Golf In Canada Doing Well!
by Scott A. Sumner
I met with Scott Simmons, Executive Director of Golf Canada recently at the 2016 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville Ontario to ask some questions about our sport! Golf Canada is the governing body of golf.
How is this year's RBC Canadian Open going?
“The heat and drought we have had here has made the course so firm and fast, like I have never seen before. You could have said with no rough to speak of the guys would be burning it up but I tell you its hard to spin the ball and go flag hunting. It is also windy out there so this is a real test of golf and interesting to see the course play this way after events here in 08 and 9 when it was rain soaked. This week it is a completely different golf course. We have Number 1 and 2 players in the world here, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson and some interesting Canadian performances. The weather is hot but better than rain.”
Sometimes I hear people talking about Glen Abbey being sold. Is that true?
“ Glen Abbey will never be sold. The owners, Club link, are real estate developers and they are trying to get the zoning changed so they can redevelop it. These things take a long time and every time I get asked this question I say it is business as usual. We now have to figure out
where we go in 2018 and 2019 and Glen Abbey is high on the list for consideration. In 2017 the RBC Canadian Open will be held at Glen Abbey. We have resigned RBC?as title sponsor until 2023 which is fantastic ”
Why do you like about Glen Abbey as a venue to hold out national championship?
“ It is good to be close to home. The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum and our offices are here. It is nice to have a home game. There are many fans that like coming back because of the fan friendly nature of this course. Nicklaus designed it and you can see 10 holes from near
the clubhouse. The amphitheater greens make it the best spectator course in the world in my opinion.”
How is golf doing in Canada in 2016?
“Canada is the number one country for golf in terms of participation. 5.7 million people play at least one game a year for the highest participation sport in Canada a year, 1 in 6 Canadians. We have 2,346 facilities in Canada, more golf facilities than any country in the world outside of the US.”
“ I would say the game is really healthy. Is there room to grow it, absolutely? The biggest challenge for golf is kids and just the way life is changing. Kids are taking up sport at a lower rate that they did 10 or 20 years ago so every sport has the challenge of attracting
kids. Golf has so many inherent values that other sports don’t have. The core values it teaches, the physically of it with injuries say with concussion. Golf doesn't have that negative factor."