Golf Clubs in NSW and the SGA Golf Club
Please note that, while the vast majority of clubs and courses welcome Social Club players (like SGA) to play in club comps, some private/member golf clubs (mostly in NSW and particularly in Sydney) have decided that golfers with a handicap maintained through non-traditional golf clubs (including the QANTAS Golf Club (partnered with Golf Australia), The SGA Golf Club, etc) are either not welcome to play as guests in their club competitions, cannot win prizes, or must pay a higher cost to enter.
Note that these same clubs are happy to accept these exact same golfers when booked-in via an officially-sanctioned competition (whether through an SGA Open Day, Corporate Day, etc), but for one reason or another, do not welcome these players on a guest/casual basis.
And while this may seem to border on discriminatory, the fact is that it is their prerogative as a private club. We have brought this to the attention of Golf Australia and commenced contacting these clubs on this matter as they have come to our attention and offered to work collaboratively with them.
We recommend, therefore, that if there is a club or course in NSW in which you would like to enter their competition(s), you should contact the club in advance and check their requirements and/or rules regarding non-traditional Social Club handicaps.
EXCLUSIVE VS INCLUSIVE: WHY DO SOME CLUBS IN NSW RESTRICT SOCIAL PLAYERS?
There are several reasons why some private clubs restrict Social Club members. Elitism around private club membership is, unfortunately, part of the history of the game of golf. Also, many private clubs (and boards) feel a necessity to hold on to the (now outdated) monopolistic model of handicaps being managed ONLY via private clubs.
Note that, over the past 10 years, Golf Australia has deregulated the golf handicap market in order to increase participation by creating more avenues for golfers to access a handicap. Some clubs are opposed to this initiative, and choose to try and protect their monopoly by refusing to accept guests in their competitions who hold handicaps via a non-traditional golf club.
Proactive golf clubs, however, have learned that this old-fashioned logic is counter-intuitive and that if a club is seeking to optimise club memberships and revenues, then the prime target market would be ‘social golfers’ who do not have a handicap, or existing members of other clubs.
Essentially, these forward-thinking clubs see Social Clubs like SGA as an opportunity to attract new members, and generate additional revenue from Green Fees, Food & Beverage, and ProShop sales.
To provide our SGA Golf Club Members and golfers with options for competition play, we offer regular events across the country. These are official competitions with results on GOLF Link held every few weeks at a range of great golf courses and clubs around Australia. We have a great many clubs and courses we work closely with and we have fostered a positive and constructive relationship.
All golfers are welcome to enter our SGA events; we have an inclusive--not exclusive--approach to golf.