The smouldering ruins of Wallangarra Golf Club’s machinery shed
The smouldering ruins of Wallangarra Golf Club’s machinery shed

RULE number one for any golf club under financial pressure: do not cancel your insurance policy.

Just ask the officials at Wallangarra Golf Club located on the Queensland/New South Wales border near Stanthorpe in the heart of the Granite Belt.

Two weeks after cancelling its fire and theft insurance policy, fire destroyed the club’s machinery shed and all its machinery.

Club president Allan Pearce said the club and its members were devastated.

“We are not sure how the fire started because we haven’t received the report, but detectives believe it may have been caused by an electrical fault,” he said.

“We haven’t put a figure on what the shed and machinery was worth because we were uninsured.

“Anyway, we are just writing it off and starting again.

“We don’t have a lot of money to rebuild and replace the machinery so we are applying for a few grants.

“Insurance on everything is the biggest killer for a club like ours, but you just have to try to make ends meet.

“We’ll manage by running a few more raffles to try and keep our head above water.

“Clifton Golf Club has given us a greens mower and the club’s volunteers are taking down their ride-on mowers to do the surrounds.”

Wallangarra Golf Club leases its land from the Army, who mow the fairways because it’s considered a firebreak.

Pearce said clubs within the Darling Downs Golf Association (DDGA) were big supporters of the club.

“We often have members from DDGA clubs play here,” he said. “In fact, we are hoping a large group from Toowoomba will join us on our opening day. In March 1931, the Stanthorpe Border Post wrote a story saying Wallangarra was the “prettiest and best nine-hole golf course in Queensland”.

Today, it’s a 12-hole course with alternate tees and has 30 members who pay an annual fee of $130.

“It costs visitors $10 to play,” Pearce said. “It’s not Royal Queensland, but it’s a good, tight course with no bunkers and no water hazards.

“We have people from City and Toowoomba golf clubs come and play and they say it’s a brilliant course.

“We have a bar with the cheapest beer around and the catering is looked after by the women.”

FOOTNOTE: Rugby League and State of Origin legend Billy Moore grew up in Wallangarra.

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