Give your club a ‘health check’

Inside Golf - - From The Ceo -

THE health of our clubs is hugely im­por­tant to Golf Australia.

It was iden­ti­fied in our strate­gic plan re­leased this year as be­ing a key fo­cus area, and also in our par­tic­i­pa­tion plan of 2013, and it is crit­i­cal to the game in this coun­try. It is as sim­ple as that.

There are roughly 1600 clubs in Australia, and our re­search tells us that around half of them are un­der some kind of fi­nan­cial duress. Many of them are ef­fec­tively run by vol­un­teers; all of them are key stake­hold­ers in our game.

They need help and this is why Golf Australia, in a col­lab­o­ra­tive ini­tia­tive with the peak bod­ies in the game, has launched a club sup­port por­tal on our web­site, at http://club­sup­port.golf.org.au/ aimed at im­prov­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity, fi­nan­cial per­for­mance and sus­tain­abil­ity of our clubs.

It’s quite an in­ter­est­ing idea, which we have taken from a look at Eng­land Golf, as well as other sports in Australia such as bowls and cricket which have gone out of their way to pro­vide sup­port mech­a­nisms for their clubs.

We see it as Golf Australia tak­ing lead­er­ship in this area, but we also needed buy-in. This is why it has been done in co­op­er­a­tion with the state and ter­ri­tory golf as­so­ci­a­tions, the PGA of Australia,

Golf Man­age­ment Australia, Aus­tralian Golf Course Su­per­in­ten­dents As­so­ci­a­tion and the Aus­tralian Sports Com­mis­sion.

Clubs who use the re­source will find that it car­ries a health check tool which takes around half an hour to com­plete, and even of­fers up po­ten­tial ac­tions to ad­dress prob­lems. It also in­cludes a club bench­mark­ing tool de­vel­oped by Golf Man­age­ment Australia, where clubs can com­pare them­selves with oth­ers.

The state bod­ies are com­ing on board. Sev­eral have al­ready agreed to em­ploy spe­cific staff to help out golf clubs with is­sues.

At Golf Australia, we urge clubs to con­sider us­ing th­ese tools and draw upon the ex­per­tise that ex­ists in the in­dus­try. Golf clubs are an un­usual busi­ness and they are dif­fi­cult to run, with a mas­sive as­set to main­tain. In the mod­ern en­vi­ron­ment, con­sumers are not nec­es­sar­ily want­ing club membership be­cause of time con­straints.

Clubs need to adapt to this en­vi­ron­ment but we are on hand to help.

Stephen Pitt

CEO – Golf Australia

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