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Golf’s participation grows again

POSTED ON November 29, 2023 @ 5:57 pm

Australian golf is celebrating a fourth consecutive year of participation growth, with 17.6 percent of adult Australians hitting a golf ball in 2022-23. The figures were revealed in the annual participation report released today at Moore Park Golf Course in Sydney.

A total 3.5 million adult Australians played golf in the last year – at golf courses, driving ranges, simulators or mini-golf facilities – with golf club membership now up by 10.2 percent over the past three years.

Club membership grew by 1.9 percent in 2022-23 to 434,825 people, following increases of 2.7 percent in 2021-22 and a record 6.4 percent surge in 2020-21.

The full report can be found here.

There was also a 9.3 percent rise in junior membership at clubs around the country, along with a surge in women and girls joining golf clubs with an increase of 12.6 percent.

Golf Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said golf continued to surge in popularity both on and off the course.

“Golf is clearly one of Australia’s biggest participation sports,” said Sutherland.

“It has always been big, and it is getting bigger. The 10 percent increase in golf club membership over recent years is one thing, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Australians flocking to the game.

“There is a changing face of our sport that sees growth in traditional on-course golf being fueled through the popularity of off-course golf – driving ranges, indoor golf, and mini-golf.

“As those that work in the industry will tell you, they have never been busier.  In many ways, these numbers are a credit to them all – PGA professionals, club and facility staff, greenskeepers, retail employees, and others across Australian golf.

“These people are passionate about customer service and providing great experiences through golf to Australians of ages, backgrounds, and abilities.  We thank them for their wonderful contribution to our sport.

“We are delighted to observe that the disciplined commitment to execution of our Strategy for Australian Golf 2022-2025 is continuing to pay dividends for our game. Together with increases in participation, we are seeing a growing realisation that golf is a fun and highly accessible sport for all Australians.”

The key numbers released today:

  • 3.5 million Australians played golf in 2022-23, representing 17.6 percent of adult Australians – up from 2.7 million in 2021-22.
  • 2.2 million people played on a golf course at least once in 2022-23, with 50% of those people playing at least one form of alternative golf either on the driving range, on a simulator or on a mini-golf course.
  • A further 1.3 million people only played off-course.
  • Club membership increased 1.9 percent, with 8045 new members joining. The average age of these new members was 41 for men and boys and 52 for women and girls.
  • State-by-state membership growth:  SA 5%, Tasmania 5%, WA 3.4%, Qld 1.9%, NSW 1.4%, Vic 0.9%, NT -7%
  • Junior membership at clubs rose 9.3 percent.
  • Women and girls membership rose 12.6 percent, and men and boys membership rose 1.9 percent at clubs.
  • Numbers in the MyGolf participation program rose 22 percent year-on-year, and Get Into Golf numbers rose 39 percent.

Photo credit: Golf Australia

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