Golf Membership Numbers on the Rise!

Golf Membership Numbers on the Rise!

Golf Membership Numbers on the Rise!

The 2019 Golf Club Participation Report of Australia has been released. This annual in-depth report, compiled by Golf Business Advisory Services, provides analysis of the golf industry and how the sport is shaping up in Australia.

Information reported includes participation numbers by gender, age and state and other crucial information relevant to helping golf in Australia grow. Overall, the current report contains some promising results.

One of the most interesting and notable facts of this report is the .05 percent increase in golf memberships. This equates to 181 new members and while the number seems small it’s the first time in 21 years that there has been a membership rise.

Why is this figure important?

While golf is first and foremost a sport, like any industry there is more to golf than just the sport. The most important factor of golf or any sport is the health benefits but there are also economic factors that come into effect. Membership encourages play and provides economic certainty for golf clubs and the golfing industry.

Membership at a golf club means that an annual fee is paid regardless of how many rounds of golf are played in a week, a month or a year. Someone who is not a member will only pay for the amount of golf played so from a business point of view, its far more valuable to have a greater number of members.

Given members have paid up to play golf they are more likely to get out for a hit and make use of their membership rather than sitting at home. So, they are encouraged to get out and exercise.

How does membership look nationwide?

The .05 percent increase is a national increase. When broken down by state, it’s evident that the increase in memberships in Queensland and South Australia is what has driven membership numbers up overall.

The following table outlines the number of memberships and the increase or decline for each state.

State / Territory Number of Memberships % Growth
New South Wales 142,071 -.8%
Victoria 94,454 -.7%
Queensland 61,785 +.9%
Western Australia 26,579 -.8%
South Australia 23,202 +.8%
Tasmania 9,901 -3.0%
Northern Territory 1,932 -4.2%

There are also some other interesting golf membership statistics that came out of the research.

Females make up 20% of the club membership numbers nationwide but in Victoria and Western Australia female member numbers are above the national average. Victoria reported female members at 21% and Western Australia reported female members at 22%.

While the average age of golf members is reported at 56.3 years, new members are reported to be younger. 52% of new members in 2019 were under 50 years of age.

Another pleasing figure that came out of the report was the 2.7% increase in junior club memberships. This represents the first increase in 10 years for junior memberships. This can be attributed to the success of the MyGolf program, Australia’s introductory golf program aimed at developing junior participation in golf and promoting golf at a grass-roots level. There were 13,127 junior members reported to be playing in 2019.

Golf in Australia has come a long way in recent years. An estimated 878,000 adults (15 + years) participated in golf in 2019. This figure and those reported reinforce that golf will continue to grow in Australia and be popular among players of all ages.