I spent ages checking around the neighbourhood when we first moved in, at all the obvious egress points like this, discovering that there was no way to cross the large swath of greenery on the map. The public-owned "Park" was not really a park, nor truly open to the public...
Especially as most of it has nothing on it, save grass and livestock.
Just someone's livelihood you mean? You might not appreciate but there is a shedload of effort that goes into "grass and livestock".
Well yes obviously I know that.
But it clearly isn't a sufficient condition for people not to be allow to walk over it on footpaths AND for farmers to make a living! See: the UK.
you've seen Auckland drivers? :)
Well, Chamberlain has always been a course where the golfers ARE the plebs.
Some actual socio-economic data about those who golf there would be interesting. Do people have to bring their own clubs? How many Aucklanders own those?
How many Aucklanders own those?
pfft I do - they are shite but good enuff for my skill level :). And they were dirt cheap second hand.
Do people have to bring their own clubs?
No, you can hire them. But a set of new clubs is only around $300 and a full second hand set maybe $150 (depends on condition and luck). So if you play more than about 4 games you might as well buy a set, since they're hardly going to lose much value anyway, and there are advantages to owning the set (hiring them takes extra time, and you can never get used to them). If you stop playing after a short while you'd probably be able to sell them without very much loss. Naturally you can spend a hell of a lot more than that on clubs too, but unless you've got money to burn, it's probably wise to play for a while to see if you actually do want to continue.
Since it's a game usually played with at least one partner, it's not at all uncommon for people just getting into the sport to share clubs. They won't let you onto the course without a set of clubs (because people sharing clubs play much slower when the balls are separated), but it doesn't have to be a full set. And a full set can be broken into two half sets, using the odd and even numbers.
The main expense isn't the clubs for regular players. It's the green fees. 18 holes is between $25 and $32 per person at Chamberlain, for casual play. Concessions apply the more you play. But for anyone thinking of having a bit of a go first time, then yes, the clubs double the cost. A round could set each person back $69.
Would be interesting to know what the average numbers are that play at Chamberlain Park on a daily basis. Not a figure i have seen thrown around yet.
Would love to compare what the playing numbers per day currently are, compared to say a forecast of how many would use the park if and when re-developed.
Yes, it would be interesting. It’s the busiest golf course I’ve ever been on, by far, so I’d make the assumption that it’s nearly at capacity. Hence my calculation of what that capacity roughly is. But I can’t really be sure of the flow speed. My memory was that when it was busy, a round could take 4-5 hours. Which boils down to about one group every 8-10 minutes entering the course (and about the same exiting), based on the groups being about 200m apart (which roughly tallies with my memory of how long each group takes to tee off and walk to a safe distance ahead). It’s open from dawn until dusk, so about 12 hours on average. So that’s about 84 groups through the place in a day. Groups are typically not more than 4 people. So the peak usage would be around 84 x 4 = 336 people per day. That if it’s absolutely chockers all day long.*
By contrast a game of rugby has 31 people on the field at a bare minimum and the game is about 90 mins long (I don’t know if this is how long it’s usually played for by kids though). 31 people playing on 6 fields for 90 mins at a time means that it would take about 3 hours for as many people to have enjoyed the fields taking less than half the space of the 18 hole course, as could possibly have even used the golf course in the entire day. That’s using maximum figures for the golf and minimum figures for the rugby. Of course the rugby will have a lot of spectators too, who could be said to be using the facility.
So I don’t think it’s very likely that the total number of users will come down in favour of the golfers.
It’s also important to note that playing fields are not a dedicated use thing, so there is potential for events that are not just sports games to take place on these fields. It seems highly likely, in fact, that this would occur, given the location. Festivals, concerts, etc, can and do get held on public sporting fields. Sometimes they're just used for parking, something that would be of great service when major events are on at Western Springs.
Calculating the number of people getting public utility in that way is quite difficult. An event like Pacifica, or the Big Day Out, can attract thousands of people.
*Note that I’m grossly overestimating a number of things here. The course is open until dusk, but I don’t think so many people are entering it for a number of hours before dusk, because they can’t hope to complete a round. This is a mental exercise just to put upper limits on things. Real stats would have to be acquired from the course itself.
Saw this quoted on Facebook:
On behalf of New Zealand Golf, O’Connor Sinclair prepared National and Auckland Regional Golf Facility Studies (2013). The studies identified the following golf course trends and issues. This summary is derived from: “O’Connor Sinclair (2014). Chamberlain Park – Needs and Future Development Assessment”. Increasing operational costs. Lack of income diversity: Golf courses have traditionally relied upon membership revenue as their main source of income. Lack of diversity in golf experiences and player pathways: Golf facilities are becoming less relevant to their surrounding community and not evolving alongside societal and technological trends or diversifying the golf experience enough to attract new participants. Oversupply of rounds in Auckland and low utilisation: Utilisation of golf courses across Auckland is very low at 23%. There is an oversupply of relatively homogenous golf services and facilities and therefore an oversupply of rounds at these facilities Untapped target markets: Golf is currently meeting the needs of a relatively narrow part of the potential market and there is considerable opportunity for participation growth in new market segments.
The full report is here. It's quite interesting. It notes a global trend for shorter 'executive" courses in inner-city areas, and also says this:
Of the total rounds of golf played across Auckland, approximately
1% of rounds are played in Albert-Eden. The average utilisation in
Albert-Eden is 9%, well below the Auckland average of 23%.
It is interesting. Note that Chamberlain Park was not included in the survey, though, and from my experience it's quite an unusual and exceptional place. I'm not sure which club they were referring to as Albert-Eden, presumably it's Akarana, which is the only other club I see in the Albert-Eden area.
Ah. I could see that Chamberlain hadn't bothered to reply, but I figured they'd found some other way of assessing it.
Interesting take on it.
Wondering if the proposed fields would be artificial turf or grass. Certainly wouldn't be wanting people parking on my new turf fields! They would get destroyed pretty quickly.
If grass, i can definitely see the usage there. Still not sure how the access would work to getting to these fields/carpark. Is it supposed to be from Linwood Ave? Or St Lukes Road?
Can definitely see your point with numbers with regards to Rugby on the fields. again, i think this would definitely depend on the turf. We wouldn't be getting the games of rugby in this volume on an artificial turf. Grass yes perhaps. And again, the numbers would only really occur in the weekends. So yeah would def be interesting to get some figures about how many people are playing consistently through the week, and weekends.
Is rugby ever played on artificial turf? Soccer and hockey, yes, but is any rugby played there, other than touch? (I don't know the answer).
Getting the usage figures out of Chamberlain sounds like investigative journalist work :-) I'm damned sure it's not always operating at capacity - most times I ride past it doesn't look full.
Is rugby ever played on artificial turf? Soccer and hockey, yes, but is any rugby played there, other than touch? (I don’t know the answer).
Not in New Zealand. There's some use of artificial pitches in Scotland.
But using them for training might be a different matter.
I figured they’d found some other way of assessing it.
I'd be amazed if it was anywhere near as low as 9%. It's a really busy course, as courses go.
I'd also have somewhat mixed feelings about it disappearing. I have happy memories of the place, it was where I learned golf. But soberly weighing the public good is a different thing. I've never been to a single concert a Western Springs, nor ever played rugby, but many, many more people have so it's way up the food chain for usage of public space.
nor ever played rugby
You were a loss to the game!
but many, many more people have so it’s way up the food chain for usage of public space.
Much further up the list of means of exercise and recreation are walking and cycling, which have quite a bit to gain from the concept plan.
Rugby is played on artificial turf in NZ - see the College Rifles "Synthetic Grass" pitch, and the St Peter's 'Cage'.
I am with Ben - I grew up near Chamberlain and played my earliest rounds of golf there (I won't say I learnt to play golf there, given the numbers I shoot) and it is comforting to know there is a public course that you can access without having to be a member. In that respect, I would be sad to see it go. However, private courses also offer this provided you attend at certain times of the day. I also know the greenskeeper and he is a great guy. I am not sure how he manages to keep the greens given they are played on all day by (mainly) a bunch of hackers.
life's a pitch...
There’s some use of artificial pitches...
Speaking of 'artificial pitches' - we are saddled with a tone=deaf Government that is continually changing the playing fields and shifting the goalposts!
...not to mention their wilful misinterpretations of the rules.
I wonder if 'Barry' and John might forgo their Maui links link-up and fly in for a round or two at Chamberlain Park this Christmas, that would seal the deal...
Did you know that in golf slang a golfer who goes from bunker to bunker is known as a 'Saddam Hussein'.
Oh those yanks!
They're such jolly kidders...
College Rifles Rugby has had 2 artificial surface playing fields since about 2009
Edit: I see someone else has already pointed this out.
Chamberlain Park Golf also has a strong association with NZ Maori Golf. Judge Mick Brown in 2011
In that way Chamberlain Park [where the programme is based] has been a godsend as it is a public course. Otherwise how are these youngsters going to afford to be members of a flash club?”
Volcanic rock base, makes it the best draining course around. Plays well right through the Winter.
I am with Ben – I grew up near Chamberlain and played my earliest rounds of golf there (I won’t say I learnt to play golf there, given the numbers I shoot) and it is comforting to know there is a public course that you can access without having to be a member. In that respect, I would be sad to see it go.
To be fair, the concept plan keeps nine holes and adds a learners' facility and a driving range, so it's not like there'll be nowhere for youngsters to go and learn to play.
adds a learners’ facility and a driving range
imagine these address the report's concern you quoted about "diversity in golf experiences and player pathways"
I’d be amazed if it was anywhere near as low as 9%. It’s a really busy course, as courses go.
I checked and apparently the only reliable figure is for the first year Chamberlain was under council management: 51,000 rounds of golf played between 30 June 2013 and 1 July 2014.
That's a long way short of the claim aired in the story that it's the most popular course in Australasia.