Golf club participation report for 2017 released

Golf Australia is pleased to present the 2017 national golf club participation report.

The fifth of its kind, the report provides annual figures and trends on membership, competition rounds, general participation and specific program participation. The report breaks data into states/territories, districts, gender and age.  The 2017 report also includes participation data recorded from AusPlay and comparison trends with other sports.

The 2017 report highlights the national golf club membership is 389,672 members, comprising 80% male and 20% females.  This represents a 1.1% decline since the 2016 report with declines of greater than 1% in most districts around the country. This reflects the challenges facing traditional sports from a range of societal and demographic pressures.  Despite this, club golf remains vital to regional communities and golf remains the most popular club sport for adults in Australia.

Regional areas recorded an overall membership decline of 1.5% whilst metropolitan areas fell by 1.1%. Social memberships increased by 4.3%, now accounting for 5.7% of total club memberships. South Australia was the only state to record membership growth in the year with a 3.4% increase.

Golf competition rounds remain steady.  In 2017 10.3 million rounds were recorded, a slight increase on 2016 and an increase of 0.7% over five years.

Click to view the snapshot document or the full report.

Global Golf Advisors (GGA) Industry Report

Conference delegates will be aware of the highly regarded keynote presentation by Henry Delozier and his references to the results of the pre-conference survey that was conducted by GGA with support of GMA.

The comprehensive report utilising the analysed response data (45%) and the details make excellent reading for those seeking a significant insight into the golf industry.

Members are encouraged to study the report and they can do so by clicking on the dedicated page within the GGA website –

The GGA website also provides resources to help members implement strategic & business planning and governance reviews along with the survey results & key reports on industry trends.

Henry’s slides and talking points will also be added to the GGA website in due course. Also, Henry and Paul Hinton will be happy to teleconference/follow up with Clubs who wish to know more about the trends and themes discussed in their presentations. 

2017 GMA Salary Census Report released

Thanks to the strong participation rate of GMA clubs (67%) that completed the 2017 Salary Survey, GMA is pleased to be able to provide to its members the 2017 report. The board commissioned Jeff Blunden to develop the report with the cost to do so being borne by GMA as a service to our members.

The production of the 2017 report is somewhat different to the previous practice of providing the report at no charge to those members that contributed data.  Feedback on the principles of charging non-contributors a fee to access the report resolved in the board determining it is more appropriate to make it available to all GMA members via the website.

AGIC releases golf impact findings

Released in recent weeks was the Community Impact Study, commissioned by the Australian Golf Industry Council. The formal study demonstrates the specific economic, social and health benefits the game of golf provides to communities in Australia.

The report produced by Sport Business Partners and Street Ryan is comprehensive and should be studied by golf club administrators and committees. AGIC Chairman and Golf Australia chief executive officer Stephen Pitt stated, “The AGIC study is a great step forward in being able to document the incredible value the game represents to not only those involved directly in the sport, but the Australian community at large.”

GMA is a member of the AGIC and we encourage members to make the report available to their local council representatives and elected state and federal politicians.

The report can be accessed here

Report highlights include:

Economic benefit

• In total, golf in Australia contributes $3.614 billion annually to the community, comprising almost $3.483 billion in economic contribution and $132 million in physical and mental health contribution

• Golf tourism generates $477 million per year through day and overnight visitation, food and beverage spending, accommodation, travel, shopping, etc

• Golf’s physical health benefits contribute $126.6 million per year because of the prevention of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer

Social benefits

• Golf teaches valuable life lessons and principles such as respect, honesty, etiquette and self-discipline

• Golf provides a foundation to build a strong and connected community

• Participation in golf provides regular and cross-generational social interaction across the life span

• The game of golf and golf courses provide a strong connection to the outdoors and natural environment

• A lifelong contribution to reducing the healthcare burden on society through the prevention of disease

In addition …

• On average, Australian golfers have a life satisfaction score of 7.4, compared to the Australian population at 7.3 and the average of OECD countries at 6.6.

• On average, Australian golfers’ scores for social capital are eight percentage points higher than Australian sports participants, and 16 higher than non-sport participants

• Australian golfers have a higher self-assessed health status (59%) than both general sport participants (57%) and non-sport participants (40%)

About AGIC

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.

The AGIC includes representatives from the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association, Australian Ladies Professional Golf, Australian Sporting Goods Association, Golf Australia, Golf Management Australia, PGA of Australia, Public Golf Facilities Australia and the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects.

GMA Education Survey – Detailed Report

As a consultant to the golf club industry and partner of Golf Managment Australia (GMA) in his role as the Golf Club Benchmarking administrator, Jeff Blunden has produced several reports for our association such as the Salary Census and the Golf Operations, Course Breakdown & F&B reports.

 Jeff has kindly provided GMA with an in-depth report from the analysis of responses received in the member education survey undertaken earlier this year.

GMA Educational Insights Survey results

One of the key strategic pillars and objectives of Golf Management Australia (GMA) is the provision of Education and Manager Support.

In February 2017, GMA sought data from its members on a range of questions relating to Education and Professional Development.  151 GMA members participated in the survey representing approximately 43% of the membership . We were delighted in the response and thank members for taking the time to complete the survey. Whilst the vast majority of respondents were General Managers or equivalents, the length of tenure was evenly spread between those new to the industry, those with some experience and those who have held positions for over 10 years.

The survey has provided the Executive with valuable information on what our members believe are their key requirements for supporting their future development. This information will assist the Executive to ensure that we invest in appropriate and relevant programs for the benefit of members.

GMA Benchmarking Report – Golf Operations

The Golf Operations department is the operating heart of most golf clubs. It is also the area of club operations where the most differences can be found in terms of structure, allocations and financial reporting.

This report therefore focuses on the operational outcomes that emanate from this department, providing some headline measures for a number of key elements within golf operations.

The report, provided by Jeff Blunden from GBAS, presents a number of immediate benchmarks for reference within your own operations, including:

  • Totals & mix of rounds played
  • Member rounds and effective cost per member round
  • Public green fee premiums
  • Golf cart revenues and utilization
  • Operations structure
  • Wage cost
  • Golf shop retail spending

It is hoped that the provision of the benchmarks within this report helps to inform you of the current results being achieved across the wider industry and cause you to reflect upon the outcomes that you are achieving at your club.

Analysis within the benchmarking tool is available on more concise member counts, subscription levels and total revenues.

CMAA Post Conference Report – Paul Paterson

Paul Paterson, CEO of Avondale Golf Club in NSW and Strategic Planning Director of Golf Management Australia, recently attended the CMAA 90th World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo in Orlando, Florida.

The Conference is an annual event run by the Club Manager’s Association of America (CMAA). The CMAA is the professional Association for managers of membership clubs. CMAA has close to 6,500 members across all classifications. Manager members run more than 2,500 country, golf, city, athletic, faculty, yacht, town and military clubs.  The objectives of the Association are to promote and advance friendly relations among persons connected with the management of clubs and other associations of similar character; to encourage the education and advancement of members; and to assist club officers and members, through their managers, to secure the utmost in efficient and successful operations.

The association is made up primarily by golf club manager’s (approx 85%) and the others are made up of Yacht/Sailing Club and City Club managers. Of the golf clubs, the majority are private member clubs. Attendees are mainly from the US and Canada; however there were representatives from world golf from over 20 countries with approximately 120 international attendees. In recent years the number of attendees from overseas has grown according to the CMAA.

Whilst the conference was very wide reaching in its topics, the following topics came across strongly during the sessions that I attended:

  • Leadership
  • Membership and Marketing
  • Social media
  • Facility Management
  • Board governance/management empowerment
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Human and Professional Resources
  • Accounting and Financial management
  • Staying relevant in the industry and keeping pace with changes in society

The CMAA conference had an extremely high level of professional speakers mixed with highly renowned Club Managers delivering the seminars.