1 Jul 2009

Golf grows despite recession

7:30 am on 1 July 2009

New Zealand Golf says the game has continued to grow here, despite the global recession.

It's reported a significant increase in membership and a second straight profit at the annual meeting in Wellington.

Chief executive Bill MacGowan says it's been a tough financial year and an operating surplus of $253,000 compared with 2007's $561,000 is extremely pleasing.

McGowan says while the 2009 year is even more challenging, the sport is addressing key issues with clubs making changes to attract casual players

He says there's been a net increase of more than four percent in club membership - up 5,307 to more than 129,000.

That's thanks to a big rise in secondary members but McGowan says a decrease in under 18 memberships is disappointing.

However he says after announcing their new nine-hole initiative New Zealand Golf wiil soon launch an innovative programme it believes will attract young people.