Date: September 13, 2014


Governance is the system by which a club is directed and managed. It influences how the objectives of the club are set and achieved, spells out the rules and procedures for making club decisions and determines the means of optimising and monitoring performance, including how risk is monitored and assessed.

Effective club governance requires leadership, integrity and good judgment. Additionally, effective governance will ensure more effective decision making, with the club demonstrating transparency, accountability and responsibility in the activities undertaken and member resources expended.

It is commonly accepted that governance structures have a significant impact on the performance of clubs.

Poor governance has a variety of causes, including director/committee inexperience, lack of women in board positions, conflicts of interest, failure to manage risk, inadequate or inappropriate financial controls, and generally poor internal business systems and reporting.

Generally, governance is focussed on three key issues:

  • How an organisation develops strategic goals and direction.
  • How the board of an organisation monitors the performance of the organisation to ensure it achieves these strategic goals, has effective systems in place and complies with its legal and regulatory obligations.
  • Ensuring that the board acts in the best interests of the members.

The Sports Governance Principles of Best Practice, as developed by the Australian Sports Commission, advocate strengthening structures that support good leadership and decision-making, and ensure sound and effective governance.

Principles within which a golf club’s board/committee members should operate and enact their role, include:

  • Principle 1: Board composition, roles and powers
  • Principle 2: Board processes
  • Principle 3: Governance systems
  • Principle 4: Board reporting and performance
  • Principle 5: Stakeholder relationship and reporting
  • Principle 6: Ethical and responsible decision-making.

The full Sports Governance Principles of Best Practice resource can be downloaded in the supporting resources section below.

You can improve your governance training by enrolling in the Golf Australia e-learning course called "Governance Fundamentals" located on the home page of the Clubs and Facilities Support Portal.  It costs $49.50 per person.

Other Useful Links:
Australian Institute of Company Directors & 
Governance Institute of Australia