Golf Courses: Fore The People

I read an article very recently written on behalf of a local golf course and they made mention of tax receipts being issued for donations made to the golf course. This got me wondering how many donations this course or any course for that matter, receives on a yearly basis. My assumption is not enough or what is deserved. I haven't done any research to find out an exact answer to this so I could be very wrong but based on what I know golf courses do for communities, charity, and the environment I believe for the large part they go under-appreciated and undervalued.

A successful, thriving community needs to provide amenities to its residents. A golf course is a huge amenity to have in any community and if yours has one, don't ever lose sight of how fortunate you are to have it there. The course provides a place for individuals to get quality exercise, fresh air and improve their overall well being. It is a safe, nurturing environment for the youth of the community where they can learn to be individuals, develop mentoring relationships as well as reap the rewards of an outdoor, physical activity. Men's and Ladies golf leagues provide a venue for many individuals of the community to gather for a fun social outing out of the house. The list goes on and on. A community golf course is something that should not be taken for granted by those who have access to it!

When you think about a charity fundraiser during the summer months, what venue comes to mind? For me, it's a golf course. Of course I may be biased in this but golf courses provide a venue for many successful charitable events throughout a short Manitoba golf season. In 2014 it was estimated that golf, through a variety of efforts, raised $3.9 BILLION for various charities. This by the way, is more than all other sports, combined! Last year, between two charity events in the rural community of Glenboro, MB, population 645, almost $50,000 was raised for two worthy causes. In Shilo, MB, the course in which I work, it is not unusual for there to be 3 or 4 charity golf tournaments in a single week during the summer, all with well over 100 people in each event. The examples are endless. Golf courses provide a venue like no other for organizations to raise money for many different causes. 

My point? Golf courses need to, at the very least, be considered when determining where your donation money should be spent. They provide a quality opportunity to better ourselves and our community and ask for nothing in return other than a reasonable green fee and more than reasonable membership rate. Sure, we support the courses by paying for these services and benefits but more often than not those fees barely cover the extremely high and often forgotten operating costs associated with running a 150+ acre property. Running a business that's success will be determined more or less by the weather is a tough business. Golf in Western Manitoba is as cheap as you will find anywhere provincially or even nationally making it difficult for courses to maintain quality, respectable conditions with so little discretionary income to deal with after the completely necessary expenses are paid (wages, taxes, utilities, etc.). Rest assured, a donation to support your local golf course is not one that will be made in vain.

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