HomeFinance$60 Million Investment In Australian Golf

$60 Million Investment In Australian Golf


$60 Million Investment In Australian Golf

The Australian arm of Malaysian company, Mulpha International, has announced a $60 million investment into Australian golf courses and driving ranges.

The funding package will be delivered by Mulpha Australia in partnership with Golf Australia, in an effort to redevelop under-performing golf facilities and increase participation, membership, sustainability, and commercial strength.

The PlayGolf funding package will reportedly seek expressions of interest from local government authorities and golf clubs, with Mulpha Australia CEO, Greg Shaw, saying the company will provide not only capital, but take on operational risks for the facility owners.

“We see a real untapped potential to revitalise those facilities,” Shaw said.

“I think golf is moving on.

“It’s still obviously a very strong game in the traditional sense, but more and more there’s an opportunity to introduce golf to a much broader audience and adding an entertainment and hospitality element to that.

“That’s becoming a big issue for councils, particularly where these more traditional golf courses are becoming a cash flow burden in many cases and not contributing earnings,” he said, discussing the risks for the owners.

Golf Australia CEO, James Sutherland, told The Australian the funding project will cover various venues and result in a jump in revenue invested into golf.

“The arrangements will be flexible as to how they might work and there will be due diligence that will determine whether the deals are worth doing or not,” Sutherland said.

“Part of the strategy is telling the story of golf, the virtues of golf.

“In a contextual sense there’s three million people in Australia that have hit golf balls in the last 12 months [and] only 14 per cent are members of golf clubs.

“So there’s 86 per cent out there and what are we doing to engage with them and encourage them to hit more golf balls.

“It could be on the driving range, having a whack with their mates, or a mini golf family experience.

“We need to do more in that space,” he said.

Avid Sports will run the operational side of the investment fund.

Elsewhere in Australian golf, the PGA Tour of Australasia has announced an extension of its naming rights partner, the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS Handa) through to 2023.

The partnership will see the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia grow with four new events, TPS Victoria, TPS Sydney, TPS Hunter Valley, and TPS Murray River, with the Queensland PGA Championship returning in 2022.

PGA of Australia CEO, Gavin Kirkman, said: “We are excited to continue our partnership which delivers great benefits to golf communities throughout Australasia.”

“Dr (Haruhisa) Handa has been supporting Australian Golf for over three decades and he and ISPS have made an enormous difference to the health of golf in this country.

“At a tour level ISPS HANDA has supported men’s, women’s and senior tour events and players and backed more than 50 events, ranging from the biggest events in this country like the Presidents Cup, World Cup of Golf and Women’s Australian Open, to events down at club level.

“Just as importantly, they have done an extraordinary amount at a community level to make golf more accessible and inclusive to all Australians.

“We are strongly aligned with Dr Handa’s vision that sport has a unique ability to create hope, to break down educational and cultural barriers and to inspire people in a way that can unite communities,” Kirkman said.

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