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Golf Course 2030 (GC2030) was established by The R&A in 2018 as an industry initiative to consider the impacts, both positive and negative, of the changing climate, resource constraints and regulation on course condition and playability.

Its aim is to produce a roadmap that will steer the sport to mitigate the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that these issues present.

The GC2030 plan for Australia will promote greater resilience through appropriate management practices which address the challenges and opportunities. It will meet strategic needs at regional, national, and local level, and the operational needs at golf facility level.

Australia’s GC2030 plan is intended to align with The R&A’s purpose: to make golf more accessible, appealing and inclusive, and to ensure it is thriving 50 years from now. Our golf courses are our sport’s foundation. Without conditioning and playability, suitable to the venue’scustomer base and location, that is appealing to golfers, the game will not thrive.

Download the GC2030 document HERE

Turf Management Assistance Program Overview

The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association has partnered with Golf Australia to develop a Turf Management Assistance Program for Golf Clubs, designed to assist small, remote and regional Clubs with the support they require to improve playing surfaces and turf management practices.

Under the Turf Management Assistance Program, eligible Golf Clubs will be aligned with a local, experienced and Qualified Sports Turf Manager, who will undertake a visit (or multiple) to provide advice, guidance and information to the Club to improve playing surfaces and develop effective maintenance programs within the constraints of their current environment.

To support the Clubs, all costs associated with the partnering turf managers visit, associated soil, water and plant testing requirements and recommendations will be covered by the Golf Australia Clubs and Facilities Support team.

Upon identification of qualified Clubs in need of support, Golf Australia will liaise with the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association, who will source, assign and co-ordinate a geographically located qualified and experienced Sports Turf Manager to attend the club. The Turf Manager will collaborate with the club personnel responsible for turf management and provide verbal and written advice to the club related to recommended improvement opportunities to turf management practices.

All turf managers that are part of the Program are Qualified Sports Turf Managers with extensive experience the turf management industry, operating at some of the highest profile Golf Clubs and facilities in each State and indeed Australia.

To ensure the highest calibre of support is provided to the clubs through the Turf Management Assistance Program, Golf Australia will prioritise alignment of supporting Turf Managers to Certified Sports Turf Managers (CSTM) who have attained industry recognition as leading professionals and are acknowledged as leaders in the industry.

Qualifying Clubs

Through regular visits by Golf Australia staff, or by clubs contacting Golf Australia for assistance, clubs will be identified as eligible in receiving support for turf management through the Turf Management Assistance Program. The club will qualify if one or more of the following applies:

  • The workforce is 100% volunteer based

  • Existing course staff lack a turf management qualification or are not experienced turf managers

  • There is a staff member who is trade qualified or experienced, but they are located remotely, isolating them from being able to effectively network with other turf managers, or,

  • There is an extenuating circumstance where assistance is required and where Golf Australia & the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association agree that the turf management assistance program is justified.

Program Process

Once qualified, the Golf Club will be provided with a pre-visit checklist and information requirements to complete, which will be provided to the partnering turf manager for review and background prior to visiting the Club.

Included in the pre-visit activities, will be a small number of testing requirements to be completed by the Club, including collection of soil, water and turf (or disease) samples for testing.

All soil, plant or water testing requirements will be directed through AGCSATech analytical and diagnostic service department, and will be included in the pre-visit checklist.

The aligned turf manager will receive soil, plant or water testing results and contact the Golf Club to co-ordinate and schedule an appropriate time to visit and meet with Club staff and volunteers.

The initial visit will encompass a combination of discussions with staff, review of testing results and tour of the course.

Any additional soil, plant or turf disease testing requirements identified through the tour will be provided to AGCSATech for testing, with the results provided to the turf manager for inclusion in advice provided to the club for recommended improvement opportunities to turf management practices.

A final report will be provided to the Golf Club related to recommended improvement opportunities to turf management practices to deliver improved playing surfaces across greens, tees and fairways, in addition to providing advice on course management practices for the Club to undertake improvements in an environmentally and financially sustainable manner.

Program Launch Workshops

To launch the program, Golf Australia is running workshops across the country as an introduction to the program. The Club and Facility Support Manager in your state will be in touch when the workshops are coming to your area, and invite you to participate.

Further Information

Golf Australia Matt Chesterman Clubs & Facilities Support Senior Manager M 0401 968 557 E matt.chesterman@golf.org.au

Australian Sports Turf Managers Association Mark Unwin CEO E mark@agcsa.com.au

Golf course management is a complex profession, a balance of science and art, surface preparation and compliance management. More than ever, golf clubs require highly trained professionals to oversee and implement the management of their course.

Superintendents and course maintenance staff now have qualifications ranging from trade certificates through to degrees in turf and business management.

The role of the modern golf course superintendent is more diverse than ever before. Regardless of the size of the facility, the superintendent is required to oversee areas that include:

  • Turf management;

  • WHS management

  • Agronomy

  • Asset management

  • Human resources

  • Public relations

  • Financial management

  • Ambassador

  • Irrigation management

  • Educator

  • Environmental management; &

  • Role model.

Also, there can be enormous variations in work circumstances including:

  • Staff levels

  • Budget differences

  • Equipment differences

  • Playing/traffic demands

  • Grass type/soil type variations

  • Climatic differences &

  • Quality and quantity of water supplies.

The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA) has recently developed an informative guide to assist Greens Committee members in the following areas:

  • Role of the Green Committee

  • Planning

  • Managing expectations

  • Compliance

  • Water; &

  • Meetings.

The guide, available for download below, is a valuable resource and could help your club improve its golf course management performance.

Contact the ASTMA or association in your state for:

  • Golf Course Architects & designers

  • Irrigation Suppliers

  • Turf suppliers

  • Earth moving companies

  • Tree Management Companies

Facilities management also involves care for the environment. The Australian Golf Environmental Initiative was set up in 2005 between Golf Australia and the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association to promote and foster care of the environment on Australian golf courses.

Agronomic & Turf Management Services for Club 2019/2020 News

GA now offers clubs fully funded Agronomic & Turf Management Diagnostic and Analytical Services through ASTMA.

The service includes funding for:

  • Disease Diagnostic Report

  • Soil Nutrient Analysis

  • Plant Tissue Analysis

  • Water Quality Analysis

  • Nematode Testing & Analysis

Plus:

  • USGA Suitability Analysis - (GA part funding)

  • Bunker Sand Suitability Analysis - (GA part funding)

Got a course issue? See your clubs and facilities support representative to be assisted with analysis of the problem.

Related documents:

Most golf club businesses will experience an event which disrupts the operation of the business at some stage. A disaster or business interruption can be any event such as fire, cyclone, flood, earthquake, computer virus, drought, pandemic, epidemic. Unfortunately, experience tells us that many businesses are not prepared for disaster events and may not have the resources to manage such events.

The key to preparing for, and managing, an event is making sure that your Committee/Board is well prepared and provided with the necessary tools and resources.

Resources

Disaster Event Toolkit - (PDF 1.96MB) Golf Business Recovery Tool Calculator - (XLXS 88.2KB)

Whether employed on the club’s staff or as a contractor, the club professional is often the main person charged with the responsibility of running the day to day golf operations of the club. As the golf industry changes to adapt to the modern game, so too do the skills and diversity of PGA of Australia Members.

The PGA of Australia comprises of more than 2,600 dedicated men and women promoting the game of golf both within Australia and overseas in the roles of Club Professionals, Assistant Professionals, Teaching Professionals, Senior Professionals, Senior Tournament Professionals and future Members, Trainees.

Related documents:

The role that Hospitality (Food & Beverage) plays in clubs supports the social enhancement of the club. Whilst some clubs may be perfectly equipped to meet their members’ needs with offerings of barbecues, hot pies and sandwiches served by fellow members, others may large numbers of qualified staff offering a la carte dinning, multiple service outlets, and have function facilities for large scale weddings, dinners and cocktail parties.

One thing that is common amongst clubs is that their hospitality operation is very different from most segments of the hospitality industry.

One thing that is common amongst clubs is that their hospitality operation is very different from most segments of the hospitality industry. For one, most medium to large clubs offer a diversity of eating experiences under the one roof.

Unlike a café or restaurant that tend to specialise in one type of catering, a chef in a club prepares all types of catering for the diversity of member needs and for private functions. The repeat nature of the clientele means the club has to keep producing something new each week.

These operations are therefore very much creative rather than highly process driven. Naturally, there are higher costs in being a creative operation.

A club is largely capped in its clientele, based on the number of members. Whilst the services standards in most member clubs are expected to be high, there is most often an expectation that the profit margin on food is contained to what could be referred to as "member prices".

One key area where clubs have grown to reflect the wider hospitality industry is the growth in the proportion of informal dining compared with formal dining.

Research via club benchmarking makes it clear that the larger the club, the lower the net return on investment from food and beverage and the lower the proportion of club net revenue that is derived from hospitality services.

A small club with less food variety and has volunteer support may budget to make a considerable proportion of its income from the net profit from sales in food and beverage. In most large clubs, the service expectations leave little net income from food and beverage.

Large clubs that invest many millions in new clubhouses should not be under the illusion that the clubhouse investment will be paid for out of food and beverage profits. The real value in a clubhouse is the social interaction and member service that it offers, supporting the core business of the club, the golf course membership revenue.

Private functions can be a great way for clubs to recover monies lost in the day to day service to members and generate a break-even or profitable hospitality business.

Click this link to watch a GA golf club webinar recording: "Book more weddings, functions & conferences."

Watch this webinar on creating your Facebook business account.

Club Operation or Contract Caterers?

Often clubs review their catering operation and consider whether it may be more cost effective to out-source the operation. Clubs should consider carefully the pros and cons of outsourcing their operation such as the expectations of; cost and pricing, the diversity and quality of food offered and the control over decision making. It is best to spend time comparing existing operations with similar clubs and to talk with clubs that have outsourced their catering to hear their insights.

Related documents:

Facility management includes the daily management of the golf and hospitality functions as well as the maintenance and upgrading of the course and clubhouse.

The success of this management is determined by the skills and experience of the people who run them (aided by policies and procedures), the way the board and committees work together (governance), and the funds that exist to upgrade club infrastructure and equipment.

Supporting the strategic area of Clubs and Facilities Health, GA has developed a National Facilities Strategy to support the provision of well located, welcoming, accessible and sustainable golf facilities with a focus on:

  • Improving the quality, functionality and sustainability of existing golf facilities and protecting sites in key locations.

  • Assisting the planning, funding and development of new and sustainable golf facilities in key growth areas.

  • Ensuring all golf facilities cater for an increasing diversity of participants.

  • Developing relationships with all levels of government and other organisations in the advocacy, planning and provision of golf facilities.

  • Facilitating opportunities to create community and regional golf facility hubs.

The national strategy will deliver a ‘full set’ of facility planning tools and resources designed to assist clubs and facilities, local councils and facility operators and owners in the future planning of golf facility projects.  The outcomes will include a facility planning framework with the roles of key stakeholders identified, a hierarchy of golf venues with defined facility elements, programs and service levels, preferred guidelines for golf facility development projects and a national audit of golf facilities that identifies key issues, gaps and future opportunities. The process will also guide the establishment of local government reference groups, state and regional level facility development plans and identifying ‘at-risk’ clubs and facilities.

Queensland State-wide Facility Plan Project

In partnership with the Queensland Government, with the assistance of Inside Edge Sport & Leisure Planning has developed a Queensland State-wide Golf Facilities Plan. This was an important project that aligns to the national facilities strategy and provides valuable insights to assist the future development of other State/Territory facility plans.

The Queensland State-wide Golf Facilities Plan will enable strategic decision making and leadership in facility provision and condition across the state with the aim to address the challenges that the sport is facing through developing a plan that provides golf in Queensland with:

  • An understanding of current and future facility needs.

  • Identifies facility planning and development initiatives that supports sustainable clubs and facilities.

  • Recommends short, medium and long term infrastructure development priorities.

For more information about the project: 

Public Access Facilities Plan for Golf in Greater Adelaide

With the assistance of Inside Edge Sport & Leisure Planning, Golf Australia has commenced work on a Public Access Facilities Plan for Golf in Greater in Adelaide (The Plan).

The South Australian Government’s Game On Strategy clearly articulates the significant social and economic benefits of a community undertaking regular physical activity. Given the number of alternative forms of golf which can be enjoyed by all ages, we believe that golf should be playing a greater role in helping to progress the State Government’s active living objectives.

The Plan will provide a framework for Golf Australia to work collaboratively with key clubs and facilities identified across Greater Adelaide in order to secure future funding for facility upgrades to improve the quality, functionality and sustainability of existing golf facilities in the region.

For more information about the project: 

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