Date: March 24, 2016
Author: Bronwyn Slatter, PGA of Australia

Rounds growth continues in 2015

The Australian Golf Industry Council has released its National Competition Rounds Report for the final quarter and full-year results for 2015.

Approximately 14.54 million rounds were recorded by GolfLink over a 12-month period ending December 2015, showing a 1.9 per cent increase over the same 12-month period from the year prior.

Chairman of the AGIC, Brian Thorburn, was pleased with the latest 12-month figures which showed a continued trend of steady growth.

"It's encouraging to see steady growth and that more and more clubs are seeing an increase in rounds being played," Thorburn said.

"With our Australian Professionals performing so well overseas and with the reintroduction of golf into the Olympics, more interest in our sport is being generated. These events stimulate golfers, assist clubs and facilities to promote the game, and help to convert the casual golfer to a regular golfer."

Slightly higher growth was recorded in rounds played by male golfers, who accounted for 82 per cent of all rounds played with an increase of 2.1 per cent on previous years, together with a small increase in rounds played by female golfers.

"Female golf participation will continue to grow thanks to programs like Swing Fit, which encourages more female participation in our sport," Thorburn said.

Competition rounds growth was achieved in seven of the twelve monthly periods with Western Australia experiencing the largest increase in rounds played for the financial year, recording growth of 10 per cent in 2015.

Victoria also benefited from a less disruptive year weather-wise with rounds growth recorded in each quarter of the year.

In New South Wales and South Australia, the autumn and winter periods delivered softer demand over the corresponding period in 2014.

Stronger results were recorded in metropolitan areas with the collective capital cities enjoying 3.6 per cent growth in 2015, with Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne markets the standout performers.

For the final quarter of 2015, rounds were comparably subdued compared to the same period in 2014. Negative trends were recorded in New South Wales, South Australian and the Northern Territory while Victoria, Queensland, West Australia and Tasmania recorded growth.

Queensland stood out as the top performing state recording a 4.5 per cent increase in rounds played. In the month of November rounds played nationally fell by 7 per cent in 2014, while the same period in 2015 saw growth.

Competition rounds are defined as a single handicapped round only and exclude rounds played in non-handicapped events and rounds played at public facilities.

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.