It’s not the most important facet of the discussion but the financial reality of Sydney Lord Mayor Clove Moore’s plan to cut Moore Park Golf Course to nine holes shouldn’t be overlooked.
Leaving aside the benefits to mental and physical health the facility provides to those who choose to use it (an option open to EVERYBODY, importantly) the golf operations make a not insignificant contribution to public coffers each year.
Figures from financial year 2018 (the first to come up in an internet search) reveal the golf operation to have ‘achieved its budget target for FY18 and returned $3.9 million — up 10 percent from FY17…’
It would be safe to assume ‘FY18’ (as the woke accountants say it) was not an anomaly and that, generally speaking, the golf course and associated infrastructure is a money maker.
"Perhaps this correspondent missed it but I am yet to see mention that users of the proposed former golf course parkland will be charged for the privilege?"
Precise figures aren’t important for the purposes of this argument as there is a broader point to be made: cutting the golf course in half actually has a double-negative financial impact.
Not only does revenue drop through reduced green fee and associated revenue but operating expenses go up.
Land that was once maintained by golf course staff (whose numbers will presumably be reduced) now needs to be cared for by another department (whose staff numbers presumably now need to be increased?)
Parkland may be less expensive to maintain than golf playing surfaces but it is not free by any means.
Perhaps this correspondent missed it but I am yet to see mention that users of the proposed former golf course parkland will be charged for the privilege?
As mentioned at the outset this is far from the most important aspect of this discussion but it is an important one.
Moore Park is likely one of the most profitable public golf facilities in the country and it is that way because of good management of an excellent facility.
It is testament to those in charge of the day to day running of the complex that it is such a success.
Should Cr. Moore’s plans be successful it would be a sombre warning for public golf everywhere in Australia because if one of our most successful and utilised golf facilities is deemed unfit for survival then pity the humble suburban layout.
Golf has much to offer to individuals and communities collectively but it is up to golf to do the selling.
Just because those of us who love the game understand innately its multitude of benefits doesn’t mean we should expect others to. It’s up to us to help them understand.
And finally a closing note for those golfers hurling insults and abuse at Cr. Moore or others on the opposite side of the debate.
No doubt you find great humour in your ‘clever’ jokes about earning extra stableford points for hitting non golfers on the course but understand this: you are making the other side’s case for them.
Only an entitled, self-important bully would feel it OK to be so shallow. Just the type so many non-golfers – sadly – already believe us to be.