Golf clubs in Australia’s worst bushfire affected regions have received a funding boost, thanks to the generosity of the golf community around the world.
In January 2020, the Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) established the 2020 Australian Golf Bushfire Appeal Fund via a GoFundMe Page to raise funds for golf clubs who had been impacted by the fires.
The appeal generated $67,000 which has now been allocated directly to golf clubs impacted by the bushfire season across Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales, as well as the South Australian Government Bushfire Appeal and Kangaroo Island Mayoral Bushfire Appeal.
AGIC Chair Gavin Kirkman applauded the golf industry for its support during Australia’s devastating bushfire season.
“Our industry was heartbroken at the destruction that was caused by these fires,’’ Kirkman said.
“And now with COVID-19, these communities are facing an even tougher challenge, taking a bigger hit due to the significant downturn in visitor numbers.
“I have no doubt that the monies raised will go a long way in assisting affected golf clubs in their recovery.”
Kirkman said that the funding was in addition to individual fundraising efforts made by clubs and golf organisations, as well as the Melbourne Sandbelt’s initiatives including the Premiers Cup in Victoria, which raised $500,000 through a charity event held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club over the Australia Day long weekend.
The funding breakdown is as follows:
- Mallacoota Golf and Country Club – $20,000 to assist in replacing the irrigation system, which was destroyed by the fires
- Tallangatta Valley Golf Club – $2,500 to assist with course repairs of the fire containment line
- $1,000 to each of the three clubs on Kangaroo Island being Kingscote, Parndana and Penneshaw to assist with new on-course items and in a forthcoming event to attract golf related visitors back to the island
- $9,500 to be donated to the SA Government Bushfire Appeal
- $9,500 to be donated to the Kangaroo Island Mayoral Bushfire Appeal
New South Wales
- $22,500 to be distributed evenly between the nine golf clubs identified by Golf NSW as being affected by bushfires:
- Eden Gardens Country Club
- Tura Beach Country Club
- Moruya Golf Club
- Narooma Golf Club
- Pambula Merimbula Golf Club
- Bermagui Country Club
- Mollymook Golf Club
- Tuross Head Country Club
- Club Catalina Country Club
The bushfires significantly affected the eastern and north-eastern parts of Victoria with Mallacoota Golf and Country Club in East Gippsland experiencing direct major fire damage.
Clearing of the damaged vegetation is still being carried out and a re-vegetation management plan is also currently being developed with the $20,000 donation to be used for assisting the replacement of the course irrigation system.