February 17, 2015 – MONASH Council has vowed to protect its $48 million golf courses despite participation rates dropping significantly in recent years.
And the guarantee has been embraced by players from one of the courses’ biggest user groups, the Oakleigh Veterans Golf Club.
Only 68,826 rounds were played at the Glen Waverley and Oakleigh public golf courses last financial year, an 18 per cent drop from the 84,146 rounds played five years ago.
Meanwhile, the cost of running the courses skyrocketed by 37 per cent.
Elsewhere, the private Kingswood Golf Course in Dingley was sold last year for residential development and Rossdale Golf Club in Aspendale has considered selling land.
But Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris said the council was not considering selling its two courses, whose combined land value is estimated at $48 million.
“They provide great recreational opportunities and lots of green space, which is valued in Monash,” Cr Klisaris said.
He said initiatives introduced by ClubLinks, including Big Hole Golf and modified rules, looked promising.
Some fee changes were in the pipeline, including the introduction of a multi-visit pass next financial year.
Cr Klisaris also said the council was addressing a range of maintenance concerns after meeting with the Oakleigh Veterans Golf Club last month.
Club captain Desmond Stow said players, some of whom were aged over 90, loved the nine-hole Oakleigh course.
“We are rapt with it and very pleased, by and large, by the way it is being maintained,” Mr Stow said.
But he acknowledged there were some improvements to be made, such as the installation of safety handrails on steps and better maintenance of bunkers.
Mr Stow urged people to give golf a try, saying it was a great way to pass time with friends.
“Golf is an activity you can be involved in your whole life,” he said.
“It’s a walk in the park.”
Club secretary Bill Falloon, who has played at the Oakleigh course on and off since 1981, said the veterans met at the crack of dawn on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a round of golf.
“It’s a good course for people who only want to play nine holes. It’s relatively challenging and provides a bit of competition,” Mr Falloon said.