PLAY NINE GAINING MOMENTUM
THE R&A recently published figures suggesting there has been a substantial spike in participation for shorter formats of the game; most notably, an increase in competitive nine-hole scorecards being submitted.
These findings were to be expected, however, with various national bodies – including Golf Australia – introducing new and exciting ways to play the game in order to attract time-conscious people.
Last year, for instance, the inaugural “Play 9” initiative gave club golfers the chance to tackle the back nine holes of The Australian Golf Club during the Australian Open. It attracted 163 clubs and nearly 2,500 entries.
The Play 9 competition has already opened for 2018 – and 24 lucky players from around the country will experience nine holes at The Lakes Golf Club on November 17 (day three of the Aussie Open). Winners will also receive two nights’ accommodation in Sydney, an invitation to the Champion’s Cocktail Function and a gift pack.
Golf Australia is hoping to reach more than 350 clubs and 10,000 players – and is currently in the process of providing marketing materials to clubs and facilities, including posters and videos.
“Essentially, I see nine-hole golf as a lever through which the sport can: One: Help reduce membership attrition, especially during family years, by changing the prevalent, ‘If I can’t play 18 holes regularly, I might as well give up,’ mindset. Two: Attract new people to golf who want to take up the game, but currently see time as the major barrier,” said Golf Australia Marketing Director, Danny Bowerin.
Entry is simple. All you have to do is find one of the many clubs participating in the competition and submit a nine-hole scorecard through Golf Link, remembering you will need an official Golf Australia handicap to compete. For more details and a list of participating clubs, visit www.golf.org.au/play9.