If there’s one industry that has benefited from the pandemic over the past two years, it’s the outdoor sports industry. Golf has boomed in the last 24 months and the trend is not going down as the new season rolls around.
Posted at 7:00 am
It would have been easy to believe that the golf industry would hit rock bottom with a small return to reality and a growing range of activities. However, the state and federal golf associations have no doubt that golfers will still be there in the coming weeks.
Golf Quebec Assistant General Manager François Roy and Golf Canada Regional Director for Quebec Patrick Rheaume are extremely optimistic and can’t wait for the snow to melt to open the new season.
Golf is so healthy in Quebec that the biggest challenge for clubs will once again be getting everyone to play. “It’s a big problem,” says Mr. Rheaume.
According to Golf Québec, the number of rounds played increased by 19% in 2020. Last season the growth was 21%. “That’s huge in two years,” explains Mr. Roy. Additionally, more than 1 million Quebecers played at least one round during the summer of 2021.
I think we can match the number of rounds of golf played over the last two summers.
François Roy, Deputy General Manager of Golf Québec
There are several reasons for him to make such optimistic forecasts. On the one hand, in his opinion, the enthusiasm for the return of golf is palpable. The enthusiasm is the same as in the last two springs. On the other hand, many people have geared up to learn the sport and “it’s not to quit a year or two later”. Then Golf Quebec believes golfers will stay in Quebec a little longer due to the pandemic and rising gas costs in the summer.
Everything is going well at the moment. According to Mr. Rheaume, however, we must be careful for the coming seasons. “It will be interesting to see what happens with inflation and spending. The price of fertilizer has increased enormously, as have machine and gasoline prices. We might have to worry more about 2023 and 2024.” It doesn’t matter, the summer of 2022 should be extraordinary.
Golf for everyone
Of course, all sports federations dream of seeing their athletes reach the highest peaks. Quebec Golf is still looking for its first accredited player with full-time playing rights on the PGA Tour. Several Quebecers have already broken through on the LPGA side.
However, the priorities of the two federations make it clear that there is a need to ensure that golfers of all walks of life, young or old, male or female, beginner or expert, find what they are looking for.
We work very hard to develop our sport without looking only at elite and high-performance players.
Patrick Rheaume, Golf Canada Regional Director for Quebec
However, it is evident that having a Quebec representative at the best circuit in the world will make it easier to promote the sport. “It will make a difference and generate a surge of interest and curiosity about our sport. We need that and it will help us. »
To attract even more people, we need to go beyond just sports. “You have to offer golfers an experience. […] Clubs are always doing better by offering a variety of services. It ranges from practicing the sport to catering, events, activities, clinics and youth programs,” says Mr. Roy.
A fashion sport
Many young people have been playing golf for two years. The sport is enjoying unprecedented popularity among young adults. It has even become fashionable. Many YouTube channels and Instagram and TikTok accounts focused on golf have gone viral.
The turnaround was made quietly, but golf is benefiting from it today.
“We want to democratize golf among young people who still have a rigid and traditional perception of the sport. On the other hand, the clothing has evolved, the attitude on the pitch and the atmosphere in the clubs have changed enormously in recent years,” argues Mr Roy.
[Le sport] is much more inclusive, much more fun, much more festive.
Mr Rheaume agrees and is pleased that the idea of golf being a sport of ‘the rich’ is not accessible and not fun passes quietly.
“Private clubs have still maintained a more traditional and conservative line of play with a slightly stricter code, but semi-private and public clubs have all shown a lot more openness. We can see sweaters coming out of pants and outfits a little more varied. We even heard music in the buggies. Of course you have to remain respectful towards the clubs and the other players, but it gives everyone the opportunity to find what they are looking for and have fun. »
If the trend continues, weather permitting, the first rounds should take place in the greater Montreal area by mid-April. In other regions of Quebec, the amount of snow is still too great. Nonetheless, clubs and managers across the province’s 300 pitches have been preparing since the end of last season, eagerly awaiting more records to be broken.
- Increase in the number of rounds played in 2020 compared to the 2019 season
Source: Gulf Quebec
- Increase in the number of rounds played in 2021 compared to the 2020 season
Source: Gulf Quebec