May 23, 2024 - National Golf Day Highlights Golf’s Positive Impact on Canadians

For Immediate Release

National Golf Day Highlights Golf’s Positive Impact on Canadians

New Economic Impact Study Released

OTTAWA, May 23, 2024 – After a four-year pause due to COVID-19, the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) are on Parliament Hill leading National Golf Day and discussing with Parliamentarians the many positive benefits of golf for Canadians.

The golf industry representatives are also releasing the results of a new Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study highlighting golf’s financial contributions and incredible popularity as the number one participation sport in Canada.

National Golf Day also celebrates golf’s physical and mental health benefits, its safe sport attributes, social merits, environmental stewardship, diversity, life skills for youth, and economic value to the business community. National data indicates that hundreds of thousands of Canadians have entered the sport since Covid-19, totaling six million Canadian golfers and further strengthening golf’s status as the number one participation sport in the country.

“Canadians played 74 million rounds of golf in 2023, a considerable 24% increase from the last Study in 2019,” stated Jeff Calderwood, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada, and Chair of NAGA.

“Existing golfers have been playing more often and new golfers have been taking up the game at impressive levels,” said Calderwood. “The broad appeal of golf as a safe, healthy, outdoor recreation that can be enjoyed by all ages, genders, abilities, and budgets, anywhere in Canada, generates continued growth in the game. The impressive economic impacts that are then generated reflect that popularity.”

NAGA conducts an economic impact study every five years to measure such financial contributions as employment, charitable support, tourism, and gross domestic product. The sport and business of golf are thriving post-pandemic and continue to be an important economic engine for Canadians and their communities across Canada. Some of the highlights from the Canadian Golf Economic Impact Study include:

  • Golf contributes a massive amount to Canada’s GDP at $23.2 billion, an increase of $4 billion since the previous Study.
  • Golf supports 237,000 person-years of employment, illustrating its importance as a vital source of livelihood for countless Canadians. Nearly 135,000 Canadians work directly in golf, with 45,000 being student employment.
  • Golf-related activities generated over $14.2 billion in labour income, sustaining families and generating significant economic spin-off spending.
  • $382 million was raised through golf activities for charities across Canada, a return to the pre-Covid-19 range and tops among all participation sports.
  • Approximately 6 million Canadians played golf in 2023, an all-time high for the number one participation sport in the country, generating 74 million rounds played.
  • Golfer spending totalled $14.2 billion in 2023.
  • Golf course operations contributed $8.1 billion to Canada’s GDP.
  • Capital expenditure by golf course operations in 2023 was $907 million.
  • Taxes paid to governments by the Canadian golf industry were $4.7 billion in 2023.

“Golf is a sport that brings so many benefits to Canadians – not just the economic contributions. It is also a holistic solution to many of life’s necessities and an activity that can enjoyed for a lifetime,” said Laurence Applebaum, CEO, Golf Canada.

“Golf is a healthy, safe activity, promoting environmental stewardship, providing exceptional social value, and is great for business. And importantly, we’re seeing tremendous diversity in our growth with incredible levels of engagement,” said Applebaum. “In addition, the recent success of our Canadian LPGA and PGA Tour Pros has further propelled the enthusiasm for the sport, with such stars on the world stage as Brooke Henderson and Nick Taylor.”

Other attributes of Canadian golf include:

  • 18 holes of golf burns up to 2000 calories, a very healthy 15 km walk and active exercise in nature.
  • 95% of golfers in Canada feel that golf is very good for their mental health, which has also been clinically proven.
  • 83% of Canadian golfers state that the social aspects of golf are important to them and improve their lives.
  • Spectator interest in professional golf is at an all-time high. The RBC Canadian Open and CPKC Women’s Open are setting records for attendance and commercial success.
  • Golf is a trusted Safe Sport environment for both recreational and competitive play.
  • Canadian golf has been experiencing great diversity, including a 6% increase in active women golfers and 33% growth in BIPOC golfers in 2023.
  • Off-course golf including simulator play and virtual golf experiences have bolstered the growth in participation.
  • Sustainable golf has become a leading environmental stewardship movement in Canadian golf, with golf courses throughout the country embracing sustainability pledges and best practices.

Golf flourished during the pandemic as the nature of the sport easily allowed for social distancing while delivering a social recreation experience that could not be found elsewhere.

With golf now better recognized as an important part of the solution, and all of the health, social and economic benefits, the positive spotlight on golf and its impact on Canadian communities has since sustained most of that increased demand.

In summary, the study clearly shows that golf is good for Canada and Canadians.



About National Allied Golf Association

NAGA is a national golf organization comprised of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA), Professional Golfers’ Association of Canada, Club Management Association of Canada (CMAC), Golf Canada, and the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada (NGCOA), dedicated to improving all sectors of golf in Canada. Formed in 1999, NAGA’s objective is to work cooperatively together as industry leaders ensuring a strong future for golf in Canada.


For more information, please contact:

Barbara Barrett