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Golf Australia reports boom in club membership

Golf Australia reports boom in club membership
November 25, 2020
Golf / Sport /

Golf Australia’s latest report, New member demand … The impact of COVID-19, confirms that more than 42,000 people have joined golf clubs in the 10 months to the end of October with Australian golf’s 2020 boom continuing at a pace, driven by a surge in interest from young men.

The surge in new membership demand is 126% nationally - despite the lengthy COVID-19 shutdown in metropolitan Melbourne - and on track for a 5% overall annual rise, which would represent the best such number since 1989.

Golf Australia’s General Manager Golf Development, David Gallichio was optimistic about the findings, compiled by Golf Business Advisory Services pointing to the encouraging immediate results for Australian clubs and facilities, while highlighting the “critical” need for the industry to sustain the long-term interest.

Gallichio explained “the numbers themselves are important right now. But what is paramount for the game’s future is for us to ensure the retention of the new members and players by extrapolating the data and taking those lessons to our clubs and facilities.”

The strongest growth has been among males aged 20-49 with almost 75% of male membership growth from that cohort.

Male membership growth has represented 88% of the total surge and it is women aged 50+ who have been responsible for more than 56% of the female growth.

Gallichio said the research also pointed to the different ways new members were using their clubs.

In the corresponding six-month period in 2019, new members played 64% of their golf at weekends.

Gallichio noted “this year’s newcomers have switched that up to the point that only 56% are playing across weekends.

“And we’ve been excited to see a 133% spike in new members in regional areas this year (to the end of October), too.

“These are just some of the lessons we have to take on as an industry to ensure that new members get the most value from their investment and continue long-term.”

Additionally, GA and the PGA have worked closely to begin development of a “membership attraction and retention” toolkit for clubs, facilities and PGA members, helping them to capitalise on this uncommon growth.

The Australian Golf Industry Council is fully invested in the initiatives with all member organisations to offer similar education packages to help their members deliver positive outcomes.

Rounds growth has also continued.

The report reveals that year-to-date October data (excluding Victoria) shows rounds 8% up on 2019 - and 22% in the months May to October.

For this latter period, male and female rounds demand is up by 22% and 20%, respectively.

Image courtesy of Mona Vale Golf Club, NSW.

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