Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Golf course greenkeepers fear shutdown will result in multi-billion dollar damage to turf infrastructure

Golf course greenkeepers fear shutdown will result in multi-billion dollar damage to turf infrastructure
April 2, 2020

Australia's peak turf management body has warned of multi-billion dollar damage to the nation's sporting assets should staff be prevented from undertaking grounds maintenance work during Coronavirus shutdowns.

Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association (AGCSA) Chief Executive, Mark Unwin said the body was lobbying governments to include his staff as "essential" workers to minimise damage during, and expense after, the global pandemic.

As reported by Golf Australia, Unwin advised this week "we have expressed grave concern about the survival of many of our sporting facilities and golf courses should the country move to Alert Level 4 as (they have in) New Zealand, where there has been a complete lockout (of) maintenance operations.

"This has major consequences for the industry.

"Should golf and sporting facilities not be maintained to at least a basic standard over a period, it is conservatively estimated that during such a lockdown, up to $5billion worth of sporting assets Australia-wide will be at significant risk within a week.

"The task of repatriating turf to current conditions may not be achievable. nor affordable for the greater number of clubs and councils.

"We are appealing to government that in the event of a full lockdown, exemptions be provided to allow staff at turf facilities (golf courses and other facilities) to tend to the maintenance of the course and/or surfaces during the lockdown period.

"It is our position that it is vital that turf managers be provided this exemption as once greens and playing surface infrastructure have rapidly declined, due to the costs associated and time requirements to repatriate facilities, too many facilities, clubs and courses around the country could be forced to close their doors for good."

Unwin said such advocacy had already worked in the United Kingdom, commenting "we completely understand that the federal and state governments are doing what they can to save lives and we have reassured the various ministers we are in discussions with, that we are doing all we can to play our part.

"We stand ready to work with Sport Australia, NSOs (including Golf Australia), state sporting organisations and government authorities to ensure that all restrictions are in place, and should an exemption on turf maintenance activity be granted, we will do everything we can to ensure this is done in a controlled environment that is healthy and safe for sports turf managers and the community."

Golf Australia Development General Manager, David Gallichio advised that the body was fully supportive of the AGCSA position.

Gallichio added "in conjunction with the Australian Sports Turf Management Association, Golf NSW and Golf WA, we have begun to lobby both Federal and state governments.

"In the event of a further increase in restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we need to ensure course staff will be able to continue to access facilities so long-term damage and cost impact are minimised."

Image courtesy of Toro.

Related Articles

31st March 2020 - Golf Australia advises that clubs, courses and facilities should close

29th March 2020 - New Australian Government regulations demand public gatherings of no more than two people

28th March 2020 - Clubhouses close but golf courses remain open through Coronavirus crisis

23rd March 2020 - Australian Government announces enhanced $66 billion Coronavirus stimulus package

20th March 2020 - Coronavirus and the leisure industry update: The arts, aquatics, aviation, fitness, golf and swim schools - Friday 20th March

19th March 2020 - NZ Super Fund buys Auckland’s Formosa Golf Course

9th February 2020 - Speaker and registration details revealed for Golf Business Forum 2020

6th January 2020 - Country Club International and Golf Business Australia combine to reduce risk at Australian golf clubs

12th September 2019 - AGCSA rebrand looks to embrace all of areas of sports turf management

17th July 2019 - AGCSA and Golf Business Forum partner to deliver Australia’s largest golf industry event in 2020

23rd April 2019 - AGCSA announces ‘Thank A Superintendent Week’ campaign

7th March 2019 - Golf Course Superintendents’ Association and Golf Business Forum join to create Australia’s largest golf industry event

9th January 2018 - Management change at SportsTurf Consultants

5th September 2017 - Australian Golf Course Superintendents’ Association names new Chief Executive

24th May 2017 - Technology and resilience to be celebrated at 2017 Turf Australia Conference

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues


Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues


Augmented Creative

Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…

read more

Arts / Attractions / Consultants / Design / Tourism



Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness



Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing



Intelligenz provides Leisure Management Software for managing all your Program Registrations, Facility Bookings, Membership Sales and POS Transactions; including detailed Reporting, automated…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology



Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business