Members are very familiar with the unacceptable financial performance of the Club in recent financial years. Whilst we are yet to finalise the results for 2017/18 the Board anticipates we can look forward to an improvedbut still unacceptable performance. Since the Board’s election in 2016 we have made inroads, in terms of:
- Scrutinising costs and working within budgets to ensure costs are monitored and controlled
- Finding efficiencies in course resourcing and machinery leases
- Actively pursuing functions and corporate golf days
- Maximising subscription income by introducing new membership categories
- Leveraging the Board’s existing network to secure sponsors
- Regular communication with members
However, it is the Board’s view that the Club (in its current form) will continue to struggle to make adequate returns, while maintaining an ageing clubhouse in good working order and also keeping the course in an acceptable playing condition.
Our clubhouse is now over 50 years old and is reaching end of life, with increasing maintenance costs each year ($75,000 last financial year and around $90,000 this year despite our members often providing free labour to effect repairs). The facilities are clearly dated and not attractive for functions, and the larger membership does not appear to be willing to support the current clubhouse facilities in their current form. We believe that, by any measure, it will not meet the needs of a successful golf club and therefore simply maintaining it (even at an increasing cost) is not suitable in the short, medium or longer term. In addition gaming (pokie) revenue is down.
As with all golf clubs, the costs associated with maintaining a quality golf course continue to rise and the cost of some elements (including electricity and water) are rising significantly. The course is well presented but similarly requires significant works over the longer term. We are aware of prospective issues with hole design, and also the need for greater dam efficiency to ensure water security.
Our membership levels and golfing income are relatively strong, which is very beneficial, but the reliance on weather-dependent income can be problematic and is not a sustainable long-term strategy. Cash from the land sale continues to shield us from a more dire situation, but for how long? The underlying challenges remain. The Board believes that this development opportunity will provide the necessary long-term financial security.
The Board has pursued the development as a result of the overwhelming support the membership provided following the information session last year, and through an exhaustive process, have a proposal that meets the requirements that members placed on the Board. Furthermore, the Board has noted that other clubs’ pursuing similar developments, we believe typically have left it far too late to ensure they get the best deal possible. The MGC Board believes that it has secured the best possible result by dealing with proponents from a position of strength.
Therefore, the Board wholeheartedly endorses the development presented and proposed resolutions (and accompanying Notes) and believes that the project will not only secure MGC’s future for the next 100 years but also deliver to a better course, better facilities, and a new clubhouse for members and guests alike.