Golf club seeks support

Lismore Golf Club president Rick Vagg (left) and secretary Darren Brett are facing the possibility of the town’s course being closed if they are unable to attract more members to their weekly competitions.

LISMORE Golf Club is calling for more players to compete in their weekly competitions to guarantee the future of the club.

The club is currently considering its position and is facing the possibility of having to permanently close the course if they cannot attract more members.

Club president Rick Vagg said that low fields – the club has averaged only six players across the Saturday competition this season – was concerning.

He said the committee is already considering one alternative, but is waiting to see how the summer chicken run competition pans out before making a decision.

“We’re just getting a lack of numbers turning up on Saturdays (for competition),” he said.

“We just want to try and create a bit more interest and get a few more numbers for the chicken run.

“At the end of the chicken run, we’re going to decide whether we carry on next year with Saturday competitions or whether we look at changing to Sunday golf.”

Vagg said that the possibility of moving to Sunday golf to accommodate local footy had been raised at an annual general meeting.

He was hopeful that the change of days could get more people to play in competition golf each weekend, but admitted it may be their final option.

“We did talk about Sunday golf at our AGM, but not in great depth, but the more you think about it, it’s our last resort,” Vagg said.

“It’s something we’ll be considering strongly I think.

“There are some young blokes that play footy and they can’t get here of a Saturday and you just know that if you give Sunday a go, then they’re more likely to turn up.”

Club secretary Darren Brett said it would be a shame to see the hard yards that members have put in at the club over a number of years amount to nothing.

He said the few who did the work maintaining the course were doing a massive job, but were not getting reward for their effort.

“Blokes like Vaggy (Rick Vagg) are working their tail off around here with every spare minute they have got,” Brett said.

“They come on a Saturday to enjoy their golf and it’s just him and a couple of others.

“It’s the same amount of work if it was for 50 people.

“They’re just not getting the reward as far as players coming (to play).”

Vagg and Brett are both leading the charge of getting more players to the club, but the pair know they may be operating on borrowed time.

Vagg said he would do everything possible to avoid the possibility of closure, but stressed the course needed to be used for what it was designed for; to play golf.

“If we want to keep the golf club, we’ve got to keep using it,” he said.

“We’ve got too many good days here with the tournaments and that to just close the course, but that’s what we’re faced with.

“If we haven’t got a golf club, we’re not going to run the tournaments.”

The pair agreed that the course offered something for everyone, regardless of whether they were just taking up the game or played off a low handicap.

“The course is a nice layout, we’ve got the lake down there, which is certainly picturesque when it’s full,” Vagg said.

“Most people that come out and play (the course) enjoy it.”

Brett said that the current players would happily give up their time to take juniors under their wing.

“There are enough guys here that are willing to take the kids around if they want to learn the game, we’ll help them that’s for sure,” Brett said.

“You’d find it’s the lowest pressure way to play golf, it’s a very playable course.”

The club is currently offering summer memberships, and also has yearly memberships available.

“Our memberships are pretty reasonably priced at $190 and that includes a handicap,” Brett said.

“Memberships for juniors under 16 cost $45, whilst for those under 18 they cost $75.

“We also have a summer membership for $50 that will run until the end of our chicken run in February.

“If there is anyone that is half keen on golf, they best show some interest now because the club may well be gone in the next year.”

Lismore Golf Club currently holds a chicken run competition each Friday night, with tee-off from 6pm.

Any potential new players or members that would like to play or require further information can contact Rick Vagg on 0447 122 820.

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