Australian golf will find a new home in the heart of Melbourne’s Sandbelt with a new state-of-the-art facility to be built.
The Australian Golf Centre will be the new headquarters for Golf Australia, PGA of Australia, Golf Victoria and Sandringham Golf Links Management.
The $18.8 million project, majority funded by the Victorian Government’s $15.3 million investment, will create one of the country’s premier golf facilities on the site of Sandringham Golf Links, opposite the world-renowned Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
The facility will feature a new public 30-bay driving range with target greens, the redevelopment of the existing 18-hole golf course, a public café and the National High Performance Centre, which will help shape the next generation of golf heroes.
The industry-leading centre will also feature:
- Short game practice area including a large chipping area for the high performance program
- Coaching facilities to showcase golf’s innovative and inclusive programs, including becoming the home of the industry’s accreditation program for training PGA professionals to coach people with a disability
- Indoor high performance training facilities
- A new two-storey building that incorporates office administration space for Golf Australia, PGA of Australia and Sandringham Golf Links staff, in addition to meeting rooms, education spaces and new public amenities and changerooms
- Additional water storage capacity for course irrigation that will reduce the course’s reliance on potable water; and
- An extensive revegetation program to increase the number of indigenous trees, vegetation and overall biodiversity value of the site.
The contract for the building construction work, to be undertaken by local firm 2Construct and expected to generate 24 jobs, was signed this week. The projected completion date for these works is April 2021.
Redevelopment of nine holes has been completed, with the remaining nine holes to be finished by December 2020. The course redesign and construction is being undertaken by Australian golf architects Ogilvy Cocking and Mead, with help from the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
PGA of Australia chairman Rodger Davis said the project was another sign of the increasing unity in Australian golf.
“The Australian Golf Centre will help unify golf’s peak bodies and create efficiencies that will introduce more participants to our great game,” Davis said.
Golf Australia chairman Andrew Newbold said the centre would generate many benefits.
“Not only for our emerging talent but for Australian professionals as well, which gives the entire industry a base and a place to inspire the next generation into the sport,” Newbold said.
Stephen Spargo, president of Golf Victoria which is the project principal, was excited about the centre’s potential to be a nationally unifying force for the golf community.
“It’s fantastic to see those in the sport rally behind such a great project and we’re delighted that it can take place in the heartland of Melbourne golf,” Spargo said.
Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said the new centre would enhance the state’s reputation as “the home of golf in Australia” and continue to help the community’s re-emergence from the impacts of Covid-19.
“Golf is a great employer at the local and elite levels and investments like this are important in setting up the industry to thrive on the other side of the pandemic,” Pakula said.