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Opening Drive Fall 2021: A Season To Remember

Just when I think no golf season could be topped for the unexpected, the calendar flips once again.

As the outdoor golf season winds down in the greater portion of Canada, it’s hard to imagine that at one time we wondered if it would even get started. The uproar in May over closed fairways was immediately replaced with ones swamped with golfers, regulars and rookies alike. The result was another year like 2020, where demand on tee times was intense, course staff was stretched to their limits, and golf equipment manufacturers struggled to keep up.

One begins to wonder what that will mean after the snow ahead finally melts. Well, it’s getting difficult to predict, as we don’t know what the health situation will bring, but there are some expectations based on speaking with those in the industry.

Like many things, expect the cost to golf to rise. To note though, it is not because of “greed” as many will assume now that courses are close to capacity. The cost of many good is rising and we will see that reflected at the consumer level. One course mentioned to me that their fuel costs this past season were more than 30% higher than the year prior. A golf equipment distributor also mentions that his quotes for shipping costs headed into 2022 are 4-5 times what they have been in the past.

All these examples present challenges, but as we know, its not the first bumps in the road in the many centuries that golf has been played.

As I learned long ago, the only thing that you can expect is the unexpected.

We’ve been very fortunate to be able to enjoy golf this past year, and I think it won’t take a lot of prompting for people to remind themselves of such as they look at the struggles going on in some industries.

A healthy interest in the game puts us in a very good position, but, like anything, that must be seized upon while the opportunity is here. All indications are that the game will continue to push forward.

Speaking of which, people who love golf are known for exactly that when it comes to their own golf games. Many pros will tell you that they have been struggling to keep up with the demand for golf instruction, hampered of course, but the need to keep an eye on the rest of their business.

The lockdowns and extra people playing the game has created a brisk business in indoor golf skill development. Now that vaccinations levels have increased and indoor protocols are getting sorted, this will result in busier commercial centres, but more than ever, you’ll see people training at home.

As a result, we decided that this issue would be a good time to look at this trend. Our feature in our fall issue showcases some products you can use to enhance your training this off-season, helping you get ready for next season.

Whatever that may bring…

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