19 Jan 2022 | Clubs & Facilities | Participation |
Belair Park leaves lasting legacy
by Golf Australia
After 42 years the Belair Park Golf Club in Adelaide officially closed down last month, but the club has used its ending to aid the future of the sport.
Belair Park’s final act was to keep true to its original constituted goal of promoting golf via a funds donation of all remaining liquidated assets, some $15,000, to Junior golf in SA, through the MyGolf program.
The club members are hopeful that MyGolfers will learn and enjoy and compete and, maybe some day, form their own golf club, just like a group of keen golfers did at Belair Park back in 1979.
Junior golfers were always a staple of the small club at the Belair National Park Public Golf course, which was immensely proud of the fact that they catered for more than a thousand golfers of many nationalities, all genders, all levels of skill and ability and all ages included juniors well under ten and seniors well into their 90s.
Growth and competition was enjoyed at the club’s home for 39 years until the day the leaseholder announced, in early 2018, that as a private operator, they had gone into receivership and that the lease was to be handed back to the Department.
Following this transfer the course was immediately closed.
To keep the club interest afloat, while eagerly watching and awaiting departmental proceedings over the past three years, Belair Park Golf Club continued to conduct internal competitions while groups of players were hosted at supporting clubs, such as The Stirling and Echunga.
Other groups of Belair players were also offered discount membership rates at other courses, which was greatly appreciated, as an incentive to help them keep playing the sport they love.
However, following a revised ‘National Park Master Planning’ process conducted by the Department for the golf course site, the Minister announced that only low impact activities would be considered for the 53-hectare site and the Department wouldn’t be taking forward any significant proposal.
The club no longer had any hope of getting back its home course and, sadly, in August 2021, the club members voted to wind up their Club.
The original Belair Park Golf and Recreation Club was formed following the redevelopment by the Department of National Parks & Wildlife of the original Belair National Park public golf course (circa 1932), that re-opened to the public in May 1977.
To manage the course and facilities, the Department established long-term leases to private operators, including the golf course and the adjacent caravan park. The golf course lease, specifically, included the provision for the lessee to cater for an incumbent golf club, the new Belair Park Golf Club Inc.
Belair Park Golf Club conducted a blended program of intraclub and interclub competitions, sharing the public golf course with the local golfing community, totalling over 55,000 rounds for many of its glory years.
The original golf club rooms, provided under the lease, included significant areas on the ground floor of the then Caddy’s Tavern, from its opening in 1983 until its demolition in 1992 having been gutted by fire.
Space within the new Belair Country Club was provided by the lessee and, as time progressed, the Club was assigned the original course Pro-Shop as their club rooms, part of which remains heritage listed.
The pro-shop had operated as the ‘ticket office’ from the days when the course was nine holes of scrape greens, before being converted to 18 holes in 1941 when timber was cleared to aid in our state’s fundraising for the war efforts.
Belair Park leaves the local golf community with many fond memories and the members will always remain incredibly proud of their club.
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