Golf Industry Central Winter 2012 - Page 23

“Like Waimairi Beach – Christchurch, Hagley and Avondale golf courses had a lot of liquefaction and cracking, but they are well on their way back.” One of the reasons for the consistent drop-off in membership is due to population movement. “We have seen a lowering of membership in the city clubs, particularly on the eastern side of the city, and an increase in membership in the North Canterbury area,” Lewis said. “I know the likes of Avondale and Waitikiri are struggling quite a bit at the moment with membership numbers in terms of the population in that area. “People are moving out because their houses are virtually irreparable and they have deciding to move away from the eastern side of the city, which has been the worst affected.” Lewis said the Canterbury region received just under $100,000 in donations from New Zealand Golf, the PGA of Australia, the Royal and Ancient and various other organisations. “That (money) has been passed on, but it doesn’t go far when you spread it around the golf clubs,” he said. According to Lewis, there has been an eight per cent drop-off in membership in the Canterbury area in the past few years. “That is consistent with the national trend of about five per cent overall,” he said. “We have got just under 13,000 affiliate members in the Canterbury region and have lost over 1000, which is significant. “What we have seen in the last 12 months is more people playing the game casually and less people joining clubs. “That begs the question – maybe the membership structures being offered to part-time golfer aren’t attractive enough for them to join a club. “That’s an issue for clubs when they base their income on membership. Obviously, they are getting more in green fees, but they are losing members, which is a more stable source of income. “The feedback we are getting from the retailer, industry players and driving ranges is a drop in income. Even green fee income is decr