061: Laurence Applebaum, CEO of Golf Canada - Creating Golf Moments That Matter

March 18th, 2019 · 47 mins 9 secs

About this Episode

"If your best moment is being on the golf course, we want to create more moments like that". This week our host Colin Weston speaks to Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. Since 2017 Laurence has lead the team at Golf Canada - the National Sport Federation and governing body for golf in Canada - with a mission to "have more people playing more golf and to succeed within the sport than ever before”.

On this episode Laurence and Colin cover a wide range of golf industry topics including:
• How Golf Canada is focused on bringing new people to golf: “We are here to increase Canadian participation and excellence in golf, to have more people playing more golf and to succeed within the sport than ever before”
• “As a governance body we have a responsibility to take the obstacles down and make golf more welcoming as a sport"
• Laurence talks about Golf Canada’s High Performance Centre at Bear Mountain GC in Victoria BC, which is their Longterm Player Development Program.
• “We adopted an equity and diversity policy and this policy has become so renowned that it’s being picked up by other national sport federations and golf associations and it’s really been driving the growth in female participation”.
• The Brooke Henderson Effect on young girls and boys. “What makes Brooke so special is that she’s incredibly relatable. She’s kind and thoughtful but on the course Brooke is a fierce and focused competitor”.
• They discuss National Golf Day in Canada, taking place May 1st on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
• Laurence talks about the philanthropic side of golf: "Golfers in Canada raise over half a billion dollars for charitable endeavours. That is more than the next 40 sports combined".
• The environmental, economic and social sustainability of golf and golf courses.
• Laurence talks about the new rules of golf and the fine work Diane Barabé - Golf Canada's current rules chair - does
• How Golf Canada looks to "make golf fun, fast and accessible and understandable, speeding it up and make it more relatable".
• “The platform of diversity and inclusion is going to put this sport on a trajectory that we haven’t seen before”.
•Laurence leaves us with this: "If your best moment is being on the golf course, we want to create more moments like that. Our goal is to bring joy to people’s lives in some small way".

Would you like to volunteer for Golf Canada? Recruitment for 2019 Tournament Officials (Starting, Scoring and Rules) is now open. Please click here to register and apply.

Golf Canada supports several charitable initiatives, including Golf For The Cure to raise money for breast cancer research and support. To learn more click here.


Through Golf Canada’s Future Links “Golf In Schools” program supported by Acura, children in 25% of all schools in Canada will have participated by the end of 2019.


About Laurence Applebaum
With a sports management career spanning nearly 25 years in Canada, Europe and the United States, Laurence Applebaum proudly returned home when he was named Chief Executive Officer of Golf Canada, the National Sport Federation and governing body for golf in Canada in July of 2017.

In his role as CEO, Applebaum oversees the executive management and strategic direction of Golf Canada’s multi-faceted business which includes Membership & Sport; Commercial Operations overseeing all revenue and marketing activities; fostering key relationships at the provincial, national and international level; and conducting Championships including the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open. Applebaum also represents Golf Canada on numerous committees and advisory councils including the Golf Canada Foundation, National Golf Foundation, the International Golf & Health Initiative, the PGA TOUR’s President’s Cup, the Canadian Olympic Committee and We Are Golf comprising the leadership of the Canadian golf industry.