The outstanding achievements of regional Golf Clubs across New South Wales have been recognised with six named as finalists in the Golf NSW Club of the Year Awards.
The six, Charlestown, Dubbo, Nelson Bay, Newcastle, Queanbeyan, and Rich River Golf Clubs have all achieved some considerable milestones over the previous year in areas as diverse as club operations, membership levels, financial performance and community engagement.
Mr Stuart Fraser, Chief Executive Officer of Golf NSW, said the finalists are all outstanding examples of the importance of healthy, growing clubs in regional communities.
“Golf Clubs in regional areas provide much for their local community, from simply being a social hub to fundraising, and as a significant employer in many towns,” Mr Fraser said.
Charlestown Golf Club
Charlestown Golf Club has introduced flexible memberships to encourage a younger demographic.
Charlestown has spent over $225,000 this year alone on capital expenditure and has just finished a clubhouse renovation which included new furnishings, a bar and a TAB facility. On course, the Club completed a series of new cart paths.
Charlestown makes significant contributions to the local community through school golf, free clinics for beginners, while also an active participant in many state and national inclusion programs like MyGolf, Play9, and the MyGolf Junior League.
The Club is conscious of its environmental footprint and has recently picked up an award for excellence in sustainability.
Dubbo Golf Club
Dubbo Golf Club has increased its membership base by over 20% in the last 12 months and has seen significant growth in both in-house and on-course operations.
Dubbo is in the process of renovating its clubhouse investing over $100,000 in bunker upgrades, cart paths and turf regeneration on the course.
The Club has a Vision 2040 and Masterplan to ensure members are aware of the its direction and overarching goals. The Vision includes considerable capital improvements.
Dubbo has built several strategic partnerships in the Dubbo community and on a state-wide level, to strengthen the Club’s visibility and viability in the long term.
Nelson Bay Golf Club
Nelson Bay Golf Club has seen its membership grow by an impressive 600 members in the last financial year, targeting juniors and members under the age of 35.
Clubhouse operations are strong, with over 300 functions held in the last 12 months. Course use is up, with a 3% growth in rounds played over the previous year.
The Club continues to support local charities, including a new Parkinson’s charity known as the Movers & Shakers, and was recognised in the annual Port Stephens Business Awards where it won best Club.
Newcastle Golf Club
Newcastle Golf Club undertook a membership marketing strategy and online rebrand in the last financial year, which led to an increase of its membership base by around 25%. The Club has developed a new website, mobile app, and marketing vision improving the Club’s and the sport’s image in the wider Newcastle community.
The Club has recorded three consistent years of profit growth and established a 2018-2023 strategic plan.
Newcastle Golf Club also supports multiple local community charities, including cash donations to the Challenge Charity, Ovarian Cancer Research, and the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation.
Queanbeyan Golf Club
Queanbeyan Golf Club has seen a significant turnaround in all of its operations in the last financial year, including playing membership, social and competition golf, and in-house trade.
Queanbeyan undertook a major clubhouse refurbishment totalling $750,000 and invested over $450,000 on-course in the last financial year.
The highlight of the Club’s year was hosting the 2019 Worrell’s Women’s NSW Open in March, the first time in the Club’s history to host a major professional tournament. Over 160 members volunteered in an outstanding show of support for the event and the Club’s future.
Rich River Golf Club
Rich River Golf Club has seen a remarkable turnaround in its fortunes over the last two years.
Financially, after a couple of disappointing years in 2015/16, the Club has been able to record profits of $462,000 in 2017 and a remarkable $2,600,000 in 2018.
The Club has increased its membership in 2018/19 by around 7% and has seen increases in its operations including food and beverage, accommodation and green fees.
The Club opened a new Mini-Golf Course earlier this year which has been extremely successful in bringing in new patrons and revenue.
The Club has also embarked on course enhancements as part of a Golf Course Master Plan. Three new holes have been constructed this year, and in 2020 the irrigation system will be upgraded to achieve water savings and be more environmentally sustainable.
Rich River also proudly hosted the NSW Senior Women’s Amateur Championship as well as a Regional Qualifying Event for the AVJennings NSW Open Championship. As a valued member of its community, the Club holds golf clinics for juniors, ladies, beginners and schools and actively supports numerous charities, schools and community groups.