More club-based players than basketball, netball, Australian football and even cricket, golf is Australia’s second most popular sport played in a club by adults and children and the most popular just for adults.
The Australian Sports Commission’s first AusPlay survey released this week reveals that more than 685,000 Australians played club-based golf in the year to September, second only to football (1.086 million).
AusPlay is a key pillar of the ASC’s game plan to get more Australians participating in organised sport more often and fills a major gap in national sport and physical recreation data after the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ decision in 2014 to cease funding for all sport and recreation data collection.
It will become the single source of data for government and the sport sector that not only tracks Australian sport participation behaviours, but also informs investment, policy and sport delivery and helps identify strategies to grow participation.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt was delighted with the results.
“Golf around the country is going from strength to strength and it’s nice to see the numbers validated by AusPlay,” Pitt said.
“Golf clubs and facilities have come a long way in recent times in becoming destinations that encompass competition, fitness and fun for the whole family.
“We are thrilled to have that officially recognised and to put us above a lot of sports that Australians hold so dearly says a lot about the appeal of golf as a game for life.”
Starting in 2017, the ASC will release six-monthly updates of AusPlay trends and plans to use survey data to work with national sporting organisations and state departments of sport and recreation and help shape the ASC’s annual participation investment model.