Visitors pump up golf game
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.