‘We Are Golf’ releases Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019)

2019 We Are Golf - Economic Impact Study
2019 We Are Golf

The Canadian golf industry generated $18.2B in economic benefits across our nation in 2019, according to a recent economic analysis conducted by Group ATN Consulting Inc. on behalf of the National Allied Golf Associations (We Are Golf).

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.

Based on nationwide surveys completed by golfers and golf course operators in 10 provinces and three territories along with multiple industry data sources, The Economic Impact of Golf in Canada (2019) is a follow up to previous comprehensive and independent assessment studies (2014, 2009) of the economic impact of the golf industry in Canada. The $18.2B economic impact of golf represents a 14% increase in contribution to Canada’s GDP between 2013 and 2019.

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.”

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).”


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:

*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)

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.


NGCOA Canada releases golf data from 2020 rounds played

Canadian Men's Mid AM Golf

OTTAWA – The National Golf Course Owners Association Canada’s monthly Research Reports, presented by Club Car, continue to show impressive increases in both rounds played and revenue for the 2020 golf season.

NGCOA Canada Rounds Played Reports for the month of July showed an increase of 25.5% nationally year-over-year. All provinces were up by double digits with Saskatchewan leading the charge with an impressive increase of 40.1% followed with BC at 38.9%, 24.6% in Ontario, 22.9% in Alberta, 21.7% in Atlantic, 19% in Quebec and 17.2% in Manitoba.

What is even more impressive is the 2020 year-to-date increase of 9.3% nationally, considering the late start to this season in many regions due to COVID-19. At the end of May, the national Rounds Played results were down 25.9%. But the portion of May that courses were able to open was very strong and that continued through the first full month for all courses in June, and throughout the summer.

“Back in April, the uncertainty from COVID-19 and government mandated closures meant that the entire golf season was at serious risk”, stated Jeff Calderwood, CEO of the NGCOA Canada. “And now we’re tracking for record setting 2020 results!”

July rounds played also outpaced the past 5-year average by an impressive 25.6% which further reinforces the success golf is experiencing.

In addition to the golf benefitting as one of the safest activities during COVID-19 restrictions, NGCOA Canada’s Weather Impact Report shows that weather has also contributed to the success. Tracked regionally, the collective weather impact reported by all golf course operators scored an 8.1 index on a 0-10 scale where 5 is “normal”. The Reports show that Atlantic, Quebec and Ontario benefitted the most from favorable weather conditions.

Nationally, golf courses are also experiencing corresponding increases in revenues. Of particular note, credit card transaction revenues increased by 73.2% over July 2019, with Quebec and Ontario seeing the highest increases! The increase in online and contactless payments coupled with the renewed popularity in golf appear to be the main contributing factors.

That tremendous growth in July credit card transactions brings the 2020 year-to-date increase to almost 20%, more than offsetting the large decreases seen in March and April. All regions had significant growth with the exception of Atlantic Canada where it appears member and local play is driving the increase in rounds while the lucrative golf tourism market has been seriously curtailed by restrictions on both inter-provincial and International travel.

Calderwood goes on to note that “We had been hearing how busy golf courses have been and we saw positive data coming out of the June, the first full month this year. But our July Rounds and Revenue Reports confirm that the anecdotal comments and early positive data have indeed translated into a very sustained positive 2020 trend for Canadian golf. This may be a record-setting year despite the challenges associated with COVID-19”.

Inside Golf Manitoba NAGA

Statement from ‘We Are Golf’ about COVID-19

We Are Golf

We Are Golf (The National Allied Golf Associations/NAGA) are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our members, golfers, staff, volunteers and industry stakeholders as well as every Canadian in the communities where we live, work and play.

The COVID-19 crisis is an unprecedented and difficult time for Canadians. We Are Golf fully supports the recommendations and guidelines of Health Canada, the World Health Organization and regional public health experts to stop the community spread of the virus. As leaders in an industry that employs more than 300,000 Canadians and includes nearly six million golfers from coast to coast, our priority above all else is the health and safety of our people and our communities.

Where governments have not mandated the temporary closure of golf courses, operators of those facilities should take every health and safety precaution. We Are Golf also advocates for the essential need for golf course property maintenance during any of the temporary closures to be ready for operation while taking every health and safety precaution.

We look forward to better and healthier days and when the time is right for Canadians to return to recreational normalcy, clubs and courses will be ready to welcome golfers back to the tee.