25 Jun 2021 | Industry news |

AusPlay figures confirm ... golf is booming

by Martin Blake

Moore Park driving range image
Golf courses and driving ranges (like this one at Moore Park in Sydney) are overflowing. Photo: Moore Park Golf

The boom in Australian golf has been confirmed by official AusPlay statistics released today.

They show that golf bucked the downward trend in organised sport caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in reporting that 253,000 more adult Australians played golf in 2020 than in 2019.

It was by far the best result of organised sporting activities, with only tennis (185,000) showing a similar upward trend.

AusPlay is the official survey of sporting participation conducted by Sport Australia, the sports arm of the Federal Government.

Beginning in 2015, it is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind conducted in Australia, with 20,000 people aged over 15 completing the survey.

Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland told ‘The Age’ today that golf club memberships were tracking for a five percent rise.

“Rusted-on golfers are playing more, retired golfers have come back to the sport and new golfers have discovered it,” said Sutherland.

The AusPlay survey showed that the proportion of children playing sport at least once a week fell from 55 to 43 per cent in 2020, while Sport Australia’s acting chief executive Rob Dalton said participation in organised team sports including soccer, netball and basketball declined.

“Sports like golf and tennis, which were not as affected by lockdowns and restrictions, have seen significant increases in participation over the past 12 months,” Dalton told ‘The Age’. Figures released by Golf Australia recently showed a 12 percent increase in competition rounds nationwide over the summer.

Anecdotally, public facilities and driving ranges have been reporting a huge surge in activity since the beginning of the pandemic.

AusPlay graph image
The AusPlay data shows golf and tennis with increases, alone among organised sports. Credit: AusPlay.

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