City to exit golf course operation

The City of Greater Geelong will exit out of direct operation of golf facilities, following the endorsement by Council of a new Golf Facilities Strategy during Tuesday night’s meeting.

As part of the implementation of the strategy, the City will put alternative management models in place for the three courses still under its full or partial operation:

The other four Council-owned golf courses – Barwon Valley, Ocean Grove,Clifton Springs and East Geelong – are already maintained and operated by tenant clubs.

As part of the strategy, the City will finalise a long-term lease for Clifton Springs Golf Club. The annual rate for East Geelong Golf Club, which has a lease in place until 2041, has been reduced to bring it into line with similar facilities.

For all courses, the City will engage with the tenant clubs to offer support setting governance standards, monitoring performance and meeting the challenges and opportunities of modern-day golf club operation.

The strategy aims to help the City remain financially sustainable and deliver community benefit by supporting golf clubs and facilities, and ensuring public access to golf courses.

Other principles of the strategy include conserving and protecting the natural environment on golf courses, integrating with the Council’s other leisure and recreation strategies, and safeguarding facility maintenance.

The strategy was developed in consultation with Golf Australia, the local clubs’ committees, members and casual users, and other members of the community.

Councillor Kylie Grzybek:

Golf is one of our most popular participation sports and helps many people stay active and socially connected.

Through this strategy, all Council-owned courses will remain assets of the City but could be operated under a different management model. The City will provide support to help the tenant clubs achieve long-term success.

Deputy Mayor Anthony Aitken:

Research for this strategy found that it’s important for golf clubs to keep offering experiences for the traditional golfer, but that they must also take advantage of opportunities to increase participation through different golf experiences aimed at broader markets.

This includes offering fun and social experiences with less emphasis on competitions.

In the implementation of this strategy, the City will work with each of the tenant clubs to help them grab hold of these opportunities.

The Golf Facilities Strategy is available in the minutes of the Council’s November 22 meeting on our meetings page

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