The Consolidation of GNL and NLGA
January, 2013 marked a very historical day for the golfing community in the province of Newfoundland Labrador. On that day, the Board of Directors of Golf Marketing Alliance and the Newfoundland Labrador Golf Association converged on St. John’s to amalgamate the organizations into one entity.
In the winter of 2011, the two provincial organizations began dialogue related to a potential consolidation. This resulted in the formation of a Consolidation Committee with representatives of each organization involved in extensive discussions, research, review and recommendations that would eventually lead to the amalgamation process.
For the past twenty months, Golf Marketing Alliance ( GNL, Provincial Industry Marketing organization), and the Newfoundland Labrador Golf Association (NLGA, Provincial Sport Governing body), through a Consolidation Committee, addressed a number of recommendations that lead to each organization holding a Special Meeting, and putting forward a motion to amalgamate the two bodies into one entity.
Photo, left to right: Marcheta Gallant President of Newfoundland Labrador Golf Association and Trevor Stuber President of Golf Marketing Alliance
Committee member and President of Golf Marketing Alliance, Trevor Stuber stated “that having been involved in this process from the beginning, it was clear that in such a small province, amalgamation with the NLGA would be the best utilization of resources moving forward”. It was the role of the Consolidation Committee to investigate the ways and means of creating one official provincial golf organization to deal with all matters related to the growth and development of the sport and industry.
“During the Consolidation Committee review, it was clear that both organizations had the same goal and that is to “grow the game”, therefore it was only logical that the two organizations amalgamate” stated the President of the NLGA and Committee member Marcheta Gallant. Furthermore, she stated that “the consolidation of these organizations will provide for a strong unified voice, representing the entire golf community to achieve its goal and objectives in the long term”.
While the official voting process took place in August 2012, the Consolidation Committee continuied to work on such issues as board structure, revisions to the constitution, budget requirements, revised membership fee model and operational consideration. The Interim Board of Directors held the inaugural Annual General Meeting at Bally Haly Country Club on the weekend of April 19th & 20th.
During the Annual Meeting, a revised constitution and by-laws were adopted and a Board of Directors will be elected to guide the new organization. Also, in keeping with the trend across the nation the official name “Golf Newfoundland Labrador” was adopted. Work will be ongoing in the coming months as the consolidation of various programs and services will take place including an enhanced website under the address www.golfnl.ca
Today, Golf Newfoundland Labrador Inc is the non-profit Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) divested with the responsibility to develop the sport of golf in the province and to market the provincial golf product to resident and non-resident golfers. The major goal of the organization is to “grow the game” through the creation, development and implementation of programs and services for the golfing community.
History of Each Organization
While Golf Marketing Alliance was only in existance for the past eighteen years, the Newfoundland and Labardor Golf Association has a storied past. Below is an overview of each organization from its beginnings:
On March 26,1964 authorized representatives of golf clubs met in Gander and decided that a Newfoundland Golf Association should be formed. These were the Bally Haly Golf and Country Club in St. John’s, The Grand Falls Golf Club in Grand Falls, and The Blomindon Golf And Country Club in Corner Brook. It was further unanimously decided that the association apply for membership in the Royal Canadian Golf Association. At a Board of Governors meeting on July 31st, The N.G.A. was accepted as a member by the R.C.G.A.
The biggest golf tournament in Newfoundland history took place with 69 golfers (male) from three centers on the island, teeing off in the First Annual Newfoundland Amateur Golf Championship at Bally Haly Golf and Country Club in St. John’s. The entrance fee to get this initial tournament off the ground was $5.00. It was also decided at this time to hold the Amateur, Senior and Junior championships concurrently.
It proved to be a dramatic climax for the first annual Newfoundland Golf Championship and Dr. Duncan Rice was not going to keep an anxious gallery waiting. The veteran and Bally Haly’s captain eliminated young Bill Morrissey and the stylist, Jim Sterling on Sunday afternoon.
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The Newfoundland Golf Association was changed to Newfoundland And Labrador Golf Association (NLGA) in 1985. The NLGA hosts all the provincial tournaments and hold their annual meeting in October. The NLGA is also responsible to send winning teams to National Tournaments to represent the province.
The first NFLD Men’s golf team to travel and compete in the Willingdon Cup held in Saskatoon in August 1964, were Dr. Duncan Rice, Bill Morrissey, Jim Sterling, and Don Dooley. In 1998, The Hall Of Fame was started and revised in 2012.
The History of the GNL
GNL was founded in November of 1995 under the rationale that the provincial government wanted to develop and improve the province golf industry through the creation and implementation of a province wide golf strategy. They were hoping to expand the provincial golf product to offer additional laborious products to tourist and to extend recreational opportunities during the shoulder seasons.
Through this strategy several new courses were developed across the province including Clovelly, Glendenning Golf (The Woods), Brookside RV Park & Golf Resort, Pitcher’s Pond Golf Club, and St. Andrews. Along with these new courses, there were multiple existing courses expanded from 9 holes to 18 holes, such as Gander Golf Club, Grand Falls Golf Club, and Harmon Seaside Links.
The province needed to coordinate and develop an organization to promote the new provincial golf products to both resident and non-resident golfers. Therefore, in November 1995, the Golf Marketing Alliance also known as GNL was created. The organization was a registered provincial incorporated body, with a volunteer board of directors, who represented the managers, owners, and/or operators of Golf facilities in the province. The major responsibility of the board was to create/develop, and implement a marketing strategy to promote golf. Some initial members of the board of directors included Trevor Morris (Glendenning, The Willows), Cathy Duke (Terra Nova), Dave McDonald (Blomidan Golf Course), Tonya Abbott (Gander), and Bruce Crighton (Bally Haly).
The organization had support from the provincial government in the form of marketing grants as well as assistance from a Tourism Division representative to work with the organization as the golf liaison. The individual to take on this role and assist with the creation of the organization was Sandy Hickman. Some marketing initiatives that were undertaken by the newly formed organization included a provincial Golf Guide, GNL website, creation of the Telegram weekly golf report, the creation of the database, the monthly e-newsletter, attendance at trade shows in Ontario and the other Atlantic provinces.
The organization created a partnership with the three (3) other golf marketing organizations in the Atlantic provinces. Implementing a number of regional marketing initiatives, some of which still exist.