Public golf courses across Australia are under threat; the latest being Melbourne’s public Albert Park golf course.
One of Melbourne’s most loved golf courses is under threat with a proposal by Parks Victoria to reduce the Albert Park golf course by 75%, constraining it to a short 9-hole course in the process.
The public golf course just 2 kilometres from the CDB is the place many Melbournian’s first started playing golf and offers a great gateway into golf for many people but a large part of the land is proposed to be redeveloped into community parks and bbq areas.
Led initially by a small group of golfers opposed to the project, Inside Golf’s Richard Fellner wrote a great opinion piece outlining the public golf course’s importance in growing the game and providing an opportunity for anyone to play golf.
Situated just a 5-iron away from the Melbourne CBD (if you’re Dustin Johnson), the course is an institution for Melburnians, and sees upwards of around 85,000 rounds per year (and probably more), making it one of the (if not THE) busiest courses in the country. Participation rates are up, and the course and driving range are ALWAYS busy with golfers. Apart from the Grand Prix, the course is open every day, with passionate golfers gracing its fairways in even the worst weather conditions.
It’s truly one of the more successful facilities in Australian golf at the moment.
And richard went on…
Public courses like Albert Park are critical to the health of golf, as they provide not only a launching point for many players, but also fill a niche that cannot be addressed by private clubs (many of these players, in my opinion, would be unlikely to ever join a club. They just want a hit after work, etc). I imagine that many of the golfers ‘left out in the cold’ by this proposed redevelopment would likely just stop playing altogether – which will severely damage any hope of promoting growth in Australian golf.
Golf Australia has officially submitted their objection to the Master Plan in January.