Golf for Life
Regardless of where a golfer sits on the player development trajectory, golf is the ultimate sport of a lifetime. Whether you win or lose, play your first round or sink a final putt to win a championship, remember that golf is a sport to have fun and enjoy.
Golf For Life embodies golf as a sport that general enthusiasts, active players and competitive athletes can enjoy over the course of a lifetime.
At any point along the player development trajectory, all participants—from beginners learning the game for the first time to high performance athletes going for gold—can enjoy the health, social and recreational benefits inherent in the game.
Within the LTPD Trajectory path outlined early on in the guide, any golfer can step outside of any of the seven respective stages of player development and enjoy golf for what it is—a healthy, safe sport that brings friends and families together in communities across Canada.
What is Golf For Life All About?
Golf is among the world’s oldest and most enjoyed sporting activities. Enthusiasts of the sport range from toddlers to seniors including millions of participants of varying interest and skill sets. Every golfer, regardless of age, aptitude or competitive skill represents Golf For Life.
- Children and new enthusiasts
- Recreational golfers
- Club members
- Competitive players
- Charity golf event participants
- Driving range, practice facility or mini-putt patrons
- Families and friends of all ages
Golf in Canada—A Snapshot:
GOLFERS BY THE NUMBERS
|Avid (25 + rounds per year)||684,000||12%|
|Frequent (9 to 24 rounds per year)||798,000||14%|
|Occasional (3 to 8 rounds per year)||2,052,000||36%|
|Infrequent (1 to 2 rounds per year)||2,166,000||38%|
|Total Golfer Population||5,700,000|
|Club members vs. public golfers:|
GOLF FOR LIFE CHECKLIST:
- Have fun.
- Introduce a new golfer to the game—they will thank you for it.
- Take some lessons—every golfer could use the help of a trained PGA of Canada professional
- Play in a charity golf event—you will be glad you did.
- Learn to golf as a family.
- Embrace 9-hole rounds—sometimes life is too busy for a full 18.
- Practice makes perfect—hone your skills on the driving range or the putting green.
- Try new games or scoring formats like match play or stableford scoring.
- Tee it Forward—don’t make the game more challenging than it needs to be.
- Get fitted for proper equipment that meets your physical makeup and abilities.
- Relax, it’s just a game—enjoy it.
The Game for All Ages
While many sports are geared towards enthusiasts of a certain age or physical demographic, golf is a sport for young and old alike. For elderly participants, golf offers a safe and healthy recreational option that isn’t overly stressful or strenuous on one’s physical or mental well being. Mark Twain coined the now famous phrase, “golf is a good walk spoiled”. Humour aside, getting out for a round of golf helps with muscle endurance, blood circulation, flexibility and overall mental alertness not to mention the opportunity to get outside in the fresh air socializing and being active with family and friends.
Handicapping—Golf’s Great Equalizer
One of golf’s advantages is that regardless of age, physical aptitude or skill set, any golfer can compete on a level plane with any other player thanks to the handicap system. A fair game is a fun game and while handicaps and score tracking are more common among competitive players, club members or the most avid enthusiasts, the fact that a less skilled golfer can play on an equal basis against the very best player will always be one of golf’s differentiating advantages.
The Great Outdoors
Golf courses are among the most picturesque and serene locations on the planet. From ocean vistas and breathtaking mountain landscapes to parkland wonders or minimalist links-style designs, Canada is blessed with a diverse golf topography that provides a natural habitat to a wide range of fish, birds and wildlife.
Canada’s golf experience can be enjoyed through a variety of different facilities such as public courses, private courses, semi-private courses, executive par-3 courses, mini-putt courses and driving range facilities.
Take time to enjoy the natural surroundings every time you tee it up and take advantage of what hours of fresh air and exercise can do to boost your health, mind and spirit.
When it comes to exercise, find something you love and the health benefits are sure to follow. Studies show that a golfer will burn 1,450+ calories during an 18-hole round while walking and carrying their clubs (close to 1,400 calories if walking and using a push cart). Can’t walk a full 18? No problem, as studies all show that a golfer can burn 800+ calories when using a golf cart during a round.
Time with Loved Ones
Golf is such a special sport to share with a spouse or partner as well as kids and generations of family members. Many sports and activities see parents or grandparents on the sidelines cheering on their children as they participate. At golf courses, you’re just as likely to see families out enjoying a round together as you are to see a couple enjoying date-night with a nine-and-dine. For singles, the golf course can be a great way to meet new friends or someone special who shares your passion for the game.
For those seeking golf experiences outside of their own community, golf travel can take you to stunning locations all over the world. Based on study released in 2014 by the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA), Canadian travelers spent $2.5 billion annually on golf-related travel within Canada including on-course spending at the courses they visited. Talk about golf tourism – foreign visiting golfers to Canada spent $1.6 billion on golf related travel and on-course spending.
Family AND Friendship
The camaraderie and social aspects of the game are two of the factors that have led to golf having the highest participation rate of any sport in Canada. With a game rooted in honesty, integrity and fair play, you learn a lot about yourself and others over the course of a round of golf. These life values also go along way when instilled in children who are introduced to the sport either in school or at junior golf activities in their community.
Challenge AND Competition
With various tee deck yardages, stunning topography and all sorts of game and scoring formats, golf can offer a different challenge each time you play. Whether you’re a tournament competitor, an avid player looking to score better than your friends or a casual enthusiast looking to improve their game, golf offers a variety of challenges to meet every player’s skill set or competitive appetite.
Business on the Golf Course
The golf course can be a great forum to conduct business or host important clients. With plenty of conversation time between shots and the opportunity to spend 4.5 hours together, it’s little wonder that golf courses are often considered green grass boardrooms in communities across Canada. An added bonus is that you can learn a lot about a person—their general demeanor, how they handle stress and their competitive makeup—over a round of golf.
Character and Values
A key assumption in LTPD outlines that playing sport builds character. Values inherent in golf such as integrity, fair play, discipline and etiquette strengthen character and can be especially influential on children. Golf challenges players to deal with the frustration of missed putts or wayward shots and those same coping skills can suit us well in dealing with the challenges that life throws our way.
All instructors and coaches undergo PGA of Canada training that is entirely specific to the type of player or athlete they wish to work with. The recommended level for Golf For Life are listed below:
- Instructor of Intermediate Golfers
- Instructor of Advanced Golfers
Golf clubs and facilities act as a venue for extracurricular events such as club dinners, social gatherings, weddings, group lessons, fundraisers and family outings. In addition to hosting a variety of fun or competitive golf events, facilities can also offer social events publicly or directly through membership. Consider your local golf facility next time you are planning a fun day in your community.
Golf is Big Business
The results of a Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study released in 2014 by the National Allied Golf Associations reinforces that golf is a major economic, employment and charitable driver in Canadian communities from coast to coast. The game of golf accounts for an estimated $14.3 billion of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Included in that economic impact are:
- 300,100 direct, indirect and induced jobs
- $8.3 billion in household income
- $1.4 billion in property and other indirect taxes
- $2.2 billion in income taxes
Golf in Canada generates an estimated $36.9 billion in total gross production through the combination of direct, indirect and induced spending impacts.
The total direct economic activity (total direct sales, golf related travel, capital spending) resulting from the Canadian Golf Industry is estimated at $19.7 billion.
DID YOU KNOW?
Direct revenues generated directly by golf courses and their facilities, and stand-alone driving and practice ranges ($5.0 billion) rivals the revenues generated by all other participation sports and recreation facilities combined ($4.8 billion) in Canada.
Additional Benefits and Impact:
Environmental Benefits—Over 175,000 hectares of green space managed by approximately 2,308 golf course operators, including 30,000 hectares of unmanaged wildlife habitat under golf course stewardship.
Golf Participation—Based on starts reported by operators and rounds played reported by Canadian golfers, that approximately 60 million rounds of golf were played in 2013.
Employment Opportunities—The Canadian Golf Industry provides an excellent employment opportunity for 126,000 people, with as many as 37% of those working at Canadian golf courses being students.
Charitable Activity—Nearly 37,000 charitable events hosted at Canadian golf courses help raise more than $533 million annually for charitable causes across Canada.
Golf Tourism—Canadian travellers spend $2.5 billion annually on golf-related travel within Canada (including on-course spending at courses visited). Foreign visiting golfers spend $1.6 billion on golf related travel and on-course spending.