Golf Industry Central Autumn 2012 - Page 17

“We have recently put in spoon drains across some of the fairways to help with drainage,” he said. club had to do it all again in March when heavy rain again flooded the course on two separate occasions. “But we have had to scale back our plans because a lot of the money went towards getting the course up and running again. “We have trouble keeping up with ongoing maintenance because we only have a staff of two greenkeepers, two labourers and one apprentice so we rely a lot on volunteers. “When the January floods hit, we were closed for six weeks and then in March we went under again,” said the club manager Leanne Toms. “We’ll build a new pro shop because it is a demountable, which was put there temporarily 30 years ago. We’ll also do the verandah, but the clubhouse will have to wait a few years.” “The glue that holds us all together is that we love golf.” The club’s head pro Ian Collins said his bottom line had taken a huge hit. “Last year we virtually had five months of reduced trading and by quite a big margin,” he said. Smaller clubs like Dalby Golf Club on the Darling Downs know a thing or two about hardship. Following the January 2011 floods, the “We had $100,000 damage to the golf course and $50,000 in lost revenue,” she said. “It’s been a struggle over the last year, but we have come a long way. “There is still a little silt around, but other than that the course is looking pretty good. Our greens are really good at the moment. “Luckily we had a little money in the bank, which we had earmarked for big renovations. “We wanted to build a new pro shop, extend the verandah and knock down and rebuild the original part of the clubhouse. A Big Thankyou A big thank you to Golf Australia and Golf Queensland. The Golf Industry Recovery Fund was initiated by Golf Australia immediately following the Queensland floods in January 2011 and raised nearly $500,000. Golf Queensland Chair Tom Crothers said 18 golf clubs and one PGA member had submitted applications for assistance. Without that assistance many would not be open for business even a year later. With less than 250 members, who pay just $390 annually, the club operates on a shoestring budget. Toms and two part-time bar staff keep the clubhouse operating and a full-time greenkeeper and his part-time assistant maintain the 18-hole golf course. Increasing the members’ annual fees isn’t an option, according to Toms. “If we try and put up our fees, even by $5, the members will jump up and down,” she said. Last month southeast Queensland golf clubs were reminded of last year’s big wet when Mother Nature dumped heavy rain on golf courses. Brisbane and the Gold Coast had falls of more than 400mm (16 inches) in a 48-hour period. Golf Industry Central Autumn 2012 15