The iconic new Par 3 being built on the cliffs of Port Philip Bay
By Mathilda Andersson
One of the most prestigious golf clubs on the Mornington Peninsula, Mornington Golf Club, is currently bucking the trend of dwindling memberships and financial decline, and is experiencing a soar in participation rates.
Visitors to Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula may be spoiled for choice, but the overpopulation of courses in the area has unfortunately forced a number of clubs to seek financial solutions in merger deals or land sales. The Mornington Golf Club is not one of them.
Sometimes referred to as the hidden gem of the Peninsula, offering breathtaking views across the Port Philip Bay, the premier 18-hole golf course has seen a steady spike in membership over the past 18 months.
According to the club’s General Manager, Craig Murdoch, overall membership numbers have increased by 25% since early 2015, now counting over 800 members, with 150 active Junior members alone.
“We have made a number of strategic investments over the past 18 months to improve our golf course and Clubhouse hospitality facilities in order to attract new members and visitors to the Club,” Murdoch said about the influx.
“Membership numbers were sitting at around 650, and we highlighted that to attract more members to Mornington there was a fair bit of work needing to be done to improve the clubhouse and the golf course”
“We now have a target of 1000 members, which would be remarkable in the current golfing climate.”
Being one of the oldest Clubs on the Mornington Peninsula having celebrated its Centenary in 2004, this progressive Club has a strong focus on junior golf and its development, offering weekly junior clinics – most recently with Touring Professional and 2016 Australasian Order of Merit winner, Matthew Griffin, and are currently coaching two successful Junior Pennant teams.
To further enhance member satisfaction, the Club is in the process of building a new iconic 140 metre Par 3 on the cliffs of Port Philip Bay with the city skyline as the backdrop for the green. The hole was designed by Darius Oliver (Planet Golf) and Ben Davey (Contour Golf Design) and is due to be completed in the coming months. The Club also engaged Oliver and Davey to prepare a comprehensive Course Master Plan which provides the Board and members with a strategic document to be used for all improvements to the course moving forward. Part of the Master Plan brief was to ensure that disruption to the golf course is kept to a minimum and with the luxury of having19 holes will prove to be very beneficial to ensuring this happens.
The clubhouse also received a facelift over the last 18 months, with fantastic renovations completed on both the locker rooms and the popular Bayview restaurant, which is now one of the busiest restaurants in Mornington.
“We want to continue to provide a first class golf course and clubhouse for our members and visitors to enjoy,” Murdoch added. ”Our new hole and the Course Master Plan highlights the commitment we have made to continually improve the golf course and add value to being a member at Mornington Golf Club.
“At Mornington we are in an enviable position of membership growth and we are confident that this will continue once our exciting new hole is open for play and as the golf course improves each year.”