A recent article published by Golf Vacation Insider has posed this question as the author observes that the golf industry continues to discuss how utilisation growth can be encouraged.

The article reflects on the vital role municipal golf courses play in growing the game, acknowledging that is is likely most golfers — even pros from Rickie Fowler and Billy Horschel to Phil Mickelson and Nancy Lopez — got their start at humble municipal layouts.

Full details of the article can be found here.

Within the Australian market, we certainly recognise the outstanding quality of the golfing experiences offered at many public and council owned courses and that some facility owners are investing further to improve these assets.  Our own Moore Park Golf has been the recipient of over $5m in capital improvements over the past 5 years.  Ringwood Golf Course are currently renovating their course layout to a master plan that will improve and increase the bunkering on the course.

It is evident that facilities that invest in their assets are generating high utilisation which is leading to superior commercial returns.

Sydney has just recorded its highest January rainfall in 28 years, but that hasn’t stopped Moore Park Golf from continuing its impressive trajectory towards another record breaking performance for the third year in a row.

January is on target to deliver yet another remarkable financial and utilisation result despite the angry and unpredictable weather lashing Sydney-siders.  Moore Park Golf’s performance was protected by a well planned and executed summer marketing program.

Targeting family and entertainment markets, and boasting new services such as family tees, big hole golf and a family range pass, the campaign has generated solid results.  Forward planned, it was implemented prior to the change in weather, and has been supported through the unpredictable weather with social posts highlighting when great playing conditions are available.

Bringing these new family features on board has enabled Moore Park Golf to improve its already impressive utilisation of products and services….most importantly it’s ensured that the weather has not got in the way of a good family day out with the kids.

Photo credit: @dallaskilponen

Working in a cash based environment creates a number of risks for your business, but there are some simple steps you can take to mitigate the potential risks:

1. Conduct a risk assessment
Are you collecting all the cash you are entitled to? If you answered yes, how certain are you of that? You need to know where risk exists before you can eliminate it. Identify your needs and assess the points where risk may be involved. A recent audit we conducted for a client indicated an internal control issue costing the client up to $2,000 per week in lost revenue.

2. Create a process
Have a clearly defined process. Create policies and procedures addressing the issues you’ve identified in the risk assessment. Set out clearly for each step in the process, what the risk is and how to eliminate it.

3. Set the expectation
Education and communication is the key. Set clear expectations from the start. Train staff in the policy and procedure and follow up with them. The organisation must live the policy and make it “the way we do things.” A person who fits and lives the culture is less likely to engage in fraudulent activity.

4. Embrace technology
A relevant and appropriate point of sale and booking system will greatly assist in recording cash based transactions and the cash reconciliation process. Using a system which integrates across different facets of the business achieves this goal. If the appropriate technology is cost prohibitive, use a manual system but create the process and set expectations.

5. Review
Regularly review the systems in place. Updated technology or new team members may mean that the policy is outdated and may need to be reviewed. Test the processes with an internal audit. Update your policy as appropriate.

If you are unsure how to conduct a risk assessment for your business, contact us today and we’ll help get you started.

A group of Golf Managers walked into a bar, and the barman asked “why the long faces?”  It is a twist on an old joke to highlight the issue that the golf industry has been talking itself down for far too long.  It does not need to be that way.

We frequently read stories of golf clubs losing money, the decline in memberships and Clubs that are being forced to close, relocate or merge.  Local governments are being told to close their courses in favour of parkland.

It is well known that people’s habits have changed.  We have increased technology at our fingertips and seemingly less time to do anything.  Golf appears to have fallen victim to this change.

The problem is that people are not prioritising golf ahead of other options.  And when we, as an industry, are talking ourselves down, why should they?

Let’s change our narrative and focus on the strong points of the game in everything we say.  Coca Cola does not talk about the sugar in their drinks, their message is centred on the happiness that their product delivers.

We should steer away from the perceived negatives of the time taken to play, the difficulty and the cost.  Let’s talk about the positive aspects of the game that grips so many people.  And there are so many that are unique to our sport:

  • Golfers live five years longer
  • It inspires us to travel
  • It keeps us active – 18 holes of golf walking burns 1,500 calories
  • Golf gets us outdoors
  • Golfers spend quality time with each other – not on opposing sides of a court
  • It provides stress relief (subject to minimal 3-putts) – 99% of illness is caused by stress, so why are we not doing everything we can to combat that?
  • It is a true escape from the day to day
  • Anyone can play – TOGETHER!
  • There is perfection in every round – some just achieve it more than others

If we believe it ourselves, then others will too.

Human Resource managers often spend a lot of their time on performance management and dealing with queries / questions regarding performance and conduct.  Often a breakdown in communication or a lack of clearly defined expectations can be the cause of employees not achieving the required results, expectations or adopting less than desirable work habits.

In a sporting context, a fair competition involves clearly defining the rules and providing each player or team with an equal chance to succeed. It is clear from the outset what it will take to win and be recognised as the “best on ground”.

Businesses need to adopt this same philosophy in the workplace. A clearly defined playing field is a vital step in the engagement of employees to enable them to deliver a highly productive workplace.

This involves:

  • detailing  core policies and procedures, that is ‘the way we do things around here’;
  • identifying daily operational and strategic objectives;
  • clearly articulating how employees are measured, rewarded and recognised; and
  • defining what high performance looks like within your organisation.

In practical terms this can be achieved through employment contracts, well documented policies and procedures, position descriptions, performance reviews and regular clear and open communication with managers and supervisors.

To find out more about creating successful teams and staff, contact us today.

The residents of Bingara Gorge were recently treated to a twilight cinema screening of Despicable Me 2 on the greens. The Wollondilly Advertiser covered the event, where more than 200 residents watched the movie on a cinema screen and many kids got into the spirit of the night with great costumes. A dressed-up minion and main character Gru were at the event to help judge the dress-up competition and to have photos with the kids.

General Manager for Clublinks at Bingara Gorge, Mark Moss said it was a great atmosphere and there was good feedback from the residents. ‘‘People were surprised and excited that the movie night was held on the golf course,’’ Mr Moss said. ‘‘The weather held out for us which was great. It was great to see all the kids having photos and enjoying themselves”. He said the community managers put on events throughout the year and that was important for building community spirit and feel.

For the full article and more photos, please click here. Article courtesy of the Wollondilly Advertiser, pictures Sam Venn.

Some of the best junior talent from the Sydney Golf Academy at Moore Park Golf recently featured in an article in the Wentworth Courier in Sydney.

The full article “Sydney Golf Academy talent could uncover the next Jordan Spieth” can be found here, but we’ve included a short section below:

THEY might be small, but chances are these kids can swing a golf club better than most punters hacking away on a Sunday morning.  Meet the kids from Sydney Golf Academy at Moore Park Golf, who can drive the ball hundreds of metres and sink putts like they’ve been doing it for decades.

The academy is seeing a growth in the popularity of golf among children, which could be attributed in part to young superstars like Jason Day and Jordan Spieth dominating the pro tour this year. Spieth is one of the big names playing in the Australian Open next week.

Future stars include the likes of Zane Weinberg, who at six has already won two junior tournaments and boasts a polished chipping game.  Or four-year-old Eliza Merhi, who is working on technique and can hit a ball more than 30m on the fly.

The youngsters are taught by Sydney Golf Academy pro Ollie Gebert, who described their talent level as “astronomical.”  “Our main objective is to grow the game from a grassroots level and find kids with a natural ability from a young age,” he said.  “When they have fun they get better. We use a three-level program and the kids move up by passing skills and earning badges. There is nothing too technical, we make it enjoyable and let their natural talent shine through.”

Full details of the Sydney Golf Academy junior coaching programs can be found here.

Photo details (from left): Ben Richards, 6, Jet Ostrer, 10, Eliza Merhi, 4, and Zane Weinberg, 6, in training at Moore Park Golf. Picture: John Appleyard.


Identification and understanding key drivers within your business is the key to making timely and more informed business decisions.  Below is a short description of five key drivers within golf course reporting:

  1. Yield. In golf there are many different price points across many different areas of the business. Understanding what each of these points is worth to you on a per unit basis gives you a greater understanding of the value you are offering your customers.  What is the per unit value of each commodity you offer worth to your business?
  2. Utilisation.  Utilisation is generally thought of in usage of tee times. However, it can be used across many other areas such as your cart usage, driving range, or pro shop sales. Knowing where utilisation is lacking provides opportunities to engage in more ways with your customers.  When and how is your facility being used?
  3. Secondary spend.  Your primary business is selling tee times, everything else is secondary spend. Knowing where your secondary spend is coming from and where it can be improved is vital in adding value to the bottom line of the business.  How much are your customers spending within other areas of your business?
  4. Wages.  Labour is generally the largest expense a business can incur. Understanding where your labour is deployed and the value provided to the revenue coming through the till lets you achieve that balance between too much and not enough.  Do you have a system in place that allows you to track your labour movement and make timely adjustments?
  5. Customer experience.  Non-financial indicators such as customer satisfaction allow you to get a feel for how customers interact with your business. Understanding the customer experience can be an early indicator of opportunities or threats that may exist within your business.  Are you providing the ultimate experience through all customer touchpoints within your business?

Centennial Parklands and Clublinks Management Pty Ltd are pleased to announce that Clublinks will continue its role as the facility manager of Moore Park Golf – Sydney’s leading public golf course.

Trustees of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust approved the recommendation at their recent meeting after a competitive tender process was concluded. Clublinks will manage the facilities and marketing of Moore Park Golf for the next five years with provision for a further five year extension.

“We were delighted with the interest in Moore Park Golf this time. The public tender process saw 34 parties register interest – the most ever during such a tender. We believe this interest can be attributed directly to the substantial investment in facilities and services by the Trust, and the outstanding customer service and management of the facilities by Clublinks over the last six years,” said Kim Ellis, Executive Director, Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands.

“Clublinks have delivered exceptional results in facility utilisation whilst setting golf industry benchmarks nationwide for the quality of our golf product and business marketing. We are confident this will continue and look forward to working with the Clublinks team.”

Clublinks’ Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Lawrence, expressed his organisation’s commitment to continuous improvement at Moore Park Golf: “Clublinks is thrilled to have won a very competitive Tender. We understand implicitly the importance of Moore Park Golf to Centennial Parklands and the community, and we are honoured to be entrusted with management for a further five years.”

“The collaborative nature of our relationship is important to us. More utilisation of the course and facilities results in increased revenue to maintain Centennial Parklands. Our business success means the community wins through higher standards of assets and facilities across the Parklands.”

Moore Park Golf is Sydney’s home of public golf. Each year, it has in excess of 15 million balls hit from its three-storey driving range, 56,000 rounds of golf played across its championship quality 18 hole public golf course and delivers 16,000 golf lessons via the Sydney Golf Academy.

In an Australian golf industry first, three of the country’s top driving range facilities are going head to head in a state vs state driving range competition.

Albert Park Driving Range (VIC), Moore Park Golf (NSW) and Wembley Golf (WA) will be competing with each other to see who can secure the most amount of driving range ball purchases for the month of November.

Sponsored by Titleist (Acushnet), customers are encouraged to participate to win an amazing Titleist first prize; a custom fit set of new 716 irons and 816 hybrids. Each time they make a purchase at any of the participating venues during the promotion, customers can lodge an entry.

Coordinated by the marketing team at Clublinks, the three facilities are working together on the competition to drive public golf participation, and are looking forward to engaging in some fantastic state based rivalry on social media throughout the month.

Information on the competition is available on each of the three facility websites:


For further information on this announcement, please contact us.

Moore Park Golf’s Big Screen was recently shortlisted as a finalist in the HSBC Golf Business Forum Innovation Award.  Our Big Screen made it into the top 11 entries, from more than 100 entries globally.  Unfortunately, on this occasion we were not successful in winning the award, but we are pretty happy with making it into the top 11!

Bucking the trends seen in the golf industry of late, Moore Park Golf has seen year on year growth over the past four years. Trends for participation and utilisation have continued to increase, leading to record financial outcomes for the past two years.

Operated by Clublinks, the results are the culmination of the outsourced management model that incorporates a strong vision and strategic plan alongside a complete alignment of interests with the facility owner, Centennial Parklands Trust (CPT).

That plan incorporates a focus on operational efficiencies. “When we took over management of the site in 2009, there were a lot of repairs and maintenance to be undertaken. That set results back in the early days, but we are reaping the benefits now” says Erich Weber, General Manager of Moore Park Golf. “More importantly, the team at CPT share our innovative and progressive approach for the facility, which has provided us the ability to try new things, such as the Big Screen on the driving range.”

Key drivers of the results include better management through quality data which has helped Moore Park Golf drive volume and spends, generate improved yield management and optimise peak utilisation. It’s all part of the Clublinks philosophy of leaving facilities in better shape than when they find them. “Every single day, we look for progression, and how we can improve; it’s a constant focus for us as a business” says Anthony Lawrence, CEO of Clublinks.

Marketing has played a significant part in the Moore Park Golf journey. Three years ago, a strategic marketing plan was developed and the team built a framework of tools with a long term vision of what they wanted to achieve in terms of customer experience. Beginning with a simple, singled minded focus on better data capture to have more people to talk to, the marketing channels now incorporate regular targeted newsletters, personalised customer touch points, digital and social media, partnership programs and cross database promotions.

This framework has allowed the team more responsiveness and the ability to capitalise on opportunities. It has also resulted in improved communications and connection with customers through a strong brand presence, particularly in the digital space.

Gavin Kirkman, Chief Membership Officer at PGA of Australia has recognised this. “The marketing that is done at Moore Park Golf is progressive and market leading. It’s great to see an organisation in our industry setting a new benchmark. I regularly distribute it within our company to educate others as a great example to follow”.

To find out more about the Clublinks and Moore Park Golf success story, contact us today.