By David Newbery
“In the last year, membership was just ahead of
where it was the year before,” he said.
“We didn’t have the big decline that we had in the
last few years. We have had an excellent summer
and maybe that has helped.”
In 2011, membership dipped three per cent on the
“There has been concern in previous years about the
decline in traditional adult membership and that was
leaving some clubs in a position where sustainability
and ongoing viability was an issue,” Murphy said.
“However, there is a bit of an upswing in participation
and that’s been bolstered by the growth of the casual
golfer. This area continues to outstrip the growth in
other sectors of the game.”
Murphy said golf clubs were looking at their business
structures more frequently following the drop-off in
“We are seeing a lot of positive things happening,
particularly with rounds played by members,”
“Clubs are changing. People say the world of golf
moves slowly, but we have seen a big upswing in
the last 12 months. There are a lot of golf clubs that
are now trying to understand their market, trying to
identify who their customers are and what products
they can offer them to bring them through the door.”
“In my view, that is going to increase in the future.
We are working with clubs on ways they can put
some robust plans in place to help them run their
business in a better way. “We are not suggesting
they all need help, but we have found that by sharing
our knowledge and best practice from around the
country they have a much better chance of success.”
For the New Zealand golf industry, sharing knowledge
is a key focus and it is even sharing ideas with the
Jack Newton Junior Golf (JNJG) in Australia.
“We have had them (JNJG) come over so we can look
at their program and things we may be able to do
together,” Murphy said.
“We are examining what they are doing and where
they are having their successes.”
Dean Murphy, the head of New Zealand Golf,
says greater flexibility in the New Zealand golf
membership market has sparked renewed interest
“There are some good
signs with a lot more Kiwi
kids picking up a golf club
One JNJG initiative New Zealand Golf is keen to
learn more about is the 700 New South Wales
schoolteachers trained to deliver golf to students.
“That is a nice model and it seems it is getting some
real traction,” he said.
The Golf Marketing Professionals www.golfindustrycentral.com.au