Challenges ahead for Golf Club

The incoming Tumut Golf Club executive committee: (left to right, one row) Captain Geoff Brain, Vice-President Helen Pearce, Director Kurt Baker, President Col Duncan, Director Ted Clarke, Treasurer Geoff Kinsey. Absent: Director Cynthia Carroll.

The Tumut Golf Club voted in their executive committee for the coming year at their Annual General Meeting on Sunday.

The committee has a challenging task ahead of them: turning around the fortunes of a club that has recorded losses of over $40,000 for each of the past two years.

Incoming president Col Duncan said his strategy is twofold.

“The previous committee has done a great job of reducing expenditure – they’ve sheared it to the bone – and I think it’s necessary now that we start generating some more income,” he said.

“We also need more social cohesion. When I used to come to the club it was a vibrant place; there were lots of social functions and everyone mixed freely. Now what I’m seeing is everyone sitting in their own groups, and they don’t interact. I’d like to see that vibrancy back.”

The challenges of the club were perhaps best summed up by Peter Linnegar in a presentation on a new business partnership strategy: they have a great golf course and a great club house, but they are lacking in members and money.

Mr Linnegar is the brains behind the Golf Club’s new business partnership strategy, with A Murray and Sons signing on as the first partner. In exchange for sponsorship of the club each business receives advertising and branding on Golf Club materials, free memberships and drink vouchers for their employees, and other benefits, with three tiers for different sized businesses.

The club has been running at its present location since 1940, but, as members freely admitted on Sunday, the social dynamics of the town have changed a lot since then, especially in the past few decades.

Mr Duncan said he is well aware of the club’s problems, and that the club members were working on ideas to draw more members and visitors to the greens.

He will be assisted in that mission by the incoming committee: Vice-President Helen Pearce, Captain Geoff Brain, Treasurer Geoff Kinsey, and Directors Cynthia Caroll, Ted Clarke and Kurt Baker.

“We need more people playing, more members, and a lot more involvement,” he said.

“There are things wrong here, yes, but there are also a hell of a lot things right.

“We’ve got such a brilliant facility for a town this size, and it’s a big part of the community, but it’s just not used as much as it could be.”

Mr Duncan also thanked the outgoing committee, particularly former president John Cruise.

He praised the committee for the progress they had made in 2016.

“[The annual report] is more positive than predicted, but we’re not out of the woods,” he said.

Ideas suggested during the general discussion at the AGM included employing a permanent bar manager, purchasing a TAB machine, starting up a comp for shift workers, staff training to minimise alcohol wastage, and starting a mixed gender draw.