Proposal to move Surfers Paradise Golf Club rebuffed

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A couple of entrepreneurial fellows have been rebuffed in a bold attempt to resurrect a land swap that would have seen the Surfers Paradise Golf Club move a fair way from its home.

Their plan, like one that was bunkered in 2010, has involved the Greg Norman-designed The Glades course at Robina.

The proponents in the earlier proposal were Glades owner Edwin Yu and developer John Fish, who had visions of building a mini-city on the Surfers club’s 40ha site.

This time around there’s been no Yu — promoting the move have been transport and logistics industry player Jay McPhee and property consultant Jonathan Grasso and it seems they remain hopeful the Surfers door isn’t completely closed.

They hold a conditional contract to buy The Glades for around $23.5 million.

They’ve put a package deal to the Surfers club but members, in a vote on whether the deal should be pursued, have said ‘no’ by 155 votes to 65.

By contrast, members were heavily in favour of the previous swap proposal, floated in 2003 but killed in 2010 by the city council’s rejection of an $850 million Yu-Fish redevelopment plan for the Surfers site.

The club argued then that its course, the narrowest on the Gold Coast, would become unviable and also could lose two holes to road widening.

The Yu-Fish offer included a major sweetener — $24 million in cash.

The latest deal put to the club was not as cash-sweet — the offer was $5.3 million.

The Glades course apparently needs revival of a tired reticulation system, possibly new bridges, and the Surfers club would need to modify or extend the clubhouse.

Perhaps the club felt the $5.3 million offered wouldn’t cover those costs and it probably wasn’t looking to take on debt.


Broadbeach Waters resident Jay McPhee is managing-director of McPhee Distribution Services, a 94-year-old family warehousing business.

In 2015 he oversaw the sale, for around $70 million, of McPhee Distribution properties in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to a Singaporean group.

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