Maryborough Golf Club member Greg Darlington had no idea the club was in financial trouble.
Maryborough Golf Club member Greg Darlington had no idea the club was in financial trouble. Richard Harvey

Members dig deep to help club

MEMBERS of the embattled Maryborough Golf Club will have to put their hands in their pockets to pay higher bar prices and match fees to keep the club alive.

In the club’s November newsletter, recently elected treasurer Marvin Reck said the club was “in a perilous financial position” but he was sure it could be overcome with the utmost support from members.

“Our club needs your support now more than ever,” he said.

“The committee and I ... have been working feverishly to develop a sustainable short-term plan and long-term plan on how the club will be able to continue to reduce expenditure and increase income with a view that our club can continue to operate and grow into the future.”

Greg Darlington, a Maryborough Golf Club member for 10 years, said he was shocked to find out yesterday about the financial difficulties.

“Initially it appeared that the way out was to add extra charges but since then ... they’ve done things so it’s not only the members pay more, they have instigated some fairly serious cost- cutting measures,” Mr Darlington said.

An audit of the club’s 2009-10 accounts raised concerns about its viability because current liabilities exceeded current assets and a report by Mr Reck found it averaged a monthly shortfall of $15,000 to $20,000.

Club president Alan Gees, who was out of town on business yesterday, said in the newsletter there were no other options than to increase bar prices and match fees because the clubhouse no longer made up the shortfall for the running costs of the course.

Mr Reck added that from November 16, members’ social golf would no longer be free.

“These are considerable changes, however if we wish to continue to enjoy such a great golf course into the future we have no choice but to increase player fees to a user-pays system,” he said.

Mr Reck said the club was also offering 50 members the chance to pay next year’s ordinary membership fees at the current rate of $650 to alleviate an expected cash shortfall and bolster readily available funds to keep operations running smoothly.

Maryborough Veterans Golf Club president Neil Hearn said his committee had donated $5000 to help the club and he was confident it would survive.

“We’re 100 years old this year and I’m sure we’ve had bigger challenges over the past 100 years and I’m sure we’re going to have challenges in the future years,” he said.

But he said they had been “surprised and disappointed” to hear of the club’s financial problems and “we are eagerly awaiting reasons why the club is in the predicament”.



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