Golf Association of Ontario (GAO) rebrands as Golf Ontario

UXBRIDGE – Golf Ontario is being unveiled in conjunction with the launch of the association’s new five-year strategic plan. Following an extensive process, which began in 2014, the new Strategic Plan points to a reinvention of the current state of the association and a reconnection with golfers and industry partners focused on a clear vision, mission and set of values. Golf Ontario will ultimately break down the walls of bureaucracy and introduces a more welcome community for all golfers and the golf industry as a whole.

“Golf is a game for life enjoyed by tens of thousands of Ontarians. Golf Ontario will be the driving force to introduce more people to golf while enhancing the experience of those who have already discovered this great game,” stated Christian Osborne, Golf Ontario President. “In conjunction with Golf Canada, all partners and stakeholders, Golf Ontario will invest, support and grow golf through community based grassroots strategies. Golf can be for everyone regardless of age, race, ability or means. I am excited for the future and especially the leading role Golf Ontario will play.”

The Strategic Planning process involved reaching out to multiple stakeholder groups within the industry to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the association, and how the association could improve in the future. The analysis of both primary and secondary research resulted in a new vision, a new mission, new values and new strategic pillars that will provide Golf Ontario a road map for the next five years. It is Golf Ontario’s aspiration to become the best Provincial Sport Organization in Canada by 2020 by evolving the sport and establishing a structure to ensure golf’s success into the future.

“We strive to align with all golf stakeholders through a connected golf community which will drive more people to play more golf, more often and most importantly while starting at a younger age,” said Golf Ontario Executive Director Mike Kelly. “All strategic pillars point to Golf Ontario becoming refocused on leading and supporting our industry partners to the benefit of golfers across the province.”

The revised, refined and refocused vision and mission, along with the newly developed strategies and tactics, position the Golf Ontario brand in its leadership role for golf across Ontario.

Vision: Golf is and will always be the most popular sport in Ontario

Mission: To provide leadership and support for all Ontarians to enjoy golf as a lifelong sport

Strategies:

  1. Transform our relationship with golfers in Ontario
  2. Build communities of golf across Ontario
  3. Provide leading high performance junior player development programs
  4. Support the development of golf with a diversified revenue generation strategy
  5. Transform the organization to deliver on the new plan and meet its mission

These strategies will be supported by a new governance structure which will see certain traditional operational committees evolve into Golf Advisory Teams (GAT). The GAT’s will be led by senior staff and made up of industry representatives and content experts in specific areas. These teams will ensure that all new or revised programs and initiatives align with the strategies and tactics within the new plan and include insight for Golf Ontario’s industry partners.

Along with the strategic plan and brand, comes a new visual identity for the association.

“The new Golf Ontario logo is clean and crisp. It maintains certain elements that establish professionalism that one would expect from a provincial sport organization, and it clearly brings together ‘golf’ and ‘Ontario’ so that all who come into contact with it know exactly what it represents,” stated Kyle McFarlane, Director of Marketing and Communications for Golf Ontario. “We feel it’s also very approachable and the removal of the words “Association of” will help remove any stigma that Golf Ontario is only for private clubs and their members. As part of our goal to create a more welcoming golf community we are making it easier for golfers to relate to our brand.”

The new visual identity will make its way into all Golf Ontario programs in 2016 including ‘Golf Barrie’ our first of many golf communities to be built across the province. Golf Ontario invites all golfers, industry partners and Ontarians to visit GAO.ca to learn more about the new Strategic Plan.

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