Participation in club golf across New South Wales increased by almost nine per cent in the three months to June according to the Australian Golf Industry Council(AGIC).
The number of competition rounds played across the state came to 1,354,974 for the period from April to June 2016 compared to 1,244,857 for the same time last year. All up, 5,414,535 competition rounds were played across NSW in 2015/16.
The impressive growth in participation has thrilled Graeme Phillipson, General Manager of Golf at Golf NSW. “It's encouraging to see this level of growth across our member clubs,” Mr. Phillipson said.
The national handicapping database GolfLink, reported that 14.76 million competition rounds were played by registered Australian golfers over the last 12 months, with over 3.7 million rounds played between April and June 2016, a four per cent increase across the nation, compared to the same three-month period last year.
Brian Thorburn, AGIC Chairman, was pleased with the latest figures particularly given the winter period was here.
“It's fantastic to see steady growth continuing into the cooler months; it's very encouraging for the Australian golf industry," Thorburn said.
Adverse weather did impact the results across NSW in June with heavy rainfall and flooding at the beginning of the month forcing many clubs out of action for a period of time.
“It’s not uncommon to see a small decline in rounds entering this time of year purely due to changing weather conditions. It is certainly reassuring to see a steady increase leading into winter,” Mr Thorburn said.
Female participation in the sport increased by just over one per cent during the reporting period, to be almost 19 per cent of the total market.
Mr. Thorburn attributes the growing participation in club golf participation to a number of factors, including the impressive performances of Australia’s elite stars on the world stage.
“Over the past three-month period we’ve seen Jason Day win The Players Championship and Minjee Lee the Lotte Championship. These moments inspire golfers at all levels and drives interest in our sport, which assists in converting the casual golfer to a regular one.”
“With golf’s return to the Olympics taking place next month in Rio de Janeiro and Australia’s summer of golf just around the corner, you would expect to see these growth trends continue,” Mr. Thorburn said.
About the Australian Golf industry Council:
Established in 2006, AGIC brings together representatives from the major golf industry bodies and works as one to promote golf and industry wide initiatives. Members of AGIC include Golf NSW, Golf Australia, PGA of Australia, Australian Ladies Professional Golf, Golf Management Australia, Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association, Australian Sporting Goods Association, and the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects.