A national report highlighted to PGA professional Will White that golf could become an indoor sport.
The latest participation report commissioned by Golf Australia stated that of the 2.7 million Australians who played golf, 1.2 million didn’t set foot on a golf course.
After completing the Membership Pathway Program at Maroochy River Golf Club on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Will White moved to Tasmania to take up the role as club professional at Launceston Golf Club. The combination of the participation report and Launceston’s vastly different weather convinced White that there would be demand for an indoor golf facility.
White opened WillFit Golf in December 2022 with a simple philosophy to appeal to the entirety of the population who had participated in golf, and those who might want to.
“We’re fully in alignment with Golf Australia’s and the PGA’s vision to make golf a lot more accessible to everyone and really inclusive,” White says. “We’re all about building that inclusive golf community and really welcoming all levels of golfers – from first-timers wanting to participate in a fun, indoor activity, the new golfer who wants to learn the game and get started through to the regular club golfer and high-level golfer.”
After opening with four TrackMan-powered bays, WillFit added a fifth mid-year, the technology providing the capability to dial in every club in the bag or get your friends together for a bullseye shootout. WillFit Golf also boasts an 11-metre artificial putting green, so golfers can work on every element of the game, however they want to do it.
“We definitely saw a gap where we could create this awesome, inviting facility and build a community of golfers,” White says. “It’s really a place to go to learn the game, practise, to play indoor rounds. It’s a quicker format and all-weather and here in Launceston, it’s wet and cold half the year. That’s a big drawcard as well.
“There is something for everyone. That’s really want we want to be about. We’re a facility for golfers. Any skill level, we’re for golfers.”
The way in which White and the WillFit team are engaging their community also breaks down any barriers to entry. They host a women’s high tea once a quarter, there is a ‘New Dads’ group that runs every fortnight and Club Orange for people with a disability. There are also golf leagues and even a hole-in-one challenge where visitors can take an unlimited number of shots to try to make an ace and win prizes.
With a focus on exceptional customer service at a 24-hour, alcohol-free facility that is staffed seven days a week, White says the demand from patrons continues to expand into new areas.
“We branded it in a way that was not the traditional golf club feeling or performance studio,” he says. “We’re a 24-hour facility for members but we also chose to staff the facility seven days a week. If someone comes in, we’re there to support them, help set them up on the technology and make sure they have the best golf experience possible.
“Ultimately, everyone is there for the same reason; to have fun with golf.”
• Whether you want to play indoors or out, there is a PGA professional to enhance your golf experience. To find the PGA professional nearest to you, visit pga.org.au/find-a-pga-pro/