Golf tourism could be key to the Murraylands’ visitor growth
The South Australian Tourism Commission and PGA Australia have pitched the idea of a Murray River, Lakes and Coorong golf week.
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There exists a certain type of person who, whenever he or she wants to get away for a while, just gets a hankering to play golf.
This person is often from interstate, maybe overseas; they probably appreciate the finer things in life, like local wines or restaurants; they need somewhere classy to stay; and, most importantly, they have money to spend.
Local tourism industry figures hope to persuade more and more such people to visit the Murraylands.
Golf tourism could be a key growth area for the region, the SA Tourism Commission’s Mark Phelps and PGA Australia’s Warwick Hazel suggested at a workshop at Murray Bridge Golf Club last week.
Adelaide’s Four Reds tour invited guests to play “four of the most prestigious private golf clubs in Australia” – Glenelg, the Grange, Kooyonga and Royal Adelaide – and enjoy some of South Australia’s best wines at each, for between $1000 and $2500.
Could clubs like Murray Bridge, Mannum and Karoonda join forces to offer a holiday tour of their own, perhaps with side trips to the Bend Motorsport Park or Monarto Safari Park, and maybe accommodation on the River Murray?
If so, a Murray River, Lakes and Coorong golf week could be appealing.
Murray Bridge Golf Club was already benefiting from recent growth in golf tourism, president Mark Bolton said.
“Through the pandemic there have been a lot of people looking to play golf, so our memberships and green fee players are increasing,” he said.
“That’s true for all golf clubs around the region.
“We need to give them an opportunity to stay for a couple of nights and explore the region; golf can be the centrepiece for that.”
Course extension is still two years away
Another springboard for the club’s growth will be its expansion into the Newbridge housing development, which will give it two new fairways and prompt a redesign of several of its holes.
The club was granted almost $340,000 for the purpose back in 2020.
But work on the massive project will take some time – club manager Shane Aldridge said the redesigned course was not likely to open until 2024.