagues in 1996 offering a one evening or morning per week membership. Working with the GAL captains and members I want to create new and exciting opportunities for GAL,” Knights said. “I’ll be disclosing more in the coming months but I plan to add value for GAL members through some new partnerships both inside and outside the golf industry, including lifestyle brands and by developing some new types of leagues. In the future, I want to bring GAL to other cities.”
While Knights promises that more details are forthcoming, one variation of a new opportunity would be a league designed for mothers and children; one that introduces golf as a family activity. Knights indicates these leagues would include instruction and etiquette components.
“I believe the golf industry can do more to encourage and provide the opportunity for children and families to become involved in this great game,” Knights explained. “For golf to survive and grow, we need to get younger people playing golf. One way to do that is to engage women to bring out their children to experience golf in the GAL way – fun, non-competitive and always offering an opportunity to meet others.”