Mobile phones, cost of living keeping young people out of golf
While Australia’s population balloons, in particular the number of Australians over 65, the number of golf courses is heading in the opposite direction.
Golf Australia has observed a 4.6 percent decline in the number of courses around the country over the past decade.
Many clubs are forced to sell land or explore other ways to earn revenue because green fees are no longer sufficient to keep the greens open.
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt told Macquarie Sports Radio the rise of technology-based entertainment and cost of living pressures are keeping younger people away from the sport.
“So many of our golf clubs, more than half, have 200 members or less,” Pitt told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.
“All organised sports worried about this younger generation being brought up on devices and how we are going to engage with them,” Mr Pitt said.
More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Australian courses are located in regional areas.
“Time is the number one barrier we face. We need to make sure we evolve the game and offer different products,” Mr Pitt said.
Mr Pitt believes virtual golf simulators like TopGolf could provide a more time-flexible approach to attract younger players.
“There is still room for golf in a traditional setting. In some ways, it’s an oasis from what is a very busy world where we are all connected and can’t get time away,” he said.
Click below to hear the full interview. Listen to the Weekend Warm-Up with Cam Reddin – 4.00am-7.00am Saturday and Sunday mornings.