The Canadian golf industry generated $18.2 billion in economic benefits across the country 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 $10.6 billion in household income.
The industry also contributed $4.5 billion in government tax revenue ($1.8 billion federal and $2.1 billion provincial).
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 studies (2014, 2009) of the economic impact of the golf industry in Canada.
The $18.2B economic impact of golf represents a 14 per cen increase 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,” he said.
The study presents economic insights for each of the 10 provinces and three territories. 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., which also conducted the 2014 and 2009 Canadian Golf Economic Impact Studies (based on 2013 and 2008 data respectively).
“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,” he said.
The golf industry directly contributed $4.8 billion in household income, rising to $10.6B when considering the combined direct, indirect, and induced impacts. Conservatively, course operators invested $727 million industry-wide on capital expenditures.
The 2014 figures are adjusted by the consumer price index and reported as current dollars.
The golf industry is a significant job provider for youth with 48 per cent of its workforce identified as students.
Canadians, along with international visitors, contributed to $8.6 billion in golf-related travel nationwide. Canadians made approximately 4.8 million trips involving golf, including 3 million in their home provinces and 1.8 millions outside their home provinces and abroad.
Golfers in Canada spent approximately $19.3 billion on items such as green fees, memberships, lessons, equipment, travel, hospitality, events and other golf-related expenditures.
A total of 2,283 facilities were estimated to be operating in 2019, including 2,043 courses (18-hole equivalent). Course operators collectively spent approximately $3.8 billion in course expenditures.
Golf course operations manage between 155,000 and 175,000 hectares, including 30,000 to 35,000 hectares of wildlife and wetland area.
The golf industry generated an estimated $330 million in charitable impact through more than 51,000 tournaments and events. 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,” he added.
An executive summary is available here.