‘Pivotal’ report on golf club governance released

24th Jun 2024

Golf club governance

Golf Australia has unveiled a ‘pivotal’ new report on golf club governance, which puts forward practical recommendations for enhancing board performance and club sustainability.

Golf Club Governance in Australia: 4 Steps to Better Outcomes‘ provides analysis of the current state of governance across Australian golf clubs and examines how the quality of decision-making and governance processes directly influences a club’s performance and future.

The research was undertaken between December 2023 and March 2024, with more than 120 golf club directors and executives providing in-depth survey responses that shaped the findings.

Hailing the report, Golf Australia CEO James Sutherland said: “With over 3.5 million Australians hitting golf balls every year, demand for golf in all its forms, has never been higher but from a club perspective, we need to continue to adapt.

“The key to our sustainable future is ensuring that our offerings remain relevant and valued by modern-day Australians. All this makes the findings and insights from this report incredibly valuable.”

Report authors, Nicholas Barnett, Executive Chairman of Board Surveys, and Jeff Blunden, Managing Director of GBAS, added: “Good governance is the cornerstone of any successful club.

“It is our experience that the success or otherwise of a business, or a club, is primarily determined by the leadership, behaviours, processes, and quality of decision-making of the board of that entity.

“That leadership needs to be consistently maintained at a high level to ensure that all clubs make it through the next 50 or 100 years.”

Key findings

The report recommends four key areas of opportunity to deal with these most common board shortcomings and to improve the effectiveness of golf clubs across Australia: –

  1. Be clearer about the purpose and role of the board and directors
  2. Get board renewal, composition and diversity right
  3. Focus on leadership, dynamics and process
  4. Do strategy, performance, risk and stakeholder management well

All the recommendations are covered in detail in the report, which can be freely downloaded here.


Golf governance report