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Business roundup: Two Canadian golf groups make major investments in their futures – SCOREGolf

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I’m taking a timeout from new product launches for a pair of Canadian business items that caught my eye this week.

The first I knew of a while back.

Golf PEI commissioned British Columbia-headquartered Cronk Group to execute a five-year strategic plan for the Maritimes destination, which “outlines a dynamic roadmap to fortify golf’s impact on the Island’s economy.”

The Way Forward has been delivered.

The five-year, 21-page, four-pillar, 20-item action plan includes improvements for governance, operations, marketing and revenue generation and reinforces the non-profit golf marketing association’s commitment to the Island’s golf industry and tourism sectors.

Both are economically significant for Canada’s smallest province.

Specifically, golf contributes $63 million to the Island’s Gross Domestic Product and more than $100 million in indirect economic spin-off annually. Eighty per cent of that figure comes via restaurants, retailers, accommodations, entertainment venues and tourism operators.  

Prince Edward Island also benefits from active golf residents. An estimated 28,000 people frequented the Island’s 25 golf courses last year.

That makes this strategic plan a sound business investment and provides Golf PEI with a clear, sustainable and realistic business path to follow through 2028.

“The plan represents a pivotal moment for Golf PEI and our thriving golf community,” said Sam MacPhail, Golf PEI’s executive director. “The Way Forward sets the stage for enhancements that will not only benefit our golf courses but also contribute significantly to the economic landscape of Prince Edward Island.”

The strategic plan’s delivery could not be much better timed. Golf rounds on PEI continue to exceed pre-COVID numbers at a 20 per cent clip.

According to the document, paid rounds increased by 14,000 rounds from 2022 to 2023. It seems the time is right for P.E.I. to capitalize on the game’s increased popularity in lockstep with a more robust travel landscape.

In a message to recipients, MacPhail puts forward a thoughtful question: “Do we continue on the road of status quo and hope for the best, or do we double down and grow our province into a powerhouse for golf tourism?”

P.E.I. has wisely doubled down.

That other newsy item mentioned I was not aware of.

Jansen Golf Group has also doubled down on its prospects by executing a re-brand to Himalayas Golf.

For those unacquainted with Himalayas Golf (a salute to the putting course on the Old Course at St Andrews), it combines the portfolios of Jansen Golf Design, Pelz Player Greens and Raflewski Golf Design and Construction Services. 

The company has become a key global player in the entertainment golf space with a portfolio of 50 projects on five continents, including golf course design, putting courses, short game facilities and practice ranges with natural grass or synthetic turf materials.

Recent Canadian projects by Himalayas include a brilliant renovation of the practice facility at Toronto’s Cedar Brae Golf Club and a new family friendly putting course in St. Thomas, Ont., called the Putting Zoo.   

Making the decision to re-brand was a good one for principals Paul Jansen, Dave Pelz and Gareth Raflewski.

It was a response to evolving trends in the game, including the emergence of the golf entertainment sector, advancements in technology and materials and environmental, economic and social sustainability.

“We are excited to unveil the new identity of Himalayas Golf, marking a pivotal chapter in our journey,” said Paul Jansen, Himalayas Golf founder and president. “The refreshed brand symbolizes our dedication to crafting golf facilities that echo the grandeur of the Himalayas, our commitment to sustainability and continued move into the golf entertainment space with our ever-growing portfolio of ground-breaking and unique golf entertainment products and services. We believe this transformation will not only resonate with our existing partners but also attract new collaborators who share our vision for the future of golf.”

A strategic plan or a re-brand isn’t executed without investing time, assets and financial resources. Yes, finding the right individual(s) or company to undertake a project is an exercise in patience. It should always involve more than one request for proposal as a means for comparison.

Golf PEI and Himalayas Golf will soon realize that executing a strategic plan and re-branding, respectively, will have been well worth the effort. 

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