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    Horsham Golf Club.

Driving Horsham golf course improvement

By Abby Walter

Horsham Golf Club is striving to improve its course for members and visitors to ensure the playing experience is fun and interactive, while maintaining safety.  

It has been 15 years since the golf course, clubhouse and surrounding vegetation was burnt in Black Saturday bushfires, and club leaders are proud of the current facility and its recovery.

Last year the club was ranked the 74th best course in the nation out of 1500 public-access courses across Australia.

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President Gerard Bardell said the golf club received advice in February 2009 about updating the course, but found some recommendations to be cost-prohibitive. “When the fire came through it was a matter of all hands on deck to revegetate the facility and get it operational and functional again, which has gone well,” he said.

“Now we have an opportunity to have a look at the course and work out how we can improve it.

“It’s such a wonderful design, so it will just be a matter of making some small tweaks.”

Mr Bardell said the golf club was fortunate its professional, Cameron Howell had strong industry links and they were able to seek advice from Clayton, DeVries and Pont for a course improvement plan.

“We’ve been working with Mike Clayton, who is one of Australia’s good golf architects, and he is in business with Mike DeVries, who looks after six of the top 100 golf courses in the world,” he said.

“We were fortunate to have them visit the Horsham Golf Club and they were able to suggest a few changes with minimal outlay that would improve the course.”

Mr Bardell said the club involved members and the community in consultation during the process, which had been overwhelmingly positive.

“We had two course walks, which were well attended and we had good engagement,” he said.

“People like to know there is investment going back into the course.

“Some of the changes are on the first tee box. We’ve been able to use old sleepers and stonework left over from the clubhouse build and make it look like it is taking you to the course.

“We also removed an old fence, so it has been simple but effective changes.”

Mr Bardell said the club’s overarching aim was to provide a great golf experience at Horsham.

“Our focus all the way through has been investing in the golf course and that is what we will continue to do,” he said.

“We’re proud of the facility we have and what’s out here, but I think we can still improve on it and that’s what we’re working towards.”

The entire January 17, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!