For the past decade Blair Armitage has been Golf Canada’s voice of reason for member clubs and players across Western Canada.
With plenty of course management experience in both Ontario and British Columbia the national governing body of golf called upon Armitage to help rebrand their image and be the face for Golf Canada from B.C. to Manitoba. Known as the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) just over ten years ago, everyday Canadians didn’t understand what the organization did, or that it even existed. That’s when Armitage came on as one of Golf Canada’s regional directors. In fact, Golf Canada was more recognizable to people than the RCGA and the organization hadn’t been incorporated yet, so Armitage said a rebranding was necessary and his employment with Golf Canada began.
“We decided then and there that we would get heavily involved in starting a communication effort with our various facilities,” he said.
Armitage travels to golf clubs across the four western provinces speaking with managers providing updates on what Golf Canada memberships do for both facilities and golfers. He will be in Saskatchewan in the first week of April and will see about six member clubs and six clubs that have since left the Golf Canada membership family for various reasons. Armitage said clubs can reach out to him for more details on Golf Canada benefits.
“It usually happens when there has been an issue. Generally, the issues we experience come about because there’s been some miscommunication or the facility is having technical difficulties with our score posting or access to the score centre. If they have difficulties they go online, have a look at who’s who, up pops my name and I will get a call,” he explained.
Armitage said about 10 to 12 years ago lots of clubs left the organization, mostly due to financial reasons. He’s working hard to redevelop those relationships. He said Golf Canada has increased their value with hopes of providing more value for member clubs.
“We’ve improved the value of being involved with Golf Canada over the past decade. There are more things for both the facility and the average golfer in terms of what we call the benefit package,” he said.
When Armitage speaks to golf course management, he has a trio of items he brings to their attention. He seeks clubs that haven’t had a visit from either a Golf Canada or Golf Saskatchewan representative in some time. Armitage likes to speak with the course manager and golfers at the facility, he said he focuses on facilities left the membership and he works to get regular golfers to be members of Golf Canada. One way to do so is advertising their “incident protection plan.”
“We provide a reimbursement program for people if they lose their clubs, have them damaged or stolen or whatever anywhere in the world, not at their golf club but anywhere in the world. It could be in Africa, the airplane lost them, they can file for a reimbursement up to $2,500,” Armitage said.
The benefit package includes what Golf Canada calls “bad shot insurance” too. Up to $2,500 in damage is covered for broken windows on homes or vehicles at the course. Golf cart damage is also covered through the program. For more details see our membership page.
You can hear more from Armitage below who joined Golf Saskatchewan’s Clark Stork ahead of his first Saskatchewan visit of 2019.