Is the world of golf in New Zealand chang­ing?

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - Ge­off Wit­ton / Pub­lisher

er­tainly when we first started

Cwork­ing in this mag­a­zine at the be­gin­ning of this cen­tury there were over 400 ac­tive golf cour­ses through­out both is­lands and lots of com­ment that we were over rep­re­sented in terms of pop­u­la­tion count. In other words they were un­der­used even in those days.

What has hap­pened in the last 20 years? The world has changed but has club golf? Cer­tainly - ex­cept in a few en­light­ened clubs man­age­ment is frac­tured and ever chang­ing. Come club Board and Com­mit­tee elec­tions there is some­times a huge change of di­rec­tion. Gov­er­nance is lack­ing in many re­spects. Club Man­agers are rarely given proper author­ity and long/medium term busi­ness plans to work to. Club mem­bers get elected and their first pri­or­ity is to make a change to some­thing they have an is­sue with on the course, in the club­house or some­thing else that should be part of day to day man­age­ment rather than con­cen­trat­ing on gov­er­nance!!

All this feeds into a lack of mar­ket and sus­tain­able in­come. In­deed one club we were at re­cently did not have a GM cur­rently on the books. It was all hands to the pumps by the Pro Shop and vol­un­teers. This sit­u­a­tion does not hap­pen overnight!

When you talk to Dean Mur­phy, CEO of NZ Golf Inc. you be­come very quickly re­alise that he and his Board of Di­rec­tors are acutely aware of these is­sues fac­ing the in­dus­try and are be­ing as pro ac­tive as clubs will al­low. How­ever it is slow go­ing. All too of­ten we hear com­ment along the lines of “NZ Golf rec­om­mend this but we ig­nore them!”

In Auck­land the Coun­cil has started tak­ing a good look at the land that they own and cur­rently lease to Clubs. There has been a lot of mis­in­for­ma­tion writ­ten about this process but it is real. Some clubs will need to change, I doubt whether any will be worse off. They may be dif­fer­ent but that's the world we live in.

So are we head­ing to the 300 club mar­ket? Maybe. There are pock­ets of suc­cess, Queen­stown is a clas­sic ex­am­ple, how­ever ru­ral New Zealand may be in for a sea change over the next few years.

I sup­pose we have to com­ment on Tigers win. It has been com­ing for a few months now as he has be­come stronger and fit­ter. We re­ceived a com­plaint a few weeks ago from a reader about our “com­pre­hen­sive” cov­er­age of “the Phi­lan­derer Woods” and no mat­ter how we tried to ex­plain it noth­ing but a to­tal ban would work for the reader. The re­al­ity is he is VERY good at his job, and he draws the Crowds and the Money into the sport. It is what is needed.

Over the past months we have won­dered if Tiger would win again – now the ques­tion is how many more times can he win! En­joy this Mag­a­zine

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