Moura Golf Course in flood
Moura GC in flood

CENTRAL Queensland golf clubs spared by the devastating floods have rallied to support neighbouring clubs hardest hit by the crisis.

And reports suggest some clubs have been hit hard.

Yeppoon Golf Club, which survived the big wet, has offered transferable memberships to affiliated golf club members of the worst-affected courses.

Members of some golf clubs had only recently paid their annual subscriptions and now find their golf courses under water.

Biloela Golf Club will also assist in the same way.

The offers, which have been approved by Golf Central Queensland and Golf Queensland, will be on a month-by-month basis.

According to early reports, it could be months before some golf courses are playable again.

Golf Central Queensland secretary Gurney Clamp said a number of the district’s golf courses were lucky enough to escape the wall of water.

“Rockhampton Golf Club is travelling okay and is presenting a composite course at the moment,” he said.

“However, the Capricorn Country Club, which is on the north side of Rocky, has been seriously affected.

“It’ll be months before the members are back on their course – if they are ever back.

“It has hit them pretty hard because they were affected by the floods last year and it doesn’t take much for water to go on to their course. It’s not looking good for them.”

Moura and Baralaba golf courses went under and Calliope Golf Club, near Gladstone, was playing its first competition since before December.

The Queensland Government had offered grant money of up to $20,000.

“That might help them out a bit but to repair a green is very expensive and when you have been under water for a long time you are looking at a big recovery cost,” Clamps said.

“They will have to redo a number of greens.”

Here’s is a brief report from some of Central Queensland’s golf clubs.

Baralaba Golf Club

“There is about three metres of water over the golf course with water just entering the clubhouse,” said the golf club’s Jim Bourke.

“On a couple of holes, we can see the flag flying just above the water level.”

Moura Golf Club

The golf club’s Daryl Myles said the golf course was totally under water.

“It’s been under water since December 28 and unplayable since mid-December,” he said.

“Water is just under the clubhouse and hopefully will not enter.

“We will be looking at doing work on the greens and tees to remove the mud from them soon as possible.”

Capricorn Country Golf Club

The Capricorn Country Club course is 90 per cent under water, according to Kay Donnollan.

“Things are not looking too good,” Donnollan said.

“Fortunately, the clubhouse has been spared but the power was cut off on New Year’s Eve.”

Miriam Vale Golf Club

The golf club’s Pam Cawthray reported the golf course had recently reopened.

“It’s still very wet in places but our major flood damage is to our entrance road.

“We only have one way in and only recently upgraded parts of road and now almost back to square one.

“With no access road there are no players so it is vital to us that we can source funding to assist with the necessary repairs.”

Calliope Golf Club

Club president Ian Johnson said the golf course was still very wet in places and that water continued to affect a couple of holes.

The members haven’t been able to get on the golf course since November.

Biloela Golf Club

Biloela Golf Club secretary Roy Gourley said there were no major issue with the golf course.

“The course is fine but the problem is keeping up with the grass growth.

“We have been in contact with affected clubs in our area and have made some playing arrangements with them.”

Golf Queensland pledges support

The Queensland floods will cost the golf industry millions of dollars but Golf Queensland president Tom Crothers said clubs are resilient and they will recover.

“The full brunt of the floods won’t be clear until the waters recede but early indications show damage to club houses, machinery and courses is far beyond anything experienced before,” Mr Crothers said.

“We are yet to determine the full extent of damage but Golf Queensland is prepared to assist where possible in rebuilding and ensuring clubs get back up and recover.”

Mr Crothers said family wellbeing is an immediate priority but it will become important to provide people with a much needed avenue for releasing their stress by getting them back playing golf.

“We will be working with clubs, the Government and Golf Australia to ensure those affected are provided with all possible assistance through grants and other support programs,” Mr Crothers said.

“Many people will experience some tough times going forward as they begin repairing their homes and businesses and it will be important to keep their spirits up. One way we can help is to get people back playing golf and rebuilding their lives,” Mr Crothers said.

Clubs and districts are also encouraged to update Golf Queensland with their flood damage by completing a survey at Golf Queensland’s website

About David Newbery

Chief writer David Newbery has been living, breathing and writing and editing golf for more than 30 years. His extensive knowledge of the game comes from covering golf around the world. Hired by Inside Golf in 2009, David previously worked as the editor of The Golfer for 25 years and before that worked for numerous daily newspapers in Australia and overseas. The Brisbane-based journalist describes his golf game as “a work in progress”, but has had the privilege of playing golf with some of the game’s best players including nine-time major winner Gary Player. David enjoys travelling, reading, music, photography and spending time with family and friends – on and off the golf course.


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