Golf is a sport that is important to New Zealanders, holding a special place in the nation’s sporting landscape.
Each year over half a million kiwis play the sport at one of the 390 clubs throughout the country, making it the most played formal sport in New Zealand. As a sector, golf employs over 2,000 people and contributes more than a billion dollars to the national economy each year.
Golf additionally makes a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of its participants across all ethnicities and all ages, increases the social connectivity of communities and provides important education and life values outcomes for young people.
New Zealand Golf and a number of other organizations in the golf sector realized the potential to form an industry group to encourage coordination and collaboration between parties active in the New Zealand golf industry and from that a new body – The New Zealand Golf Industry Council – was incorporated on September 27, 2017 with the following objectives:
- To encourage a coordination and collaboration between organizations in the New Zealand Golf industry;
- To provide a forum to bring together all key sectors of the New Zealand Golf industry to work in a coordinated way to grow, support and promote the game of golf.
- To coordinate and optimize industry research and other agreed industry projects.
- To identify matters that are of common interest to the members and on which broad industry consensus view can be logically achieved.
- To provide an effective medium for disseminating relevant communications, news on developments and projects undertaken and or achieved by the New Zealand Golf industry both within and external to the industry and its individual members.
The Board elected at the inaugural General Meeting comprises:
Des Topp – Golf Managers Association of New Zealand – Chairman
Michael Glading NZ Golf Tournaments – Deputy Chairman
Dominic Sainsbury – the PGA of New Zealand,
Ryan Brandeburg – NZ Golf Tourism, NZ Golf
Jan Rowsell – New Zealand Golf
Greg Swafford – NZ Golf Course Superintendents Association
Sam Sullivan – New Zealand Sporting Goods Association
Denise Langdon – Inbound/Outbound Golf Tourism
The board has set as its goals to:
- Determine the value of golf to the well-being of the aging population
- Determine the value of the golf industry to the NZ economy
- Evaluate the ecological benefits of the golf industry
Funding is now being sought to fund the research involved in collating this data.
Preliminary data already to hand shows that golf is the predominant sport in New Zealand for men aged 55 years plus and that the health benefits to them, if they play golf just once or twice a week, are enormous.
In 2019, the Council is planning an industry wide forum and trade exhibition to coincide with a Charity Golf Day with the proceeds going towards the New Zealand Golf Foundation.
The New Zealand Golf Industry Council is an important addition to the golfing road map in New Zealand and we welcome enquiries for membership or financial support of our projects which can be directed to www.nzgic.co.nz.