The Weekly Advertiser

Golfers plot course in wake of rescue

Horsham Golf Club

Horsham Golf Club

An increase in memberships, dramatic improvements to trading performance and greater community engagement loom as key ingredients in the long-term future of Horsham Golf Club.
Club leaders were elated, breathing a sigh of relief and fuelled with a fresh sense of confidence after a desperate community appeal rescued their organisation from financial disaster.
Despite having only two weeks to meet the target, Horsham district and broader Wimmera communities raised more than $300,000 for the cash-strapped club.
The club is carrying overall debts of $1.39-million but needed money to pay immediate bills to prevent it from going into administration.
Delighted president Leo Delahunty said it was now a case of ‘full steam ahead’ for the iconic club and course.
“We’re very happy, excited and grateful for the large level of community support, and also that our members rallied strongly,” he said.
“It was a tremendous effort. We had overwhelming support from our membership base, but there was also significant broader community support that went well beyond Horsham’s boundaries.
“It was an incredible and overwhelming positive response.
“What it really does show is how important the golf club is to the broader community. Knowing that now encourages us to explore ways to get as many people involved as possible. We have to drive new community activities out at the course and make sure we engage with the broader Horsham community as it has with us.”
Pressure to perform
Mr Delahunty said the result now placed pressure on board members to navigate a way towards a stronger and more secure position.
“We’ve been working on a three-pronged attack. We’ve met the first challenge and must now work on making the capital base stronger and having better funding arrangements to deal with debt,” he said.
“The third is to have a more viable profit and loss performance.
“What we know is that we have turned the club’s performance around significantly in the past 12 months.
“But obviously more needs to be done. We have our plan in place, it’s working and we just have to drive that harder.
“We’ve also been buoyed by level of membership uptake. We had about 440 members at the end of June and that’s grown to between 510 and 520.
“We’re obviously keen for more people to make the most of what we have and to continue growing our membership base.
“We’ve had an influx of new members and we will keep on pushing in that area.”
Mr Delahunty said the club needed to creatively explore all options to ensure its longevity.
“We will have to look at capital debt and what that means will play out in time,” he said.
“The critical thing is that the board now has confidence and it will be able to control the destiny of the club.
“We look forward to the continuing signing of members and building of general patronage.
“What we’ve also seen is that the appeal has also significantly raised the profile of the club and reinforced its standing in the broader community.”
Horsham Golf Club found itself in significant financial trouble after misfortunes over many years, caused initially by the devastation by Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.
ACE Radio, through The Weekly Advertiser and radio stations 3WM and MIXX FM, was among organisations to contribute to the money-raising effort.

The entire December 5, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Dec 5 2018

Posted by on Dec 5 2018. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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