$60 million golf fund launched to redevelop under-performing courses into sport entertainment zones

The $60 million PlayGolf Fund was launched by real estate and tourism company Mulpha Australia (the Australian arm of Kuala Lumpur-listed Mulpha International) to provide equity and partner with Avid Sports Management and Golf Australia. The PlayGolf Fund aims to secure long-term leases of at least 20 years on underperforming golf courses or driving ranges and redeveloping them into sports and attractions.

Mulpha has committed up to $60 million for golf courses and driving ranges that seek to transform existing locations to meet the needs of a broader target audience and to combine golf, hospitality and other potential leisure and entertainment venues. This investment will provide state-of-the-art facilities with widespread appeal in their communities.

Mulpha CEO Greg Shaw advised, “PlayGolf Fund partners have a common goal to encourage more people regardless of age, gender or skill level to play and enjoy golf in a more accessible and entertaining way.

“In recent years, we have seen many traditional public golf facilities, members and driving ranges struggle to find the combination of capital, development capacity and specialized operational expertise to transition towards becoming more enticing integrated golf courses, hospitality and leisure.

“In collaboration with Avid Sports and Golf Australia, we have developed PlayGolf Fund, a comprehensive solution for golf courses. We are pleased to provide significant investment to owners of private and public facilities on long-term operating leases. The PlayGolf Fund will also introduce innovative concepts aligned with the fund’s objectives.”

James Cooper, Managing Director, Avid Sports, added: “Australian Golf is expanding its focus in recognizing that all golf is golf. The PlayGolf Fund can help provide superior public facilities with lower commercial and financial risk by bringing in investment and creating alternative formats to appeal to the wider golf community.”

James Cooper, managing director of Avid Sports, which operates Golf Central in Brisbane and will take over the project’s operating component, said the sport must evolve to attract new participants and that “entertainment-based golf” was part of the game’s future, adding that “PlayGolf Fund can help deliver Superior quality public facilities with lower commercial and financial risks by bringing in investment and creating alternative formats to appeal to the wider golf community.”

The PlayGolf Fund actively seeks expressions of interest to reinvigorate participation, membership and utilization of golf facilities on a commercial and sustainable basis. Applications are requested from local government authorities and membership-based clubs to investigate their projects and opportunities. The program offers co-financing and an operational solution for successful projects to become a reality for the benefit of the Australian golf community and public interests.

James Sutherland, CEO of Golf Australia, notes, “In Australia there are over 400,000 active golf members and 800,000 social golfers. From beginners to more experienced golfers, social engagement, health benefits, and an outdoor golf experience have provided much-needed outdoor entertainment. for more Australians over the last 18 months.

“Honestly, there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in Australian golf. The industry is aligned and working hard to make golf available to everyone, whether you love a game on the pitch, a simulator experience or a shot with family and friends. This partnership with Mulpha and Avid Sports will provide the needed capital Strongly invested in golf infrastructure with the opportunity to increase participation by active and aspiring golfers across Australia. I can’t wait to see the ideas and their impact on what is already the second most popular adult participating sport in the country.”

Cooper concluded, “Over the past 17 years, Avid Sports has assisted more than 25 courses, driving ranges and golf clubs to consider different models for developing, promoting and sustaining golf engagement. The PlayGolf Fund goes much further by providing opportunity for government authorities local and membership-based clubs to fund projects that meet the needs of existing golf users as well as foster growth among those who develop a passion for golf.”

Round one applications for access to the $60 million funding package are scheduled to be submitted by March 31, 2022, with subsequent rounds considered thereafter. Details about PlayGolf Fund and how to apply can be found at www.playgolffund.com.au

Photos courtesy of Golf Central Brisbane

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