INVEST or STAGNATE
By David Newbery
Luke Altschwager, a major stakeholder in
Parkwood International Golf and Function
Complex on the Gold Coast, says aging golf
facilities need to invest to stay in the race for
the consumer’s dollar.
In an exclusive interview with Golf Industry
Central, Altschwager said there had been a
shift in community demands that was putting
pressure on many clubs and resorts.
“Golf has been running the same model for
the last 40 years, which is a membershipbased, one-service product,” he said. “That
model is outdated and needs to change.
“In the 1980s, the Japanese came in and built
these golf facilities, but didn’t spend a dollar
after that,” he said.
“Many of these venues on the Gold Coast
now have old infrastructure and no-one is
investing. The venues are getting worse as
opposed to progressing and getting better.
“There is no tangible model to continue to
upgrade the courses because they are not
making enough money. I don’t see these golf
courses surviving unless someone comes in
and throws a heap of money at them to get
them back on their feet.”
Golf courses, says Altschwager, need to spend
large sums of money on bunkering, irrigation
and aging clubhouses.
“Those things are very expensive, but if they
don’t throw money at it now those courses
will barely exist in 15 years.
“It’s a bit sad, but we have been at the mercy
of international owners that are not investing
in golf. They treat the golf courses as trophy
But at Parkwood International things are
different because what was old has become
“We are shifting from what
was a tired golf club into
something that is more of a
community destination on
a number of fronts,”
“We are passionate about golf and have
invested heavily in the facility.”
He and his business partners have tipped
in millions of dollars as they works towards
turning the facility into a super community
destination with multiple options.
Parkwood now has three function rooms, a
retail golf superstore, an undercover double
storey driving range, a boutique restaurant,
a state-of-the-art yoga chiropractic
studio, a cutting edge golf science area to
accommodate indoor and outdoor fitting and
teaching and a miniature golf course that is
becoming more popular by the day.
“We redesigned the golf course and fixed
the drainage infrastructure that had been
plaguing it for the last 20 years.”
“We spent $700,000 on the golf course and
plan to invest another $1.5m.
“Because the layout is so good, the bunkers
and greens need upgrading to make it more
of a modern style.
“It will take 12 months to stabilise things and
then we’ll continue to invest and make it that
destination venue at the right price point.
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