Fees cut revives golf club
By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
THE mushrooms growing on the green at the ninth hole hinted at the sudden growth in membership at the Gladstone Golf Club.
The club has attracted about double the members since announcing a membership fee cut by almost half, according to Will Schroeder, general manager of Yaralla Sports Club, the golf club's new owners.
The most recent membership drive took place last Saturday with the club offering Yaralla gymnasium membership to those joining the golf club and golf club membership to those joining the gymnasium.
The drive was hailed as a huge success. The club now has an estimated 600 memberships on the books.
Mr Schroeder said the golf club had not looked back since Yaralla took over in May.
'The golf club has been operating very profitably,' he said.
Yaralla is ploughing $250,000 into new machinery to improve playing facilities at the course as a further effort to attract new members.
Mr Schroeder said improvements were being undertaking both out on the course and inside the clubhouse.
Refurbishment inside has included new decor, carpets, furniture and other floor coverings, and a thorough repainting to provide a more comfortable atmosphere.
In September membership fees were slashed from $600 to $365. Yaralla took over the golf club's debt to creditors of about $500,000 as part of the amalgamation in May.
Under the agreement, the golf club has the option to buy back the golf course after five years for $1.
In exchange for taking on the debt, Yaralla will maintain the clubhouse.