25 May 2021 | Clubs and Facilities |

Shanx very much! Golf booms in NSW

by Golf NSW

The Links Shell Cove new mini golf course

Unprecedented interest in golf, rising participation numbers and organisations diversifying their offerings beyond the course are factors behind several recent capital works around New South Wales.

With the COVID-19 crisis sparking unprecedented interest in golf across the country, several NSW organisations have taken the opportunity to add that little extra to what they provide.

The Links Shell Cove in the Illawarra is one such entity, having just opened a 36-hole mini-golf complex to complement their newly extended clubhouse.

The complex is a significant addition to the Links' customer-focused offerings beyond its well-regarded dining facilities and championship golf course.

Touted as the best mini-golf course in Australia, the 'SHANX' mini golf facility is the first of its kind in Australia and is part of a total $2.3million investment that also takes in the clubhouse extension and other improvements including table tennis and "cornhole" games area.

Shellharbour City Council, the course's owners, expect it to attract about 30,000 visitors annually. Mayor Marianne Saliba said the new 18-hole attraction was part of the council's vision to build The Links' reputation as a community entertainment hub.

"People can come and stay down in Shell Cove and enjoy those things down there, but then they can bring their families here and enjoy the opportunities that The Links has got to offer," Saliba said.

The progressive Charlestown Golf Club is another entity taking a giant leap forward.

The Newcastle club is already home to many of the rising stars of the PGA of Australia and the Australian amateur scene, including Jake Higginbottom, Blake Windred and Jye Pickin.

But its chances of unearthing the next big thing will be even greater when it adds a new commercial driving range later this year.

Charlestown GC general manager Joanna Mantle announced the "state-of-the-art" facility following years of vision and research.

"It will attract a new demographic that will see golf participation and our membership increase significantly," Mantle said.

"The new driving range facility will complement our existing 18-hole championship golf course, clubhouse and open up opportunities to host more premier golf events in the region."

"We believe it will redefine the face of golf in the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle region, with extended operating hours at night and access to the most advanced coaching and training facilities available."

The new facility will include a 35-bay driving range, a 24-bay public teeing area, 10-bay members-only teeing area and a purpose-built coaching area.

It will operate seven days a week under floodlights, with food and beverages available at the bays from the clubhouse.

Identified by the NSW Government as a strategic growth centre, Sydney's Norwest is another area soon to be graced with a golf offering beyond the ordinary.

Norwest developer Mulpha is set to build a $12m state-of-the-art hospitality venue featuring golf, food and beverage and corporate entertainment facilities. Construction starts this month and is expected to finish this year.

The Swing City Golf development will include 40 driving range bays, restaurant function facilities and mini golf.

Each bay will feature the latest in ball-tracking technology, allowing players to improve their swing and compete in a range of challenges, including longest drive, nearest the pins and virtual play on many of the world's most famous courses.

Mulpha CEO Greg Shaw said with young families making up a large proportion of households in the district, the development would be the ideal entertainment offering.

"Swing City will tap into a growing demand from people to enjoy the game of golf in a more family-friendly setting," Shaw said.

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