Date: November 25, 2014

Victorian Labor pledges $10m to the ‘Home of Golf’

The proposed national “Home of Golf” project, which would see the head offices of PGA of Australia, Golf Australia and Golf Victoria under one roof, has received a boost with Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews assuring his support for the project under a Labor Government.

The National Home of Golf and Centre of Excellence Project is a “world first” development that, for the first time in golf’s history, will bring together the Australian golf industry.

This project will help grow the game and ensure it has a long term sustainable future through development of world standard educational, training, research and administration facilities developed in partnership with all levels of government.

The proposed development would also include a Museum and Hall of Fame, another first for the sport within Australia. It is estimated that $32million in funding is required for the project.

Speaking last week from Metropolitan Golf Club, the venue of the Australian Masters, Andrews pledged funding towards the project.

“If the Labor Government is elected on the 29th November, we will allocate $10million towards this exciting proposal, the Home of Golf,” said Andrews.

“Having all the different bodies under one roof [and] giving them the best facilities, that’s how we will create the best players and the best prospects for the future.”

“Whether it’s elite players representing our state and the nation, growing the game and giving our kids a taste of this unique sport, or creating jobs through the golf industry [or] the tourism and visitor economy, the Home of Golf is a really important part of that.”

The announcement earlier this year by the CEO’s of all three organisations of the intended project demonstrates a positive direction for the golf industry, which has traditionally been fragmented in its governance.

“Golf as a business contributes billions to the economy, and it is our duty to ensure we implement strategies for this to grow well into the future.” said Brian Thorburn, PGA of Australia Chief Executive Officer.

“The impact of golf in the community is significant; from grassroots to Professional level as a sport and from club level to golf tourism as a business. To achieve the growth we all strive for we must work more collaboratively as an industry and the national ‘Home of Golf’ is a significant step towards this.”

All parties acknowledge the Labor Party’s commitment to golf and with the sport returning to the Olympics in 2016, Golf Australia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Pitt said it was an opportune time to plan for a bold future.

“The ‘Home of Golf’ would allow some of the sport’s key decision makers to accelerate golf’s promotion and development.” Pitt said.

“Streamlined decisions will help us minimise duplication of resources and take the game to the next level around Australia and provide significant community benefit.”

The benefit of the proposed facility has the potential to extend across a diverse section of the community.

The golf driving range and short course practice area will be utilised for new programs and activities that are designed to encourage inclusion across all sectors of the Australian community including socially and economically disadvantaged, women, Indigenous Australians and the multicultural sector.

“This is great news for golf, particularly for Victoria with our state known for having some of the world’s best courses. This was highlighted by how The Metropolitan Golf Club presented itself for last week’s Masters where the sport was showcased at a professional level,” Golf Victoria Chief Executive Officer Simon Brookhouse said.

“It’s a great opportunity for golfers to have a home of golf for the first time in the sport’s history. Melbourne has the reputation of being the sporting capital of the world and we look forward to this new world class facility further enhancing the reputation.”

“In my opinion this is a quantum step in the direction of unifying the sport essentially bringing the amateur and professional games closer together. Such a decision will lead to greater collaboration between all the relevant golfing bodies and ultimately help to grow our great game.”

This project contributes to the key Australian Government objective of working in partnership with the state government, the ASC and key national sporting organisations to develop, implement and promote policies and strategies to support participation, achievement and integrity in Australian sport.