You can’t be paying attention to the news or you’re in denial if you think the economy in Alberta isn’t a big concern these days. Being on the Alberta Golf board, I see the province as a whole, not just the golf industry, but golfers, as well.
Until something starts to give and we see some government action in the hot debate over oil pipelines that will open new markets, I don’t see anything changing.
As a result, now more than ever, you’re going to have to be really good at what you do. In the case of golf, I think you have to find a way to reach people in different financial brackets.
People still want something for their kids to go to, some kind of recreation, so people are still going to play golf. We’ve got to find ways that they can do it and that it’s economical, but we still maintain our standards.
If we get panicked and cut, cut, cut, your values proposition goes right out the door, so the first thing is that people will continue with the game. Those who buy a new set of clubs each year now may buy them every couple of years, but they’re still going to buy the necessities they need to play the game.
If people have three recreations, they may go from three to two and instead of sending their kids to camp for two weeks, they may cut that back to one.
Golf needs to stand out among the potential choices. Now more than ever, we need to make it fun for everyone.