The pandemic has breathed new life into a dying golf industry that is regaining its patronage 40 years ago, and since the summer of 2020, enthusiasm for the sport has skyrocketed.
“It has been down for years, and in 2020 we experienced a 30 percent jump in revenue over the previous year. COVID-19 really saved us! “Says Jacques Belange, owner of Golf Beauport.
And the situation in Quebec is the same. At Club de Golf Orléans, income was excellent despite the closure of its reception hall. A total of 45 members were added, for the first time in 15 years.
With regard to Golf de la Faune, the enthusiasm is such that some golfers are willing to leave illegally to be able to play.
“Our membership has grown by 290% over the year, from 80 to 230, and the waiting list is full. People now send us $ 1,000 in bribes to get a job, ”says CEO Christopher Perrault.
Photo by Didier Debusser
Dave Barker took advantage of the pandemic to introduce his daughter Melody, son James and wife to golf, which eventually became a shared passion.
According to Martin Duchard, President of the Golf Club Association of Quebec, we are facing record traffic throughout Quebec.
“We have to go back 40 years to accurately analyze what we are currently experiencing in the golf industry,” he emphasizes.
According to several players in the field, it is the arrival of new, younger clientele in search of activities to do while in custody that is the source of this resurgence in popularity.
Photo by Didier Debusser
Julie Dusseau with her partner Steve Kayer and son Milan Boudreau. The family has been wandering around the Greens since last year.
“Since there wasn’t much to do, it prompted us to do it, it’s a great family activity that allows us to spend time outdoors,” confirms Julie Dussault, who has been involved in this sport with her husband and children since last year.
“It was one of the few sports available, so I decided to introduce my wife and kids. Finally bitten! “Says Dave Baker.
another exceptional year
The 2021 season can be as good, if not better, than the previous one, especially because of Mother Nature, who has been particularly forgiving so far.
“We opened in early April, three weeks earlier than usual, and the area is in perfect condition. This is our best start to the season in 35 years, ”said Mr Belange from Golf Beauport.
A situation that also reflects on the lawns of the Golf de la Faune in Charlburg. The entire 2020 season gathered 30 thousand people, and from April 16 – already 7 thousand. “The numbers are promising! »Indicates the CEO seat.
– In collaboration with QMI Agency
Lack of manpower … and sticks
The heavy golf club movement that has revived a heavy industry has created a shortage of clubs and labor is still hard to find.
“We lost a lot of full-time employees and we had no choice but to donate some of our mowing and maintenance work to a private company. Definitely a shortage, ”says Golf Beauport owner Jacques Belange.
Still job seekers find recruiting difficult, Mr Belanger said.
Golf de la Faune CEO Christopher Perrault makes the same observation. The Canadian Emergency Service (CEP) is part of the problem, he said.
“When you make $ 2,000 a month doing nothing, it’s hard to get up early in the morning and work $ 15 an hour,” he says.
There is also a shortage of golf clubs, which are becoming increasingly difficult to find. It is no longer possible to buy a left-handed club from Golf Beauport.
“Companies relied on 2019 data to produce their equipment, so last year it ended our entire season. And the delay has not yet been filled, ”explains Mr. Belange.
The latter, at the same time, agrees that this is a “joyous problem,” given that enthusiasm for sports is directly responsible for this.