- Tuesday 30 June 2015
After almost 15 years of planning, stage one of Maleny’s community golf course has finally been completed with the first nine holes formally opened today.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson hit the ceremonial opening tee shot as a host of dignitaries, including club patron Andrew Powell MP, Member for Fisher Mal Brough, Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay, and many of the Maleny Golf Club’s 400 members watched on.
“What was largely an agricultural site, with some areas overgrown by thick lantana, has been transformed into a facility that the whole community can now enjoy,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Maleny now has a valuable asset that will be appreciated by residents and golfers from Maleny and outside the town for many years to come.
“What a great setting it is for golf. I’m sure it’s going to be a very popular addition to our region’s sporting facilities.”
Club president Dr Max Whitten said stage one of the course had been built largely by volunteers from the club’s membership at a cost of about $750,000, including $450,000 from Council’s Capital Works program, plus donations of money and professional time.
“We’ve shown that building a golf course need not be an expensive exercise in a town like Maleny where the community is large enough to boast an abundance of natural talent, but small enough for residents to be able to help out and make a real difference,” Dr Whitten said.
“For many of our volunteers, involvement in course construction has proved somewhat of a ‘soft landing’ into retirement after busy and successful careers.”
Dr Whitten said the club had also shown that development of a golf course could deliver positive environmental outcomes such as the rehabilitation and protection of wetlands and native flora and fauna.
Cr McKay, who has worked with the golf club members for the past seven years to get the project to this point, said she was in awe of their dedication.
“My congratulations go to everyone who has helped create a quality course like the one we now have here in Maleny,” Cr McKay said.
“You cannot praise them enough for what they have managed to achieve thanks to a huge community effort.”
Designed by Graham Papworth, the Maleny course draws much inspiration, for both economic and ecological reasons, from Scotland’s Machrihanish Dunes and their motto: “Golf as it began”.
“We have taken full advantage of some excellent natural assets – gentle rolling hills, well drained volcanic soil, existing kikuyu pastures, pleasant climate, surrounding rainforest and some wetland,” he said.
Plans to build a golf course on the land date back to 2001, but progress accelerated in 2004 after Council purchased the adjoining Porter’s farm to develop a Community Precinct on the amalgamated 126 hectare site.
Construction did not get underway though until March 2014 following extensive community consultation and debate, the incorporation of community views into the precinct’s plans and finalisation of the golf course lease.
Council simultaneously developed first class car parking and public toilet facilities to support course development. The club has established a temporary clubhouse and cart sheds to house a small fleet of golf buggies for hire.
For more information about Maleny Golf Club and the course visit www.malenygolfclub.com.au.