Mundubbera Golf Club brought back from the brink last year
ON January 1 2016 the future of the Mundubbera Golf Club did not look bright.
“Our playing numbers were down at least 50%,” club president Graham Carlyon said.
“The reasons for that I couldn’t tell you.
“We’ve thought about it, but it’s a matter of people were in a situation where they were time poor and cash poor.
“We just had to struggle through with what we had.”
Carlyon said it had gotten very serious.
“We even at one stage called a general meeting to see whether we’d close the doors or not, that’s how serious it was,” he said.
Fast forward to January 1 2017 and the future is looking a lot more positive for the club.
“We decided to bite the bullet and it turned out in our favour,” Carlyon said.
“2016 was most definitely a turnaround year for the club.
“We weren’t in a good situation, but we’ve sort of tightened the belt, changed a few things and came out of 2016 rather well.”
Carlyon said despite not a large rise in player numbers, they were able to turn their fortunes around by raising prices.
“Our bar prices, playing fees that sort of thing,” he said.
“It may not have been successful if you put the prices up, because the only people paying it are the ones continuing to play, but it turned out for the good.
“Everybody accepted the changes and we went from there.
“Hopefully this year our membership will get back up, hopefully it will improve.”
Carlyon said the closure of the club would have affected the community.
“No community of any size, particularly the size of ours, can afford to lose a sporting body,” he said.
“It affects the community badly as it’s not just the matter of the people that play golf, but the things like the business and that sort of thing that surround it.
“The community just can’t afford to lose things like that. It’s an integral part of Mundubbera.”
Carlyon said every golf club in the country had suffered from a downturn in membership.
“That’s the thing, we’re not Robinson Crusoe in the situation we were in,” he said.
“We are not something special, but as far as communities are concerned you have to hang in there, as much for the community benefit as your own.
“You are part and parcel of that community and you have to keep going.
“We’ve seen too many things over the years like banks that have just faded away out of the community, it does damage to the community.
“As far as things like golf clubs, bowls clubs and cricket clubs, they are part and parcel of the history of the community and you can’t let that go.”
He said the future of the club was safe for now.
“It won’t close, not while there are any of us there that can set foot on that golf course, we aren’t going away,” he said.
Carlyon said the Imperial Challenge was the highlight for the club in terms of game play in 2016.
“That is our major event for the year which was over a three day period,” he said.
“It certainly was the top of the competitions for the year.
“We also had our championships which were a major part of our playing year.”
Carlyon, who only became president at the start of 2016 said his own personal highlight was being able to sit back and realise the club was getting back on track.
“That was the most satisfying thing,” he said.
It will be a big year for the club.
“We’re going to be 80 years old this year,” Carlyon said.
“For a club to be there for that long it’s got to mean something, it’s part of the community.”
Carlyon said there weren’t any concrete celebration plans yet.
“That’s still in the pipeline at the moment, but we go back into official business at the end of next week, so we’ll get some heads together and some ideas,” he said.
“We’ll see where we go from there, we certainly won’t let it go past without some sort of celebration.
“Apart from our 80 year celebration, it will be the imperial challenge in October.”
We are not something special, but as far as communities are concerned you have to hang in there, as much for the community benefit as your own. — Graham Carlyon
ABOVE: Graham Carlyon playing golf in 2015.
WINNERS: Romero, Peter and Anthony Zipf (pictured right) celebrate their win at the Mundubbera Golf day.
Golfers played in pairs at the Mundubbera Golf Club on Sunday.
Peter Hunsley at the Mundubbera Golf day.