ONE club boasts an incredible 159 per cent jump in membership.
And that’s just a part of a golf membership ‘boom’ that has come about due to the Covid-19 pandemic in New South Wales.
The golfing landscape has changed dramatically in the 18 months as golf has become the real ‘go-to’ sport with so many other forms of exercise put on the backburners.
Sydney has led the way as many clubs have been forced to close their membership books as tee-times are suddenly at a premium and sharing tee-times with other clubs in other local government areas has become quite the norm.
It’s not just one or two regions either. Club memberships right across the state are at record highs and city clubs are busier than they’ve ever been.
Antill Park at Picton leads the pack as many clubs across Sydney have reported double-digit increases in membership.
Their club has had an amazing 26.4 per cent membership increase.
Asquith in Sydney’s north is up 15 per cent; Bonnie Doon in Sydney’s east is up 14.4 per cent, clubs in the west such as Penrith (24.7 per cent), Cumberland (14.3 per cent) and Fox Hills (14.2 per cent) are also thriving.
In the north-west, the Muirfield club at North Rocks is up (15 per cent), while clubs closer to the city such as Marrickville (up 49.6 per cent in just 12 months), Northbridge (up 35 per cent) and Lane Cove (up 38.5 per cent) also have figures worth bragging about.
What started as a slight jump in memberships during the state’s first lockdown in 2020 has turned into a wave of new memberships this year.
Numbers supplied to Golf NSW from clubs show a jump in memberships of around 6.51 per cent across metropolitan Sydney and 6.4 per cent in regional New South Wales.
The largest percentage increase across NSW was recorded by Teven Golf Club in the state’s far north.
Redesigned by Craig Parry, the impressive nine-hole course in the Ballina–Byron Shire now boasts a membership of 386, a jump of 159 per cent in the past 12 months.
“We opened the books in December, and within six days, membership went from 176 to more than 300,” said Teven’s co-owner Nicki Gumbleton.
“We closed the books in January and gave ourselves a breather, but then we let another 100 in; membership is almost at 400 now, with a waiting list!
“Most of the members are from the Ballina/Byron shire.
“Members coming through the door every day keep us going.”
Regional clubs south of Sydney have also reported sizeable increases.
Gerringong (20.8 per cent), Worrigee Links (20.86 per cent) and Jamberoo (34.17 per cent) have led the Illawarra surge.
Further down the coast, Moruya (10.7 per cent) almost doubled the state average.
The story is much the same in the state’s north, with Kempsey (13.4 per cent), Nambucca Heads (9.3 per cent), Sawtell (7 per cent) all seeing a boost in members.
Among the other club numbers of note Duntryleague in the central west, is up 14 per cent, Rich River Golf Club on the Murray, up 18 per cent, and The Vintage in the Hunter Valley has seen its membership increase by 26 per cent.