Golf is Australia’s most popular club sport for adults



MANY may be surprised to learn that in 2016 golf is Australia’s most popular club-based sport for adults, beating other contenders including cricket, netball, basketball and Australian football.

It is only beaten by football (soccer) to be the second most popular sport played in a club by adults and children.

The Australian Sports Commission’s first AusPlay survey revealed that 685,732 Australians played club-based golf in the year to September, second only to football (1.086 million).

In these adult and children combined figures Aussie Rules had 635,627 participants, netball 625,721, tennis 585,751and cricket 562,669.

Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt was delighted with the results.

“Golf around the country is going from strength to strength and it’s nice to see the numbers validated by AusPlay,” Pitt said.

“Golf clubs and facilities have come a long way in recent times in becoming destinations that encompass competition, fitness and fun for the whole family.

“We are thrilled to have that officially recognised and to put us above a lot of sports that Australians hold so dearly says a lot about the appeal of golf as a game for life.”

Starting in 2017, the ASC will release six-monthly updates of AusPlay trends and plans to use survey data to work with national sporting organisations and state departments of sport and recreation to grow overall participation and sport investment.

Findings from the first 12 months of AusPlay data show:

  • Sport is very important for children and they are more likely to take part in organised sport-related activities than other forms of organised physical activity outside of school hours
  • Physical health and fitness is the top motivator for all types of sport and physical activity with sport-related activity seen as being more fun and social
  • Time constraints is the biggest barrier to sport and physical activity for adults up to middle age
  • Australians spend $10.7 billion a year on sport and physical activity participation fees, with less than a third (29 per cent) going to sports clubs
  • Use of technology in support of physical activity is particularly popular among young adults and women
  • The single most popular sport or physical activity for adults is walking (43 per cent), while the most popular organised sport or physical activity outside of school hours for children is swimming
  • The most popular club-based participation sport in the country for adults and children is football with golf second


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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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