11 Apr 2024 | Clubs and Facilities | Industry news | Golf Australia |

Dysart’s community driven plans thanks to grants

by Jimmy Emanuel

Dysart Golf Club.

Like so many regional golf clubs, Dysart Golf Club in Queensland has a long history as a community hub for local residents, visitors and those from surrounding towns.

Now, thanks to two Queensland Government grants, the club is moving towards reimagining its place as a crucial community asset for golfers and non-golfers, as well as undertaking some important updates to the course and its conditioning.

A three-and-a-half hour drive from Rockhampton, Dysart are beneficiaries from the government’s Resources Community Infrastructure Fund, which has seen them awarded around $1.4 million -one grant for the redevelopment of the clubhouse and another for an irrigation system.

“It kind of just fell across my desk mid last year, but because it was a huge application process, I think a lot of people overlooked it,” Dysart Golf Club’s Rhiannon Rowe said.

“Because we're in a position where I'm actually a paid employee at the club, I was able to utilise my time while I was at work to do the application rather than a lot of not-for-profits based on volunteer work.

“We got a grant writer on board with us. I focused on the project plan side of things and she focused on the application side and we just bounced off each other and it probably was over a hundred hours of work between us.”

Reaping the rewards for the work, the club will now embark on various updates to the clubhouse.

Rowe’s experience of growing up in Dysart as a junior at the Golf Club is helping to revive what she fondly remembers growing up in the town with a population just under 3000.

“We've got a new bunch of younger people on our committee over the last couple of years who really have that vision of turning it into our community hub,” Rowe said.

“This is going to actually make it achievable in a lot less time than what we had originally ever dreamed of really.

“Last year. as a club, we had decided already to try and get our kitchen up and running again. That's kind of a big one to get a family friendly, family inclusive dining option for Dysart.

“We want to have a playground and an indoor playroom, something that people can bring their kids to and actually have the facilities needed.”

Beyond the significant clubhouse focus to appeal to everyone in the community, be they golfers or not, the course will finally get an irrigation system that is properly installed and fit for purpose.

An improved course not only appealing for those who already play the game, but visitors to the region and new golfers from the growing young community.

“Our whole course is maintained by volunteers. We don't have any paid greens staff,” Rowe said. “We've still got a couple of holes that are watered through manual sprinklers … and just the original system that was installed was installed incorrectly and cut a lot of corners.”

In addition to improving the existing golf offering there are also plans to develop a mini golf course and install an indoor simulator to embrace all the elements of golf that are growing in popularity around the country.

Currently finalising the funding agreement, things look bright for the Central Highlands town of Dysart and its golf club, which has new life thanks to the Queensland Government and a focus on bringing the various generations in the area together.

“We've still got a pretty strong junior presence for our region, but we really want to work with some of our other closer towns to really get that up and boosting,” Rowe said.

“It used to be one of the strongest regions in Queensland, so we've really got a goal and passion to get that back up again and really the get the integration between the juniors and seniors again.”

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