Golf writers Rohan Clarke and Darius Oliver are worried about the future for many Australian golf courses as local councils and developers start to circle.
Local sporting clubs have been complaining to the Northern Beaches Council about the lack of playing fields in the area. It now looks like the writing is on the wall for half of the Warringah golf course with the northern nine given a 20-year lease, but the council only offering a 5-year lease on the land occupied by the southern nine holes.
It does seem difficult to escape the conclusion drawn by members and the club’s committee, that its 18-hole days are numbered. Club President Scott Campbell claims the decision was based on a report that, “failed to look at the future needs of golf on the northern beaches, despite that being part of its terms of reference.”
The golf course is one of Sydney’s most popular, with more than 65,000 rounds of golf played last year. The golf club pays the council $76,000 in lease fees per year.
If you want to read more about past and potential future of Warringah Golf Club, check out the Save WGC page where the club makes a case for keeping the full 18-holes.
Rohan Clarke has a great feature in the latest issue Australian Golf Digest magazine on the battle to keep Australian golf courses out of the hands of locals councils, and more worryingly, developers.
Darius goes on to paint a worrying picture about the future of golf in Australia that is hard to argue against:
A Big Australia means more people living in metropolitan areas, and those areas likely carrying fewer and fewer golf courses. Maintaining the percentage of participation in golf seems forlorn now, and no doubt the governing body will soon start focusing on maintaining approximate participation numbers.