Golf Boom Continues in Australia

Picture by Chris Keane/USGA.

Sydney, Australia: Golf Australia’s 2021/22 Participation Report has revealed that more than 2.7 million Australians play golf, with each state and territory experiencing another year of significant club membership growth.

For the first time, Golf Australia has worked with the National Golf Foundation to outline participation across all forms of golf.

The data reveals that over the 12 months, Australia’s golf courses hosted 1.5 million golfers, while a further 1.2 million played off-course at a range of spaces, including driving ranges, mini-golf facilities and simulators.

Club memberships across the country grew by 2.7% in 2021/22 following a record 6.4% growth in the previous 12 months, highlighted by a rise in the number of women golfers and junior golfers. Social club membership has increased by 8.9% over the past year.

It’s the second largest golf membership increase since data collection began in 1970.

Golf Australia’s Get into Golf programme for adults grew by 65% with an 84% jump in female participation, while there was 13% growth in MyGolf for five to 12-year-olds which featured a 25% increase in female participation.

The growth is supported by Australian Sports Commission’s AusPlay data, with the 2021/22 results revealing a 33% increase in people identifying as golfers on pre-Covid levels.

Golf Australia CEO James Sutherland said the positive figures continued the momentum created by the launch of the Australian Golf Strategy which focuses on making the game more inclusive and accessible to Australians from all walks of life.

He said: “Golf is big – and it’s getting bigger. We’re delighted to see golf in Australia is growing at a rate never seen before and consolidating its position as one of the country’s highest participation sports.

“With more people playing the game than ever before, this Participation Report highlights the community’s passion for the game – and the way long-term investments into our grass-roots programmes have helped to turn social players into club members.

“Across every meaningful metric, golf is thriving and we’re particularly buoyed by the growth in women’s golf and junior golf.

“There’s always more to do, but we are well on our way to making our great game even bigger and more inclusive.”

This year’s participation measurement was adapted to align more closely with the Australian golf industry’s philosophy that ‘all golf is golf’.

“Whether you’re a social golfer, long-time member, weekly comp player, putt-putt specialist, driving range regular or simulator lover – you contribute to our golfing community and the health of our game,” said Sutherland.

Key figures (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022)

  • Total participation: 2.7 million (800,000 just on course; 700,000 both on and off course; and 1.2 million just off course).
  • Club membership: 426,384 (up 2.7%, 11,208 new members)
  • Junior members: 16,241 (up 4.2%)
  • Women and girl members: 79,704 (up 4.0%)
  • State by state club membership growth: NSW (0.6%), Victoria (2.6%), Queensland (3.9%), South Australia (4.6%), Western Australia (1.7%), Tasmania (7.2%), Northern Territory (9.9%).
  • Participation programmes: Get Into Golf up 65%, My Golf up 13%, Community Instructor Accreditations up 30%, Disability Inclusion Programme up 90%

For more information and statistics, read the full Participation Report here.

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