Membership drive to get clubs swinging

Rossdale Golf Club - Cameron Howe
Rossdale Golf Club by Cameron Howe

Cameron Howe, The Mordialloc Chronicle
August 2, 2017

Many golf clubs are facing continued financial pressure. Rossdale Golf Club has faced the same pressure, and a new sporting precinct at the heart of Aspendale formed a part of the plan to increase revenue.

The reality according to Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt is that, “clubs are facing a more challenging environment.” In fact 47 per cent of clubs suffered a net decline of more than 2 per cent last year.

Rossdale previously found itself in a strained financial position, which was further exacerbated by an employee found guilty of stealing $331,855 from the club to support her gambling addiction. Noticeably the club recently sold a 2400-square-metre block to Intrapac for residential use for $3.08 million, and it should be noted that there has been on-going interest from developers looking to capitalise on the site that accounts for 12 per cent of the open space in Aspendale. 

Now in a healthy financial position following the sale, the club is attracting new members via new strategies, including its junior program. Spokesperson for Rossdale Golf Club, Nick Linford stresses that the “priority is new members”, and a sporting precinct was being considered as an opportunity to reduce dependence on golf-course income.

Rossdale initiated the process with Waypoint Consulting, who spoke with a working group in relation to the considered sporting precinct, including Mentone Hockey, Edithvale Aspendale Football Netball Club, Aspendale Tennis Club, Aspendale Cricket Club, and former Parkdale Secondary College Principal Greg McMahon on behalf of local residents. 

Restrictions to the users of Regents Park following a councillor motion excluded Mentone Hockey from the development. Council’s city assets and environment general manager Daniel Freer has revealed that the master plan for Regents Park has been substantially progressed to meet growing demand, however the council has the understanding that Rossdale has entered into a contractual agreement with a private purchaser. 

Mr Freer said: “The agreement places a number of restrictions on the club’s ability to sell or lease its land to other parties, such as to Council for community use, for 10 years from the date of contract.”

The council is finalising a report on the matter that will be presented at an upcoming public meeting.

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