Unprecedented interest, rising participation, and organisations diversifying offerings beyond the golf course are factors behind a development revolution across the State.
With the COVID-19 crisis seeing a growing number of people trying the sport across New South Wales, several organisations have taken the opportunity to add that little bit more to what they provide with several projects already underway or just recently completed.
The Links Shell Cove is one such entity, having just opened a 36 hole mini-golf complex to complement its recently extended clubhouse.
The complex is a significant addition to the Link’s customer-focused offerings beyond its well-regarded dining facilities and championship golf course.
Touted as the best mini-golf course in Australia, the ‘SHANX’ Mini-Golf facility is the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere. All up, the cost of club house extension and addition of family focussed facilities came to almost $2.3 million.
Shellharbour City Council, the course’s owners, expect the new facility to generate about 30,000 visitors annually.
Mayor Marianne Saliba said the new attraction was part of the City Council’s vision to consolidate The Links’ reputation as a community and entertainment hub.
“People can come and stay in Shell Cove and enjoy those things down there, but then they can bring their families here and enjoy the opportunities that The Links has got to offer,” Councillor Saliba said.
The progressive Charlestown Golf Club is another entity taking a giant leap forward.
The Newcastle club is already home to many of the rising stars of the PGA of Australia and the Australian amateur scene, including Jake Higginbottom, Blake Windred and Jye Pickin.
But its chances of unearthing the next big thing will be even greater when it adds a new commercial driving range later this year.
Charlestown GC General Manager Joanna Mantle announced the “state-of-the-art” facility following years of vision and research.
“It will attract a new demographic that will see golf participation and our membership increase significantly,” Mantle said.
“The new driving range facility will complement our existing 18-hole championship golf course, clubhouse and open up opportunities to host more premier golf events in the region.”
“We believe it will redefine the face of golf in the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle region, with extended operating hours at night and access to the most advanced coaching and training facilities available.”
The new facility will include a 35-bay driving range, a 24-bay public teeing area, 10-bay members-only teeing area and a purpose-built coaching area.
It will operate seven days a week under floodlights, with food and beverages available at the bays from the clubhouse.
Mantle said the range would cater to the golfing community and be available for corporate events, fundraising days, and private functions.
Identified by the State Government as a strategic growth centre, Sydney’s Norwest is another area soon to be graced with a golf offering well beyond the ordinary.
Norwest parent developer Mulpha is set to build a $12m state-of-the-art hospitality venue featuring golf, food and beverage, and corporate entertainment facilities. Construction is due to commence in June, with completion scheduled for late 2021.
The Swing City Golf development will include 40 driving range bays, restaurant function facilities, and mini-golf.
Each bay will feature the latest in golf ball-tracking technology, allowing players to improve their swing and compete in a range of challenges, including longest drive, nearest the pins, and virtual play on many of the world’s most famous golf courses.
Greg Shaw, Mulpha CEO, said with young families now making up a large proportion of households in the district, the development would be the ideal entertainment offering.
“Swing City will tap into a growing demand from people to enjoy the game of golf in a more family-friendly setting.”
“Swing City is just one of a number of new initiatives designed to create a vibrant, active and socially-engaged community, connected to nature and neighbours, and ultimately a highly liveable Smart City in Norwest,” Mr Shaw added.