Golf club sells off land to survive

Midlands Golf Club is looking to arrest a long-running financial loss and shore up its future with the sale of a significant parcel of land bordering the course.

The club's board is currently working through a shortlist of three candidates, which have expressed interest in developing the 11.02 hectare site.

The parcel of land includes the current driving range facility and more land on the west side of the course.

Midlands Golf Club board chairman Darren Bandy told The Courier that a recommendation would eventually be put to the members to vote on.

This is expected to occur before the end of 2017.

Bandy said the potential sale of land had been on the table for a number of years and that there had been good interest from developers.

He revealed the club had lost a substantial amount of money in recent years under its current business model.

“We are really after a way to have a long term future for the club,” he said.

“In our present structure, we are losing money. We need to have a plan to inject some money to make the club more appealing but then use the remainder of the money in a trust or something like that that we can actually use down the track as a club.”

Bandy said the club was part of a widespread drop in golf and bowls players and that it needed to get away from simply focusing on those areas of the business.

“We haven’t made a profit for five years,” Bandy said.

“We’ve got to be focused on a bigger, wider community so that’s why we want to go for the community hub-type approach.”

Bandy said the vision was to establish Midlands as a venue for parents and children and not simply a place to play golf or bowls.

“We just want it to be more appealing for mum and dads, kids and for people to come and have a meal,” he said.

Midlands hosted a leg of the PGA Legends Tour earlier this year, with the $30,000 event a major coup for the Ballarat-based club.