08 Jan 2024 | Clubs & Facilities | Participation |
Golf meets entertainment at revamped Melbourne Golf Park
by Andrew Young
One of Melbourne’s most popular golfing facilities has had a significant upgrade, as Melbourne Golf Park, offers an all-encompassing golfing experience for new and experienced players alike.
Formerly the Albert Park Driving Range, the revamped Melbourne Golf Park, offers so much more than just a bucket of balls.
Featuring a sixty-bay driving range – all supported by Trackman technology – as well as a short-game practice area and lessons to cater to the serious player, the redevelopment also considered golf’s changing face; with mini-golf, a rooftop bar and music all available to appeal to an emergent clientele.
General Manager David Tapping explained the balance, noting that everyone had to benefit from any changes.
“We already had a successful business,” Tapping said. “People using the range, taking up and trying golf with us, but we knew we could do more.
“We needed to find a balance between creating something that our existing client base would still love to come and use, as well as something a new client-base would be excited to enjoy.”
Central to this has been the development of the Trackman Range, which Tapping describes as “the ultimate experience for every golfer.”
Giving users all kinds of data on their shots, as well as a range of mini-games and competitions, Tapping and the team at Melbourne Golf Park are proud to offer an enhanced experience.
To that end, once the sun starts to set, entertainment becomes the number one priority.
“We do change our skin a bit in the evening,” Tapping said. “We turn on some music and attract a younger, probably non-core golfing market. The rooftop bar is there for them to enjoy as well with scenery and a beer.
“It is a wonderful social setting.”
The results have been plain to see, too. Under the new model, the serious player has been retained, but the early indication is that the social golfer has nearly doubled.
Indications like club hire rates and food and beverage sales during peak times are strong evidence that a new wave of players are enjoying the facilities.
“We are seeing people who weren’t golfers twice as much as we were beforehand,” smiled Tapping.
The trend is set to continue, as the expansion into mini-golf means Melbourne Golf Park will continue to attract golfers of all ages. With one course, The Lakes, already in operation, the team are hoping to open the second Beach course early in 2024.
Striking a perfect balance between skill, fun and luck, the mini-golf courses will both be professionally designed and landscaped, offering an engaging experience for all ages.
Beyond the green, Melbourne Golf Park is increasingly conscious of its environmental impact and the positive role it can play in the industry.
As they go through more than 100,000 golf balls per year at the range, they entered a partnership with waste management solution company Golf Ball Recycling, to help reduce their carbon footprint.
“All of our used range balls are taken by the Golf Ball Recycling program, to be used for their different processes,” Tapping explained. “From there, they can be used in various projects, including pathways, furniture, roads and sculptures.”
In a full-circle moment, some of the concrete that formed pathways in the new facility came from damaged and recycled balls on the range.
“Golf Ball Recycling are doing some really good things,” Tapping said. “And we are proud to work with them on that.”
The success of the overall redevelopment is profound, and as golf continues to grow, Tapping hopes that Melbourne Golf Park can play an important role in offering a positive experience for more and more players.
“Golf has boomed and the renovations that we have gone through have been extremely well received,” he said.
“We want to help create an easy way for people to try golf and give it a go. Ultimately that is where we are situated in the market; to help people try it and realise that it can be a lot of fun.
“We want to see people falling in love with golf and enjoying it for the rest of their lives.”
For more information on the Melbourne Golf Park, click HERE
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