After many golf courses had been re-opened with new safety protocols following shutdowns across Canada due to COVID-19, golfers of all ages, genders and skill levels have taken up the summer past time and embraced it as the go-to activity during unprecedented times.
Golf, like many businesses and activities, was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unlike most businesses, golf has seen an increased rise in popularity amongst Canadians.
With every business, these times have been unprecedented, however golf has managed to thrive in the wake of the pandemic, although changes still had to be made in order to accomplish this. With new safety measures in place to protect golfers and staff, such as one rider per cart or un-removable flagsticks, golf was able to safely navigate through the implications of COVID-19.
Cody Sobala, a Professional Golf Management student at Humber College said, “to a new golfer the changes may not seem very significant, but to somebody that has played for years, the changes are extreme.” Cody, somebody who has golfed since he was young, doesn’t mind the changes, as long as he gets to play golf. “I’m just happy to be able to play, with the outdoor setting and new safety precautions in place, I can understand why so many people have gravitated towards the sport this year.” He said.
Autumn Golf During COVID-19
According to Golf Canada and the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), golf in Canada, even with the late start date due to the pandemic, has grown by 9.3% from last year, with credit transactions at golf courses increasing a sizeable 20% since 2019. This growth can be attributed to the many new golfers that have picked up the game this year, as well as seasoned golfers, as it was one of the only safe past times during the pandemic.
Cassidy Jamieson, a new golfer and employee at Trafalgar Golf and Country Club realizes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on golf. She said, “I, along with many of my friends would have never even picked up a golf club if it wasn’t for the pandemic.” Although she understands that COVID-19 has been hard for many, she is grateful that there was something positive that she could take out of this experience. “I know the pandemic has been tough for so many people, but I am happy that I picked up a hobby that I, like so many other people will have for the rest of our lives.” She said.
Countdown to the 2021 Golf Season
With the golf season coming to an end, Canadian golfers new and old will have to wait until the 2021 golf season which is set to start up again in early April and hopefully, golf will remain a popular outdoor activity for Canadians and continue to grow with every new season.