Public golf under pressure: Save Northcote Golf Course

If it were interesting times for public golf before the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s got even more interesting post-pandemic.

Golf in Australia in 2019 was flatlining with public golf courses in particular under pressure from lack of memberships and under fire for using up too much space. Two years later and golf in Australia is booming with golf courses full of golfers who have found their love for the game.

Northcote Golf Course was an important place for many Melburnians during the lockdown. With golf disallowed, it was opened up as a place for local residents to exercise and enjoy the natural environment.

However, since golf has returned and the lockdown over, a number of locals are campaigning for it to be shared or closed to make way as a public park.

With this in mind, the fight to save Northcote Public Golf Course in Melbourne is an important one for golf in Australia and as Rod Morri outlines in his piece for Golf Australia, one that could be a blueprint for other public golf courses.

Leaving aside those on both sides who argue in bad faith, there is an opportunity at this suburban nine hole layout to perhaps achieve something quite special.

Public golf is not, should not and does not need to be an either/or proposition.

In a landscape of increasing urban pressure for the space required by courses, the game needs to grasp every opportunity to explore workable compromises that will allow it to continue to exist.

Northcote might just be one of those opportunities.

If you feel like it’s important to ensure one of Australia’s public golf courses remains open and accessible to everyone, then head over and sign the petition to save Northcote Public Golf Course.

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