Tue May 8 2012Golf Australia’s social club kicks on
By David Newbery
Launched during the Presidents Cup in Melbourne last year, the program provides casual golfers (male and female) over the age of 18 years with the opportunity to get a Golf Australia casual handicap and receive a number of other benefits including personal liability insurance and special offers.
Golf Australia’s national director of golf development Frances Crampton said the program had already attracted thousands of members.
“We had a big AFL Crown Lager golf day recently and two players from each of the AFL teams attended,” she said.
“It was very successful and got huge publicity. So we have had a bit of a spike in membership since then.”
Now Golf Australia plans to ramp up promotion of the program, which was set up to target the 700,000 people who play golf outside the club membership system.
Initially, GA and golf clubs were concerned club members would drop their club membership to join the social club.
“We were a bit concerned it would take people away from membership, but you can’t join if you are a member of a regular club,” Crampton explained. “There’s a one-year moratorium and golf clubs do offer much more than just a handicap.”
It’s a well-known fact golf clubs are finding it difficult to capture the 25-45 demographic and Golf Australia is hoping many social club players will transfer their membership to a golf club.
“Most of the people who play socially or casually usually play in groups and so it is a means of monitoring what they are doing.
“We are running events in each state and the goal is to get people (social players) in the loop initially and hopefully they will transfer to a club membership.
“It’s about trying to get those people in and connected and making sure they have adequate player liability insurance because that’s a concern for us.”
There have been suggestions the self-administered system is opening to cheating, however, Crampton believes players will soon realise they are “only cheating themselves”.
“Golf Australia had to do a lot of work to ensure accuracy of golf courses and ratings, which now allow players to record their own scores,” Crampton said.
“For example, if you and I play golf at Huntingdale we can enter our score and if it’s 98 it (software program) will calculate my score.”
It costs $50 to join the Crown Lager Social Golf Club.