Rise in membership for clubs

Shelley Duncan
Shelley Duncan
Golf is experiencing some bounce-back as the game adjusts to the new normal.

The sport does have advantages as it can be played on your own and at any time of the day.

It was opened up when the country went down to Alert Level 3, although golfers could only play on their own or in their bubble.

Pennants began last month and club days have come back at some clubs.

Otago Golf Club director of golf Shelley Duncan said since the start of lockdown the club had signed 40 new members.

"This is very encouraging as they obviously see value in what a membership offers. We have budgeted for no international green fee income, so while we are taking a conservative approach we will also be aggressive in targeting increased membership," she said.

St Clair Golf Club has attracted 50 new members of all ages.

“These are across the board in terms of the variety of memberships and ages, in particular several younger ones. Our tee times have been full almost every day with member use very high,’’ manager Annette Godman said.

The club was hoping to hold functions at the clubhouse at some time as it looked to make use of its facilities.

Chisholm Links was forced to lay off its greenkeepers but received some rent relief from the Dunedin City Council in April.

Jack’s Point director of golf John Griffin is helping the club with course improvements. It is also set to hold the New Zealand cross-country championships in late August which will be a new source of revenue.

Taieri Lakes manager Paul Barlow said finances were tight but the wage subsidy helped. Members were playing in big numbers and green fee player numbers were picking up.

Arrowtown and Queenstown Golf Clubs are enjoying busy times and from 20 to 30 members have joined the clubs, Nationally, membership of clubs has risen from 101,410 to 104,552 in the year to April.

 — Neville Idour with additional reporting by Steve Hepburn


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