Vis­i­tors pump up golf game

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - Shane Ni­chols

THE ren­o­va­tion of the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage and the Coun­try Club golf course is spin­ning off ben­e­fits to other busi­nesses in the town, in­clud­ing golf cour­ses, as more golfers come to town and stay longer.

The Palmer Sea Reef in Port Dou­glas has noted the up­swing, as the man­age­ment re­flects on a good year in 2016.

“We’ve no­ticed peo­ple come up to play the Mi­rage and then they make a big­ger trip out of it and spend a few more days play­ing the other cour­ses,” said Michael Le­vick, who man­aged the Palmer Sea Reef in 2016 but this week left to take a new job at a golf course on the Gold Coast, from where he hails.

Tak­ing over the man­ager role in Port Dou­glas is James McDon­ald, a Palmer or­gan­i­sa­tion em­ployee who spent a few months at the club last year.

Mr McDon­ald has worked for Clive Palmer for five years in many parts of Mr Palmer’s di­verse port­fo­lio of busi­nesses.

He was also Mr Palmer’s chief of staff in Par­lia­ment and a di­rec­tor of Palmer United Party. Of his new job, he said “I’m look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge.

“The course is do­ing well and I think that’s a big credit to Michael – he’s re­ally brought the club on and I hear noth­ing but good re­ports from the mem­bers and vis­i­tors, and you can see that on our web­site and face­book – we’re con­stantly rated five star.

“That’s fan­tas­tic and it gives me a lot of con­fi­dence go­ing for­ward, with the com­mu­nity’s sup­port and the events that we do.”

Michael Le­vick said he had had a hugely en­joy­able time at Palmer Sea Reef.

“I came up from the Gold Coast, from the PGA, and it’s been ab­so­lute par­adise.

“The small com­mu­nity town, the sup­port of the com­mu­nity, the mem­bers, the in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, and the amaz­ing beauty of the whole area – and to have a course of this qual­ity, a trop­i­cal links course, is spec­tac­u­lar.

“It’s been an ab­so­lute plea­sure to be here. This is the best course I’ve ever worked on.”

Mr Le­vick is now gen­eral man­ager of golf at Park­wood Vil­lage – an 18-hole fa­cil­ity with six in­door golf sim­u­la­tors: “Dif­fer­ent to this, but a great ca­reer chal­lenge,” he said.

Mr McDon­ald re­ferred to re­cent court wins by Clive Palmer in his bat­tle with a Chi­nese min­ing com­pany over roy­al­ties from the $14 bil­lion Sino mine and port op­er­a­tion in the Pil­bara, WA.

Nearly $12 mil­lion was awarded to Mr Palmer’s cash­strapped Min­er­al­ogy com­pany in De­cem­ber and he stands to reap vastly more in fu­ture roy­alty pay­ments.

“I know that all of the port­fo­lio of prop­er­ties in­clud­ing our course here will ben­e­fit from that,” Mr McDon­ald said.

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