A collective of Canadian golf associations have released their latest document to show their importance to the country, from an economic perspective. The National Allied Golf Associations, who use the consumer-facing “We Are Golf” brand, supported an economic analysis on the sport by Group ATN Consulting Inc., based on 2019 data.
Their overarching conclusion was that Canadian golf industry generates some $18.2 billion in economic benefits.
“The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) further reinforces the enormous financial, employment, charitable, tourism and positive environmental impact that the sport and the business of golf are affecting across Canada,” said Laurence Applebaum, Chair of We Are Golf and CEO of Golf Canada. “This third iteration of the study provides the golf industry with a powerful snapshot of the scale and magnitude that our sport has on the Canadian economy and within the communities where we live, work and play.”
According to The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019), the Canadian golf industry employs the equivalent of nearly 249,000 people through direct and spin-off effects and contributed to $10.6B in household income. The industry also contributed $4.5B in government tax revenue ($1.8B federal and $2.1B provincial) used to support a variety of programs for all Canadians.
The study presents economic insights for each of the 10 provinces and three territories from coast to coast. Also captured in the report are comparisons to international economic insights from select countries and regions including the United States, European Union, and Australia.
The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) was conducted on behalf of We Are Golf by Group ATN Consulting Inc., a world leader in economic development and analysis for communities, regions, and industries. Group ATN previously conducted the 2014 and 2009 Canadian Golf Economic Impact Studies (based on 2013 and 2008 data respectively) which have allowed the Canadian golf industry to benchmark the game’s economic impact over five-year periods.
“Every industry has its own unique circumstances to allow for, and the ability to repeat the same application of our model for Canadian golf is a significant advantage,” said Tom McGuire, Principal with Group ATN Consulting. “Beyond consistency, we have also been able to further improve certain aspects based upon learnings from the prior studies we did for the National Allied Golf Associations (We Are Golf).”
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF GOLF IN CANADA (2019):
The game of golf accounts for an estimated $18.2B of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is up 14% from the $15.9B reported in 2014*. Included within the 2019 economic impact:
The new study follows up on similar reports completed in 2009, and 2014.
- The golf industry directly employed nearly 150,000 full-time, full-year equivalent positions, representing many more individuals who are employed in the sector. This number grows to approximately 249,000 when accounting for direct, indirect, and induced employment.
- The golf industry directly contributed $4.8B in household income, rising to $10.6B when considering the combined direct, indirect, and induced impacts.
- The golf industry generated $4.5B in government tax revenue; including $1.8B in federal tax revenue and $2.1B in provincial tax revenue.
- Conservatively, course operators invested $727M industry-wide on capital expenditures.
*Note that 2014 figures are adjusted by the consumer price index and reported as current dollars.
Additional Insights from The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019):
- Employment – The golf industry is a significant job provider for youth with 48% of its workforce identified as students.
- Travel – Canadians along with international visitors contributed to $8.6B in golf-related travel nationwide. Canadians made approximately 4.8M trips involving golf, including 3.0M in their home province and 1.8M outside their home province and abroad.
- Golfer Spending – golfers in Canada spent approximately $19.3B on items such as green fees, memberships, lessons, equipment, travel, hospitality, events, and other golf-related expenditures.
- Canadian Course Operators – a total of 2,283 facilities were estimated to be operating in 2019, accounting for 2,043 courses (18-hole equivalent); course operators collectively spent approximately $3.8B in course expenditures.
- Land management – Golf course operations manage between 155,000 and 175,000 hectares, including 30,000 to 35,000 hectares of wildlife and wetland area.
- Charitable Impact – The golf industry generated an estimated $330M in charitable impact through more than 51,000 tournaments and events.
- Golf Participation – Canadian golfers played an estimated 57.0M rounds in 2019.
Although released in 2020, The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) does not factor in the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Canadian golf industry.
“Establishing a baseline for the economic impact of our sport measured against pre-2020 Covid-19 spending is an important benchmark consideration for the integrity and continuity of the study,” added Applebaum. “Based on what we learned through the 2020 season, the safety of golf through this pandemic and the potential for a lift in participation and spending on the game, we are optimistic in looking ahead.”
An executive summary along with a complete report outlining the results of The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) is available by clicking here or by visiting any of the We Are Golf partner websites.