Responding to Clover Moore’s attack on golf at Moore Park

Sydney lord mayor’s attack on golf obscures the scramble for green space after scandalous over-development.

Sydney’s lucrative Moore Park Golf course. (Photo courtesy of Moore Park Golf Facebook)

In case you missed it, Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore has taken a shot at golf again.

Moore told the Sydney Morning Herald that the amount of land tied up for golf was “scandalous” and should be made available for everyone in the wider community.

“The Redfern part of Moore Park is absolutely buzzing with people and you just look across the fence to the golf course and there might be two or three golfers in there,” Moore said. “There has been tremendous pressure on our parks right across the metropolitan area. It is vital that this land is shared with the broader community.”

There is a lot to unpack here. And while we were thinking about doing the unpacking, two of Australia’s best golf writers did it for us.

Rod Morri has penned a very measured, coherent response for Golf Australia Magazine.

Morri picks apart the erroneous argument that golfers aren’t also part of the “broader community” and most importantly outlines the backwards thinking when it comes to high-density living. Something that has surged in recent years around Moore Park golf course.

But more importantly than that, surely the responsibility for providing appropriate green space for new developments lies with those doing the developing?

Even staunch anti-golfers can see the hypocrisy of giving the green light to large scale development (and the money that comes with it) then claiming there has been too much development so now somebody else has to make up the shortfall in green space?

Perhaps we might reconsider the approval of ‘all those tall towers’ or make the approval dependant on there being ‘appropriate green space’ factored into the developments?

Australian Golf Digest’s Steve Keipert has also responded to the criticism.

This isn’t the first criticism of the sport from golf-unsavvy people in positions of power. It’s an easy pastime to attack when you take only a superficial look at it, including the land space golf requires, especially in congested urban areas, and the comparatively low volume of use by people within that space when viewed against other activities.

I’d encourage Cr Moore, Fraser and the incoming chief executive of Golf Australia to meet to educate the Sydney lord mayor on the vast benefits the sport has to offer, and to explain how a complete, 18-hole Moore Park facility is an asset to her city rather than the liability she views it to be.

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