CEO Message-The Golfer Pathway

Written by Phil Berube

In 2006, Golf Canada in partnership with the PGA of Canada launched the Long Term Player Development (LTPD) Guide and subsequently released a modified version in 2014.

The guide was meant to be “an extension of the goal to place Canada among the top golfing nations in the world”. As explained further along in the introduction: “The guide has played a key influencing role in achieving international success for players while also assisting our goal of fostering a life-long engagement in the sport of golf by Canadian enthusiasts from coast to coast.”

The content within the LTPD (more commonly referred to as LTAD, to acknowledge the term athlete as opposed to player) guide has been carefully developed and critically explained throughout the 78 page ‘blueprint’ for success.  The guide appeals to Instructors and Coaches, Parents, Facility Owners and Operators as well as Athletes and Players.

From the time a player enters the game of golf to the time they exit (and perhaps they re-enter at a later stage) the guide sets a pathway for success at every level.  Most importantly the guide recognizes that success is defined quite differently for each individual and benchmarks change throughout a golfer’s trajectory in the game.

The guide establishes the basis for a strong support system linked to a clearly defined player development strategy –The Golfer Pathway.

In 2018 Alberta Golf is re-committing its focus on the LTAD as we continue to support High Performance Athletes along their journey to the podium.  We will broaden our offering to include support at the club, regional and provincial levels and will circle back to the final stage in the LTAD pathway and support recreational golfers who as part of our Golf For Life strategy.

Our 2018 plan breaks down the Golfer Pathway into four development stages. Alberta Golf will introduce proprietary programs and support industry partners throughout the province that 1) introduce more individuals to the game, 2) teach individuals how to get better at the game, 3) allow individuals to play in competitions and 4) promote social activities to celebrate accomplishments.

Our primary focus is on supporting existing coaches, clubs and recreational golf programs to increase the base of our overall player pyramid.  Eventually, the talent pool that rises through our regional development programs will achieve success at the high performance level.

In order to achieve this objective, we need to increase the perceived relevance we have with our 50,000 members by providing these golfers with more knowledge and tools with which to become engaged with the game they love.  We intend to inform them of the many opportunities available to them as a player, as a parent, as a coach or as an operator by modifying our website slightly to provide a more enhanced user experience. At the same time we will be expanding the number of digital assets available for those who like to stay on top of everything from their desktop and we will also be going back to the basics a little bit with some “golf stuff” you can post on the refrigerator. Maybe the Alberta Golf High Performance calendar will evoke a conversation or two at the dinner table.

Our first communication “tool” will be the golfer listing service included with the 2018 version of The Alberta Golfer.  This piece will outline the various introduction, community, learning, clinic and playing opportunities being offered by various associations and clubs throughout the province.  While it’s a great start in generating excitement and increasing member knowledge, we expect the 2019 version will be oversubscribed with content.  Everything takes time…

Golf is one of those things that takes time.  So when you do have the time to play, please enjoy it as much as we do and make it a good investment of your time.  Our nine board members and our six staff members played more golf in 2017 (475 rounds) than they did in 2016 (400)…did you?  And we have established an even greater goal for 2018 (550 rounds)…have you?

For more information about the Golf Canada & PGA of Canada Long Term Player Development Guide visit www.golfcanada.ca/ltpd

CEO Message-The Golfer Pathway

This article was originally published in the 2018 edition of The Alberta Golfer Magazine. To view the full magazine, click here.

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