Ottawa, ON (December 15, 2020) – The National Golf Course Owners Association Canada’s monthly Research Reports, presented by Club Car, show impressive increases in both rounds played and revenue for the final report of the 2020 golf season. In the majority of Canada, the active golf season runs from April through to October; however, mother nature was kind to the eastern part of the country, extending the golf season in certain regions well into mid-November.
At the end of October, rounds played for the season were up by 18.9% over the 2019 season (April – October). When comparing to the 5-year average, rounds were up 17.8% further reinforcing the success golf experienced during the 2020 season.
Those numbers are impressive in and of themselves however they become that much more meaningful when considering that at the end of May, rounds were down 25.9% over the same time last year.
This growth was evident across the country where YTD numbers were consistently around 20% better than 2019, excluding Quebec which had the latest season start, but still grew by 10%. YTD totals were generally 14-19% better than 5-year averages, but in the Atlantic region rounds were 27% above the 5-year average, as member play most likely made up for the effect of travel restrictions on tourist play.
October 2020 saw a huge increase over October 2019 posting an increase in rounds across the country of 62%. All provinces were up significantly over October 2019 with the Prairies posting the highest increase. Mother Nature, along with a much higher demand contributed to the Prairies year-over-year growth.
Golf courses experienced corresponding increases in revenues in 2020. By the end of October, revenues nationally were up by 28% over the 2019 season (April -October). The exceptional growth in Rounds Played and increases in non-cash payments are the main contributing factors.
Alberta, the Prairies, Ontario and Quebec outpaced the national revenue growth ranging from 32.9% in Alberta, to 34.6% in the Prairies, 42.8% in Ontario and 47.1% in Quebec while British Columbia still showed an impressive growth of 16.6% over the 2019 season. Atlantic Canada was the only region posting a decline in revenues over 2019 most likely due to the effect of COVID-19 on tourist rounds as described in the rounds report above.
Similar to the Rounds Report, revenues for the month of October 2020 increased by 49% over October 2019. Quebec recorded the highest increase in dollar volume in October 2020 over October 2019 at 71%, followed by the Prairies at 63%, Alberta at 62% and Ontario at 58%. The Atlantic region, affected by tourism restrictions, dropped 2.5% over October 2019.
In addition to golf benefitting as one of the safest activities during COVID-19, NGCOA Canada’s Weather Impact Report shows that weather has also contributed to the success. Tracked regionally, the collective weather impact reported across the 2020 golf season by all golf course operators was a 7.4 index on a 0-10 scale where ‘5’ is normal.