2012 President’s Report

We are now well into September, the days are getting shorter and another golf season will soon be behind us. The weather this year was among the best on record in terms of good golfing days and, in our industry, weather is a critical component to the financial success of our courses.

I was honored to be elected as President of the PEIGA as we start our 5th decade in operation as our own Provincial Association. As an organization we have made significant strides the last few years in terms of the delivery of programs and achieving financial stability.  In this regard I want to both acknowledge and thank the volunteers that have severed on the Board over the years and help guide the Association to its present position.

At the Golf Canada level, I am pleased to advise that representatives from the PEIGA are becoming more active. Past President, Cliff Goodwin and Vice-President- Ladies, Debbie Buchanan are both members of the Governor’s Council while I am a member of the Provincial Council and also sit on Golf Canada’s Human Resource Committee.

Junior golfers are the future of our sport and we think the creation of a Provincial Golf Coach, planned for 2013, to co-ordinate and enhance the delivery of existing programs and develop new ones will help us attract new juniors to the sport. We intend to put special emphasis on attracting Junior Girls to the game as numbers in this area have been stagnant at best.  I also want to acknowledge and thank the initiative and generosity of Errol and Edith Nicholson, in helping us create a Junior Golf Endowment Fund and also agreeing to work with us in approaching other Islanders who have benefited from the game with a view to increasing the size of the fund. This fund is intended to allow us to help Junior Golfers of all ages and abilities and will do much to ensure healthy Junior Programs exist across the Island.

Our Provincial Coach will also be charged with identifying promising new players and working with them to create individualized development plans designed to help them reach their maximum potential. He/she will be doing the same with Elite Players at all levels to build and enhance upon the Elite Player Program which the Association with the special assistance of Tim Yorke launched two years ago.

It is both interesting, and concerning, that while the number of Islanders playing golf continues to increase the number of members at many courses is on the decline. While I am sure they are many reasons for this trend most courses require a solid membership base to operate effectively and it is our intention to work with our member courses in the coming year to develop and introduce programs to reverse this trend.
The Province’s recent announcement around the future of the four Provincial Courses and the request for proposals clearly indicate their desire to sell the courses and get out of the business themselves. Needless to say there is concern from both the Industry and the golfing public around the future operation of these courses. It is imperative that any new operator/s be willing to work closely with other Island Courses in promoting PEI as a golf destination but also that the courses remain accessible and affordable to Islanders.

When one takes a look at the Golf Industry in the Maritime Provinces there is no doubt the opening of new courses in both New Brunswick and Cape Breton, and the aggressive marketing programs these destinations have in place, have allowed them to challenge Prince Edward Island’s position as Eastern Canada’s Golf Destination. As I said above the future status/ownership of the 4 Provincial Courses is unknown at this time and it is imperative that the Industry come together and work as a solid united organization to protect our position as the golfing destination of choice and the PEIGA is prepared to work with the Industry and help in any way possible.

In closing I believe things within the Association are moving in the right direction and we look forward to working closely with our member courses in promoting and further developing the game of golf to both Islanders and tourists alike.

Wayne Levy

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