Facility Management & Strategy

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Golf Course 2030 (GC2030) was established by The R&A in 2018 as an industry initiative to consider the impacts, both positive and negative, of the changing climate, resource constraints and regulation on course condition and playability.

Its aim is to produce a roadmap that will steer the sport to mitigate the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that these issues present.

The GC2030 plan for Australia will promote greater resilience through appropriate management practices which address the challenges and opportunities. It will meet strategic needs at regional, national, and local level, and the operational needs at golf facility level.

Australia’s GC2030 plan is intended to align with The R&A’s purpose: to make golf more accessible, appealing and inclusive, and to ensure it is thriving 50 years from now. Our golf courses are our sport’s foundation. Without conditioning and playability, suitable to the venue’scustomer base and location, that is appealing to golfers, the game will not thrive.

Download the GC2030 document HERE

Golf course management is a complex profession, a balance of science and art, surface preparation and compliance management. More than ever, golf clubs require highly trained professionals to oversee and implement the management of their course.

Superintendents and course maintenance staff now have qualifications ranging from trade certificates through to degrees in turf and business management.

The role of the modern golf course superintendent is more diverse than ever before. Regardless of the size of the facility, the superintendent is required to oversee areas that include:

  • Turf management;

  • WHS management

  • Agronomy

  • Asset management

  • Human resources

  • Public relations

  • Financial management

  • Ambassador

  • Irrigation management

  • Educator

  • Environmental management; &

  • Role model.

Also, there can be enormous variations in work circumstances including:

  • Staff levels

  • Budget differences

  • Equipment differences

  • Playing/traffic demands

  • Grass type/soil type variations

  • Climatic differences &

  • Quality and quantity of water supplies.

The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA) has recently developed an informative guide to assist Greens Committee members in the following areas:

  • Role of the Green Committee

  • Planning

  • Managing expectations

  • Compliance

  • Water; &

  • Meetings.

The guide, available for download below, is a valuable resource and could help your club improve its golf course management performance.

Contact the ASTMA or association in your state for:

  • Golf Course Architects & designers

  • Irrigation Suppliers

  • Turf suppliers

  • Earth moving companies

  • Tree Management Companies

Facilities management also involves care for the environment. The Australian Golf Environmental Initiative was set up in 2005 between Golf Australia and the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association to promote and foster care of the environment on Australian golf courses.

Agronomic & Turf Management Services for Club 2019/2020 News

GA now offers clubs fully funded Agronomic & Turf Management Diagnostic and Analytical Services through ASTMA.

The service includes funding for:

  • Disease Diagnostic Report

  • Soil Nutrient Analysis

  • Plant Tissue Analysis

  • Water Quality Analysis

  • Nematode Testing & Analysis


  • USGA Suitability Analysis - (GA part funding)

  • Bunker Sand Suitability Analysis - (GA part funding)

Got a course issue? See your clubs and facilities support representative to be assisted with analysis of the problem.

Related documents:

Most golf club businesses will experience an event which disrupts the operation of the business at some stage. A disaster or business interruption can be any event such as fire, cyclone, flood, earthquake, computer virus, drought, pandemic, epidemic. Unfortunately, experience tells us that many businesses are not prepared for disaster events and may not have the resources to manage such events.

The key to preparing for, and managing, an event is making sure that your Committee/Board is well prepared and provided with the necessary tools and resources.


Disaster Event Toolkit - (PDF 1.96MB) Golf Business Recovery Tool Calculator - (XLXS 88.2KB)

Whether employed on the club’s staff or as a contractor, the club professional is often the main person charged with the responsibility of running the day to day golf operations of the club. As the golf industry changes to adapt to the modern game, so too do the skills and diversity of PGA of Australia Members.

The PGA of Australia comprises of more than 2,600 dedicated men and women promoting the game of golf both within Australia and overseas in the roles of Club Professionals, Assistant Professionals, Teaching Professionals, Senior Professionals, Senior Tournament Professionals and future Members, Trainees.

Related documents:

The role that Hospitality (Food & Beverage) plays in clubs supports the social enhancement of the club. Whilst some clubs may be perfectly equipped to meet their members’ needs with offerings of barbecues, hot pies and sandwiches served by fellow members, others may large numbers of qualified staff offering a la carte dinning, multiple service outlets, and have function facilities for large scale weddings, dinners and cocktail parties.

One thing that is common amongst clubs is that their hospitality operation is very different from most segments of the hospitality industry.

One thing that is common amongst clubs is that their hospitality operation is very different from most segments of the hospitality industry. For one, most medium to large clubs offer a diversity of eating experiences under the one roof.

Unlike a café or restaurant that tend to specialise in one type of catering, a chef in a club prepares all types of catering for the diversity of member needs and for private functions. The repeat nature of the clientele means the club has to keep producing something new each week.

These operations are therefore very much creative rather than highly process driven. Naturally, there are higher costs in being a creative operation.

A club is largely capped in its clientele, based on the number of members. Whilst the services standards in most member clubs are expected to be high, there is most often an expectation that the profit margin on food is contained to what could be referred to as "member prices".

One key area where clubs have grown to reflect the wider hospitality industry is the growth in the proportion of informal dining compared with formal dining.

Research via club benchmarking makes it clear that the larger the club, the lower the net return on investment from food and beverage and the lower the proportion of club net revenue that is derived from hospitality services.

A small club with less food variety and has volunteer support may budget to make a considerable proportion of its income from the net profit from sales in food and beverage. In most large clubs, the service expectations leave little net income from food and beverage.

Large clubs that invest many millions in new clubhouses should not be under the illusion that the clubhouse investment will be paid for out of food and beverage profits. The real value in a clubhouse is the social interaction and member service that it offers, supporting the core business of the club, the golf course membership revenue.

Private functions can be a great way for clubs to recover monies lost in the day to day service to members and generate a break-even or profitable hospitality business.

Click this link to watch a GA golf club webinar recording: "Book more weddings, functions & conferences."

Watch this webinar on creating your Facebook business account.

Club Operation or Contract Caterers?

Often clubs review their catering operation and consider whether it may be more cost effective to out-source the operation. Clubs should consider carefully the pros and cons of outsourcing their operation such as the expectations of; cost and pricing, the diversity and quality of food offered and the control over decision making. It is best to spend time comparing existing operations with similar clubs and to talk with clubs that have outsourced their catering to hear their insights.

Related documents:

National & State facility plans

The breadth of the golf industry have welcomed the development of the Australian Golf Facilities Guidelines, a dedicated national resource to benchmark, lead and support best practice planning, design, and development of golf facilities and infrastructure. The guidelines provide recommended guiding principles to assist investment and direction for the planning and development of new facilities and redevelopment of existing golf facilities. The first of its kind in Australia and leading the world in its approach, this resource will cater for the diverse needs of a broad range of stakeholders, including Golf Club and Facility Owners, Managers and Operators, PGA Professionals, Club Boards and Committees, Local Government Authorities, State and Territory Governments, Federal Government, and Land and Property Developers. The aim of the guidelines is to transform golf clubs and facilities to be modern, thriving and sustainable community hubs, improve the sustainability and financial viability of clubs and facilities, drive greater diversity and innovation in the planning and development of golf facilities and increase investment into golf infrastructure projects.

Facility management includes the daily management of the golf and hospitality functions as well as the maintenance and upgrading of the course and clubhouse.

The success of this management is determined by the skills and experience of the people who run them (aided by policies and procedures), the way the board and committees work together (governance), and the funds that exist to upgrade club infrastructure and equipment.

Supporting the strategic area of Clubs and Facilities Health, GA has developed a National Facilities Strategy to support the provision of well located, welcoming, accessible and sustainable golf facilities with a focus on:

  • Improving the quality, functionality and sustainability of existing golf facilities and protecting sites in key locations.

  • Assisting the planning, funding and development of new and sustainable golf facilities in key growth areas.

  • Ensuring all golf facilities cater for an increasing diversity of participants.

  • Developing relationships with all levels of government and other organisations in the advocacy, planning and provision of golf facilities.

  • Facilitating opportunities to create community and regional golf facility hubs.

The national strategy will deliver a ‘full set’ of facility planning tools and resources designed to assist clubs and facilities, local councils and facility operators and owners in the future planning of golf facility projects.  The outcomes will include a facility planning framework with the roles of key stakeholders identified, a hierarchy of golf venues with defined facility elements, programs and service levels, preferred guidelines for golf facility development projects and a national audit of golf facilities that identifies key issues, gaps and future opportunities. The process will also guide the establishment of local government reference groups, state and regional level facility development plans and identifying ‘at-risk’ clubs and facilities.

The Victorian Golf Facilities and Infrastructure Strategy that will guide the delivery of golf facilities and infrastructure in Victoria for the next generation. The Victorian Golf Facilities and Infrastructure Strategy has been developed to provide a framework that enables golf and its strategic partners to better understand and prioritise its facility needs, and to ensure the many benefits that the game provides can continue to be delivered.

The Victorian Golf Facilities and Infrastructure Strategy provides us with a once in a generation opportunity to establish golf for the future and redefine how golf is perceived by the community – and also how golf as an industry, engages with the community.

The strategy will help to provide Victoria’s golf clubs and facilities with clarity and direction in their facility planning and development objectives, especially when recovering from the significant economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our industry.

Australian Golf wishes to thank a number of stakeholders for their significant contribution to the development of the Victorian Golf Facilities and Infrastructure Strategy.

  • The Victorian Government for their financial support and strategic guidance. 

  • The Victorian golf community including districts, clubs and individual members and golfers that have provided input via the workshops and participant survey. 

  • Key golf industry stakeholders and strategic partners including Golf Australia, Professional Golfers Association of Australia, Women’s Professional Golfers Association Tour of Australasia, Public Golf Facilities Australia, Australian Sports Turf Managers Association, Golf Management Australia (Victoria), Society of Australian Golf Course Architects, Sport Australia, Parks and Leisure Australia, and the Board of Golf Victoria. 

  • Over 50 local government representatives who participated in the online workshops.

In partnership with the Queensland Government, with the assistance of Inside Edge Sport & Leisure Planning has developed a Queensland State-wide Golf Facilities Plan. This was an important project that aligns to the national facilities strategy and provides valuable insights to assist the future development of other State/Territory facility plans.

The Queensland State-wide Golf Facilities Plan will enable strategic decision making and leadership in facility provision and condition across the state with the aim to address the challenges that the sport is facing through developing a plan that provides golf in Queensland with:

  • An understanding of current and future facility needs.

  • Identifies facility planning and development initiatives that supports sustainable clubs and facilities.

  • Recommends short, medium and long term infrastructure development priorities.

For more information about the project: 

With the assistance of Inside Edge Sport & Leisure Planning, Golf Australia has commenced work on a Public Access Facilities Plan for Golf in Greater in Adelaide (The Plan).

The South Australian Government’s Game On Strategy clearly articulates the significant social and economic benefits of a community undertaking regular physical activity. Given the number of alternative forms of golf which can be enjoyed by all ages, we believe that golf should be playing a greater role in helping to progress the State Government’s active living objectives.

The Plan will provide a framework for Golf Australia to work collaboratively with key clubs and facilities identified across Greater Adelaide in order to secure future funding for facility upgrades to improve the quality, functionality and sustainability of existing golf facilities in the region.

For more information about the project: 

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