The Forster Tuncurry Golf Club Tuncurry course has struck pay dirt, securing three major tournaments during the next two years, and a $3 million State government grant to construct a new pro shop and amenities building.
In 2020 the club will host both the men’s and women’s NSW Mid Amateur Championship, and in early 2021 the NSW Women’s Open will be held at the course, while Golf NSW has yet to announce and confirm another major event in 2023.
Preliminary designs for the $3 million single-storey building have already been drawn up, ready for submission to MidCoast Council for a development application (DA).
Tenders will be requested once the DA has been approved.
With views overlooking the first tee, the ninth and 18th greens, the structure will focus on the outdoors and have a large undercover verandah.
The new premises will be a third bigger than the current structure and it will be built on the ninth green – which is being rebuilt and relocated, club president, Pat Bourne said.
The existing premises will be demolished to make way for additional car spaces, while the existing car park and driveway will be resealed.
“While the golf course offers a first class experience, the facilities are second rate,” Mr Bourne said.
The now dilapidated building was a secondhand house donated to the club 35 years ago and a poor reflection on the high standard of the golf course, he said.
“It reflects badly on our community, especially to a tourist who comes to the area for a memorable experience.”
Complementing the new building will be the State’s only regional Australian Heritage Golfing Museum.
“This is huge, it is a real coup,” Mr Bourne said.
“We have been working on this for more than a year now; applying for grants.”
The Tuncurry course is currently rated the country’s 104th best public access course in Australia.
However, it has made the top 100 in the past.
“The course is well respected.”
Since the access road was sealed last year player numbers have increased by 10 per cent, Mr Bourne said.
That figure was expected to climb even higher with the new facilities.
The quality of the Tuncurry course was never in question, but discussions with Golf NSW to host major State events – including the NSW Women’s Open – were undermined by the standard of our facilities, Mr Bourne said.
The event annually attracts more than 140 professional golfers and elite amateurs from Australia and overseas.
Last year more than 70 per cent of the field were from overseas, representing 34 countries, while 15 per cent of players were from interstate.
Mr Bourne paid tribute to Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead who had supported the club with its endeavours throughout the past six months.“This is about bringing more people to the area and more people bring in more dollars,” Mr Bromhead said.
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