SYDNEY’S Lynwood Country Club and Castle Hill RSL Club Group have announced the commencement of formal partnership discussions to pursue opportunities for amalgamation.
Like many clubs across Australia, Lynwood has been challenged by the ongoing financial viability of the club, with increasing cost pressures, cashflow challenges and difficult trading conditions. And they are not alone: A recent KPMG survey showed that 64% of the NSW Golf Clubs in NSW are in or at risk of financial distress. One percent of NSW Golf Clubs close every year, with 110 clubs in NSW now closed or amalgamated.
To combat these pressures, Lynwood put out an Expression of Interest to the industry 12 months ago, seeking a potential amalgamation partner. Castle Hill was receptive to the request due to their community ties with the northwest sector, particularly in the Hawkesbury region.
“The Board of Lynwood Country Club is delighted to confirm partnership discussions with Castle Hill RSL regarding a proposed amalgamation,” said Tony Sgro, President of Lynwood Country Club. “The Boards of both clubs are working on a Memorandum of Understanding proceeding Deed of Agreement.
“The Lynwood vision is to develop our facility to be one of the premier golfing and leisure facilities in Sydney. This amalgamation with such a significant partner as Castle Hill RSL will maximise the possibility of this vision coming to fruition. We at Lynwood are looking forward to this amalgamation opportunity with much anticipation and excitement”.
Castle Hill RSL’s Group General Manager David O’Neil echoed Sgro’s sentiments.
“The Board and management of the Castle Hill RSL Group are excited about the opportunity to further develop a premier nationally recognised Links Golf Course in the Hawkesbury region developing a future strategy for Lynwood Country Club transforming it into the social community hub for the Hawkesbury and Northwest sector through the provision of a Links golf course, accommodation, functions, café, restaurant and sporting infrastructure.”
“Lynwood Country Club would be a perfect addition to our diverse sporting activities and our commitment to sport and our youth development programs would be a perfect synergy.
“It is our intention to invest in Lynwood Country Club and we have a desire to establish a Junior Golf Academy, nurturing young golfers not only at the game of golf but also in Youth Leadership Programs.”
Clubs NSW CEO Anthony Ball welcomed the announcement.
“Castle Hill RSL Group plays a vital role in the Hills and Parramatta Communities and commends both the RSL and the Lynwood Country Club for initiating this discussion. Over the years we’ve seen clubs shut their doors because they have waited too long for amalgamation. That’s why it is so important that these clubs are working together to make sure that the Lynwood Country Club continues to do great work in the community”.
Lynwood Country Club takes its name from Lynwood House, a colonial style cottage built in the first quarter of the 1800’s. The links style course is spread over 54 hectares, set amongst the Hawkesbury River, Pitt Town Lagoon and surrounding farmlands. The 18-hole course offers pristine facilities including a two-tiered grassed 300m driving range, short game practice facility, bunkers, water obstacles and wide fairways.
The Castle Hill RSL Club Group consists of the parent entity the Castle Hill RSL Club, C2K Fitness and Aquatic Centre and the Parramatta RSL Club. The Group has a membership of approximately 47,000 members which has increased by in excess of 27,000 during the past decade.