Date: July 12, 2016
Author: AGIC

Research points to positive golf future

The Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) has undertaken the most in-depth analysis of the Australian golf industry since 2005.

The research project provides fresh insight into the golf landscape in Australia. The data collected will enable the golf industry to understand and engage current and potential participants in order to grow participation and ensure the continued relevance of the sport to future generations.

The comprehensive study surveyed males and females aged 18 and above across metropolitan and rural areas, and produced some interesting key findings including:

· 1.15 million Australians have played a round of golf in the last 12 months
· 2.1 million Australians have picked up a golf club to practice or play some form of the game in the last 12 months (includes the 1.15 million who have played a round)
· One third of current players have participated in a golf lesson or clinic
· The most common way people start playing golf is via a friend or partner introducing them to the game

“An important project for every stakeholder in the Australian golf industry, the AGIC commissioned this research so that it could be shared with everyone for the benefit of the game” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia and Chairman of the AGIC.

“The research identifies the key changes in the golf industry as well as emerging consumer demands, which will allow the golf industry to capitalise on a range of opportunities.”

Another key part of the research was a segmentation analysis across current and potential golfers.

The research identified six main consumer segments: Golf Traditionalists, Variety Seekers, The Incidentals and The Alternates made up the current players, whilst Get Me Started and the Health and Fitness Crew were identified as the key segments among potential golfers.

Golf Traditionalists and the Variety Seekers lead the way as the top financial contributors to the golf industry, while the Get Me Started segment offers the biggest opportunity among potential golfers. Two thirds of people in this segment have been to a course, driving range or into a golf shop in the past 12 months and they have the strongest interest in the game among those who don’t currently play.

After assessing this important research the AGIC has established five key themes that are shaping the next steps for the golf industry.

    Leadership: From this point forward golf’s participation strategy, planning and program management will have strong leadership from the National Sporting Organisation (Golf Australia), with clear ownership and dedicated resources to enable the sport to step up to the challenge.

    Focus: The limited investment available requires the sport to be crystal clear about its participation objectives in order to establish its next move; these objectives will therefore be clearly aligned with golf’s overall strategic and marketing objectives and will underpin the sport’s next participation plan.

    Enabling success: The enablers of success highlighted in the report remain critically important. They must be tackled or they will significantly hinder the sport’s efforts in the participation area. As such, planning and delivering programs of work to address them will be high on the agenda. For example, helping the wider golf community to understand the challenge the sport is facing and how it will need to evolve in order to flourish.

    Building on what we have: Any ideas and/or programs of work commissioned to capitalise on the priority opportunities will ‘seek first to understand’, building upon the best existing initiatives, programs and marketing – for example, Swing Fit in the health and fitness area and the best introductory programs in each state.

    Supporting clubs and facilities: Flexible membership models currently seem poorly understood but will be integral to the commercial success of clubs and facilities. As such, as part of a continued commitment to building capability and supporting clubs and facilities with their business models, we will work towards providing great tools, training and coaching.

With this research providing a knowledge base and benchmarks against which to measure progress, it was clearly essential to the health of the Australian golf industry that it was completed.

“Thanks to this ground breaking research report, conducted by Repucom,  our sport is in a much stronger position and will be able to make evidence-based decisions” added Thorburn.

“It’s been great to see the industry working so closely together on this project. Strong alignment and the insights we now have provide a wonderful foundation to grow the game in a collaborative way.”

To view a summary of the research, visit

Established in 2006, the AGIC brings together representatives from the major Golf Industry bodies and works as one to promote golf and industry wide initiatives.

Members of the AGIC include the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association, Australian Ladies Professional Golf, Australian Sporting Goods Association, Golf Australia, Golf Management Australia, PGA of Australia and the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects.