Growing the game
As the sport of golf nears 150 years of existence in New Zealand, with attempts to establish a golf course in Otago documented as early as 1871, the sport has long stood the test of time; its history and tradition widely acknowledged as core strengths.
Yet in the modern era, an era of time-poor, technologically savvy millennials, such strength can also be an inhibitor to golf organisations’ propensity to adapt to changing economic, societal and market forces.
As cited by the Golf Facilities Plan, an Independent HSBC Report: Golf’s 2020 Vision study believes, for example, six and nine hole formats and other short-forms will complement the 18-hole tradition.
In attempting to influence sustainability in the future, golf facilities will become more family friendly, more unisex and more modern.
“We expect that golf clubs will increase participation in the sport in a range of forms, particularly among young people,” Marriott-Lloyd predicts. “This means looking at new ways to encourage people to play golf and respond to the changing nature of participation.
“Council also encourages golf courses to look at opportunities to increase participation in other forms of sport and recreation through diversification of land use.”
Fletcher, in representing Albert-Eden-Roskill, also maintains that Auckland Council is confident of golf participation levels growing in line with Auckland’s overall population growth.
“The increased number of people living in the city is only going to place more pressure on sporting facilities,” she says. “We believe it makes sense to have a strategy framework in place for golf, and indeed for other sports, to ensure the game is represented fairly.”