FOR as long as I can remember, I have heard people say there are too many golf courses in Sunraysia.
At first thought, when someone says it, it’s fair to think there probably are and with six golf courses within 30km of the centre of Mildura, there may even be a good argument for it.
The negative effects that can come from having too many courses in the one area include the lack of potential income for all golf clubs to survive, meaning the clubs struggle to survive and need to cut corners to save money.
This could result in the course or its facilities not being up to scratch for its members and visitors, which creates the flow-on effect of numbers decreasing.
Golf clubs often rely on volunteers to do the majority – if not all – of the work, which can become a massive effort for those who started to play golf for their enjoyment but then end up spending endless hours working on a course to keep it going.
Members become volunteers because they love pitching in to help, but there comes a point where volunteering needs to be just that.
When you become “required” to get the job done instead of just being there by choice, maybe it is now just an unpaid job.
Considering the above information, I start to understand there are two main reasons why a golf club may struggle to continue: 1) lack of funds, and 2) lack of personnel to get the job done.
I hope Sunraysia still has the same golf clubs operating in 50 years because there is too much history at all of them to see one close.
The people who have often brought up the idea that there are too many courses usually continue to give their opinion on which club or clubs should close to make way for others – but never name their own club as the one that should close.
I then understand that their reasoning doesn’t come from wanting to work out how golf can be better in the area but through self-interest and looking for an easy way to increase member numbers at their own club.
While there are passionate people at all golf clubs in Sunraysia, all clubs will survive.
To those who like to try and work out which clubs should make way for others, maybe a better option is to try and work out how they can best help their club.
For more of the 19th Hole column, pick up your copy of Wednesday's Sunraysia Daily, 14/3/2018. To subscribe to our Digital Edition, click here