The Horsham Golf Club has halved its debt, securing the short-term future of the historic club.
Club president Leo Delahunty shared the news with club members at an annual meeting last night.
“We’ve been able to, through one way or another, reduce our debt from $1.4 million to a figure less than half of that,” he said.
“That’s happened because of arrangements and identified ways forward between the golf club, our current financiers and some new financiers who are offering the opportunity for a tenure of facilities at very low-interest rates.”
A plan had been drafted as part of the three-way agreement to repay the existing debt, thought to be around $600,000, within 10 years.
“The members were very pleased with the result. But, the reality is, and we and said that to them, we’ve still got a significant amount of debt and we’re mapping out a 10-year repayment program on that,” Delahunty said.
“Hopefully, it can be done inside that time, but whatever we do, we must address the issue of that debt, and it will be repaid on an annual basis.”
Members were also told of the club’s improving operational performance, with membership increasing by 29 per cent and a “cash operating surplus, in excess of a couple hundred thousand dollars, for the first time in many years.”
“The membership growth has meant more activity and a greater buzz around the club, and it’s back to a level where it is more sustainable,” Delahunty said.
Delahunty said the community support was vital in securing the club’s future.
“The other thing that was really quite critical in reducing the debt was the fact that we can now bring in that community fund money that we raised in November/December. That was really quite critical in dealing with our debt,” he said.
“I think we need to be really clear that none of this would’ve worked without that significant level of community support.
“The club is particularly grateful to its members and the greater community for contributing in the way that they did.”
It was also announced that Steven Copley would fill the role of club manager left vacant by Paul Riley’s departure in April.
Copley, who will start in mid-August, had served a month-long tenure as acting manager at the club earlier this year.
Delahunty was hopeful the string of announcements would strengthen the club’s position moving forward.
“Everybody knew that the club was battling financially. Everybody knew there was a big cloud over the club,” he said.
“We’re very confident that the cloud has been lifted and the club has a really bright and sustainable future.”
Source: The Wimmera Mail-Times