Australian Golf meets to launch historic national strategy

Launched at the newly opened Australian Golf Center in Melbourne, the strategy would provide a roadmap for the game at all levels for the foreseeable future, marking “an ambition to develop golf as efficiently, collaboratively and sustainably as possible”.

Golf Australia CEO James Sutherland said: “This national strategy gives golf in Australia a strong sense of direction. It has allowed us to collectively lift our eyes to the enormous potential of golf as a sport for all. We share the industry’s enthusiasm for the opportunities ahead – and we are committed to serving Australian golf and its millions of golfers.

“The positive appetite for change has been overwhelming and I am proud to be here today representing not Golf Australia but Australian Golf in this industry first. “

Acknowledging that sport was seen by many as expensive and non-inclusive, WPGA Tour of Australasia CEO Karen Lunn said the strategy was “designed to challenge that perception and change that reality.”

Lunn said, “Golf needs to be committed to making all clubs and facilities welcoming. We need to embrace all formats of golf like golf and allow more people to play more often in a way that fits their lifestyle and interests.

“There is a clear opportunity to better serve our members, attract newcomers and make the game more engaging for women, children and families. It’s affordable, it’s accessible and it’s fun, but we know that’s not how it looks, and we’re determined to change that.

PGA Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman said the strategy provides direction on the industry’s aspiration for a customer experience that promotes fun while playing and being involved in golf.

“We all have a role to play in this regard: golf club managers and staff, PGA professionals, volunteer administrators and other industry employees. We want everyone who plays our great game, regardless of ability or preferred format they choose to play, to have fun and come back for more.

Kirkman noted that significant growth in the sport through the global pandemic was not something to be taken for granted. “While Australian Golf has seen a significant spike in interest and participation thanks to Covid-19, after a 20-year slowdown, the industry is not concerned that issues remain and need to be addressed to ensure that the known growth is sustained.

“Golf has such a great story to tell, but it needs to improve to tell it. It is a game that can be played by anyone, at any age, in any format. Growing the game is the key to Golf’s success and working together is the only way to achieve it.

Kirkman also noted the need to focus on aggregating and packaging key tournaments to help present the game in new ways. “From Karis Davidson to Min Woo Lee and Cam Smith, our competitive golfers come from all walks of life and truly reflect the diversity and accessibility of our sport.

Over 10,000 people were consulted during the development of the strategy, including golfers, club representatives, PGA members, industry partners, the public, government, equipment suppliers and industry experts in a series of webinars, meetings and surveys.

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