Golf club fights for survival
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
FOR SALE: One 18-hole golf course, including full clubhouse amenities and machinery. Well positioned with a short walk to major shopping facilities. Highest offer will be accepted.
This is one scenario facing Gladstone Golf Club members after a letter from club president Brian Bettridge revealed the extent of the club's financial troubles this week.
"...unless our club takes prompt and drastic measures to overcome its present financial problems, the club bankers will force the issue and bring in the administrators,'' Mr Bettridge said in the letter.
"This could result in the golf course going to developers and the clubhouse to the highest bidder.''
Yesterday Mr Bettridge confirmed the golf club members would decide on two proposals that had been put forward.
One was from Yaralla Sports Club which was looking to manage the club, while the second was from a developer.
However Mr Bettridge made the assurance that whatever option was decided upon, the golf club would remain.
"What the developers would look to do is take some of the land and subdivide it to sell, then redesign the course, but the course will remain,'' Mr Bettridge said.
Mr Bettridge said there was no secret the club was in financial difficulties, with little light at the end of the tunnel in its present state.
"We're not going to trade ourselves out,'' he said.
Mr Bettridge said the decision to consider putting the club into voluntary administration had resulted from "a lack of professionalism in the past.''
Mr Bettridge said he had been in the position of president for about four months and during that time had taken stock of the club's situation to decide on a direction forward.
Long-time member Vern Gilbert said he was confident the club would continue trading.
"It has been in worse situations than this in the past,'' he said.
As a member of the club for 15 years, Mr Gilbert said he had seen the club strengthen its financial situation.
The meeting which is expected to ultimately decide the golf club's future will be held at the clubhouse next Thursday at 7pm.
There will also be an information night tonight from 7pm at the clubhouse.