Date: May 15, 2014
Author: Stephen Pitt

From the CEO’s desk: May 2014

Golf Australia’s 2013-2016 Strategic Plan has identified Club Viability as a key issue and has committed to supporting the health of clubs through the implementation of a ‘whole of sport’ Club Support and Development Strategy. 

The strategy was developed jointly by representatives from golf’s key industry bodies including GA, State Associations, Golf Management Australia, PGA of Australia, Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Australian Sports Commission with the goal to improve the capability, financial performance and sustainability of clubs.

Currently two key initiatives are being developed for clubs and will be completed by September this year – a Golf Health Check Tool and a Club Portal which will house extensive resources to assist clubs. 

These resources will include information on strategic planning, risk management, marketing, membership structures and services, financial management, board & committee management, grants, volunteers, and national and state/territory participation programs.    

To accompany these resources on the Club Portal, GA is now seeking real life case studies from clubs that have resulted in improving club performance.  Examples of initiatives might include:

  • Membership recruitment & retention
  • Innovative membership models
  • Marketing  and promotion
  • Social media
  • Member surveys
  • Community engagement
  • Volunteer programs
  • Staff education and development
  • Partnerships with other clubs or businesses
  • Grant funding

The case study can be sent in a number of forms; a newsletter article, an email, a YouTube clip, an annual report article, a magazine or local newspaper article or any format that you would like to share. Case studies can be submitted via email at , post at Level 3, 95 Coventry Street South Melbourne Victoria 3205 or by fax (03) 9626 5095.

In other club news, Golf Australia and Golf Management Australia recently released the 2013 National Golf Participation Report.

This report has identified clear trends in the areas of club membership, golf participation and club financial viability.

Among the report’s key findings were:

  • There were 1.18 million Australians who played at least one round of golf during the year. Two out of every three of those players were not club golfers and play social golf instead.
  • There were 398,804 golf club members last year with 60 per cent of that club membership base aged 55 years and over.
  • Female members made up 21 per cent of the total membership base.
  • There was a 1.6% decline in club playing members.
  • 18 per cent of clubs reported membership growth of more than 10 per cent in 2013.
  • Five per cent of club members are juniors.
  • 51% of Australian clubs have less than 100 members.
  • 50% of clubs are under financial duress.

There are some positive things in this report and also clearly some areas where we need implement new ideas and change our collective thinking to strengthen the game and increase the number of people playing golf. The full report is available at