A country golf club ranked in the top 20 rural courses in Australia despite being ravaged by the Black Saturday bushfires has issued an SOS for its future.
Horsham Golf Club needs to raise $200,000 this week or risk losing control of the pristine course rated among the nation’s top 100 overall.
With debts piling up, the club will be forced into administration, merger or sale unless it meets the target to keep the course in community hands.
Club general manager and golf director Paul Riley said the course — established in 1898 — was a lifeblood to the town but needed urgent aid.
“This is it, there will be no more asking for help,’’ he said.
“It’s our last roll of the dice.’’
With dwindling memberships despite its pristine greens and fairways, the club is $1.39 million in debt and bordering on insolvency with monthly interest repayments of about $6000.
Since its present board took leadership in November 2017, it has reduced debt from $1.45 million and paid off a further $30,000 to creditors.
It raised $220,000 in nine days after calling on the community to save its skin last month, but Mr Riley said it had “arrived at the end game”.
“If we don’t raise the funds, then all cards are on the table and the club will have to look at administration, merger or amalgamation, single sale or group sale,” he said.
“We’ve got an incredible golf course, a lovely clubhouse only built six years ago … but our job is to right the ship and get it into a position where it returns a surplus every year.”
The club has literally risen from the ashes, rebuilding after the 2009 fires destroyed it and key parts of the course.
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