Council has adopted the Maroondah Golf Strategy 2020-2030 which encapsulates a vision to enhance golf within the municipality over the next 10 years.
The Strategy, which was formally adopted at Council’s Monday 27 July meeting, outlines a suite of actions for Council to pursue with the support of the community and other stakeholders.
Council owns and operates two 18-hole golf courses in Maroondah – Dorset and Ringwood Golf – collectively known as Maroondah Golf. Together, they provide a valuable social meeting place and active recreation pursuit for approximately 152,000 visitors annually. Both facilities are located within 500 metres of three municipal borders drawing a catchment beyond the municipality.
Maroondah Mayor Cr Mike Symon said the actions to be undertaken over the next decade would enable golf within Maroondah to remain financially sustainable, achieve performance targets and increase opportunities to enhance golf participation.
Key directions and priority actions have been attributed to four key focus areas:
- enhancing facilities
- marketing, engagement and pricing
- broadening opportunities
- greater inclusion of under-represented groups.
“A key focus of the strategy is to support greater inclusion of under-represented groups. This involves prioritising improvement of golf facilities and initiating programs and initiatives to meet the needs of women, children, our culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community and people with disabilities,” Cr Symon said.
“Golf is a relatively unique sport where participation rates increase with age, with peak participation occurring at 65+ years. Supporting older residents to be physically active can be an enabler of their positive health and wellbeing and ongoing engagement in community life.
“Whilst golf is a popular sport for adult men, in particular, it is under-represented in women. This strategy aims to position golf as a recreational pastime where more females can participate, and which appeals to a diverse demographic.
“Diversifying opportunities will not be limited to just ‘traditional’ golf but will seek to explore other innovative ways to maximise use of Maroondah’s two golf facilities to attract a broader interest,” Cr Symon added.
The Strategy was developed based on an extensive review and engagement process, including a comprehensive consultation program to gauge the views of the community.
Initial key stakeholder and community engagement was undertaken by Council and WellPlayed Consultancy to develop stage one of the Maroondah Golf Strategic Review. The aim of the review was to further understand the changing landscape of and opportunities for golf, and to ensure the future of the sport within Maroondah remains sustainable.
Following recommendations outlined in the report, further feedback from the broader community was sought to gauge the level of support on proposed key elements identified in the report.
“With more than 1,182 responses and submissions to the stage one report, there is a clear indication that the Maroondah community support and value Maroondah’s two public golf course facilities,” Cr Symon said.
“Overall, community feedback showed strong support for Council to maintain its two 18-hole golf courses and the current use of open space. Improvements to course drainage and an upgrade/expansion of the café at Dorset were also well supported, as were increasing and enhancing car parking facilities at both courses. Respondents also felt that both courses support healthy, active ageing for senior members of the community,” he said.
“Golf is a popular recreation offering and is important to the Maroondah community for many reasons, not least of which is that it helps maintain good physical and mental health and social connectivity,” he added.
“Thank you to everyone for their input and views during our consultation phases. By incorporating your feedback with industry-based analysis and research, this strategy now sets us on a path to ensuring a strong and viable future for golf in Maroondah,” Cr Symon said.
An ‘Implementation Plan’ will be developed to accompany the adopted Maroondah Golf Strategy. This plan will establish timeframes and outline the resources required to deliver actions in the strategy.