COVID-19 may have derailed sporting activities for much of the community during 2020, but for golf, participation is booming across the state of New South Wales.

NSW clubs are reporting spikes in membership numbers not seen in years, and at the very heart of this welcomed surge is Sydney juggernaut Moore Park. The state’s busiest golfing facility, Moore Park has been under attack from Sydney City Council as Lord Mayor Clover Moore continues her push to have the course halved to nine holes to allow for other recreational use in the high-density neighbourhood.

“The Redfern part of Moore Park is absolutely buzzing with people and you just look across the fence to the golf course and there might be two or three golfers in there,” Moore said in a recent interview.

But according to a Golf NSW report distributed Friday afternoon, her figures appear to be out … way out. The public-access facility is predicting a jump of around 50 percent in total rounds played from 60,000 in 2019-2020 to approximately 90,000 in 2020-2021, according to a report from Golf NSW.


In addition to the number of rounds predicted to be played this financial year, an estimated 250,000 customers are expected to use the multi-story driving range.

Moore Park Golf Club vice-president John Janik said due to the uptick in interest in the sport and use of the Centennial Parklands Trust facility, membership enquiries at the club had jumped considerably.

“We are seeing a lot of enquiries about joining from people who have never played before,” Janik says.

“We offer a three-month package for them to try our membership model. Already this month, 19 people have taken it up. We are expecting even more enquiries as the summer approaches.”

Moore Park Golf Driving Range

Affiliation numbers provided to Golf NSW from clubs show a jump in memberships of about 1.4% across Metropolitan Sydney, and 4.2% in regional New South Wales.

Several clubs in metropolitan Sydney have reported double-digit increases in memberships, including Balgowlah (up 12%), Bexley (17.4%), Brighton Lakes (22.4%), Cammeray (11.5%), Marrickville (16.2%), Stonecutters Ridge (10.6%), and Woolooware (19.8%).

Regional club memberships have also reported significant increases including Armidale (39%), Taree (24%), Forster/Tuncurry (16%), Links Shell Cove (15.5%), Thurgoona (14.6%), Toronto (14.7%), and Waratah Golf Club in Newcastle (20.8%).

Stuart Fraser, chief executive of Golf New South Wales, said it was pleasing to see interest in the sport back on the rise.

“While there’s no doubt COVID has contributed to a resurgence of interest in golf, it’s easy to see that people aren’t merely trying the sport then moving on to something else,” Fraser says.

“People are coming back and playing golf more than once; it’s clear a growing number are even stepping beyond just the social aspect of the game and joining a club.

“When people take the step beyond having a social game or have a hit at the local range and joining a club, it makes our club’s stronger and the sport healthier.”

Meanwhile, Sydney golfers have launched a petition to stop Clover Moore bulldozing nine holes at Moore Park. You can support the club’s fight to remain a thriving 18-hole facility here: