29 Sep 2021 | Clubs & Facilities |
Elliston's much-welcomed upgrades
by Dane Heverin
There has been a spring in the steps of the Elliston Golf Club members in recent weeks.
The club in the heart of Elliston - a coastal town on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula home to nearly 400 people - has upgraded its tee blocks and course signage, and the club’s 26 members are delighted.
“Everyone’s very happy with the way it turned out,” Matt Stringer, secretary of Elliston Golf Club, said.
“The upgrades have probably not lowered our scores, but they’re more consistent for sure!”
The 9-hole course has replaced its former dirt tee blocks with artificial turf, which was installed by members along with the accompanying flower beds and signage.
“We engaged a company to produce the signs for us and a company from Queensland supplied the artificial turf, but other than that it was all volunteer work,” Stringer said.
The project was funded by a grant from the South Australian government, and the club was assisted by Golf Australia’s grant writing assistance program - a program designed to help clubs access government funding to support improving their facilities.
“Thanks to the SA government and Golf Australia because without grants like that a small community like ours would never get the opportunity to upgrade our infrastructure. It’s a great opportunity for clubs like us to better ourselves,” Stringer said.
Matt Chesterman, Golf Australia’s Clubs & Facilities senior manager, said Elliston’s success was a great example of the grant writing assistance program in action.
“The volunteers in clubs have great skills in a range of areas, typically in the operational areas in clubs. It’s often unrealistic to expect a volunteer who is great at working on the course to be great at knowing how to successfully pull together a grant application,” Chesterman said.
“In this case they had a great vision about what they wanted to achieve on the course, they just needed some assistance from a team that has experience in writing grants.
“Credit to the club for responding to our call for expressions of interest when the grant pool opened. The clubs worked cooperatively with Ashleigh Stratford (Clubs & Facilities support manager - SA) and provided all the details we required, and to top it off they have done a great job with the delivery of the tee block project.”
Chesterman also said that Elliston’s story is a great template for other clubs to follow.
“Preparation is key to a successful application. I encourage all clubs, large or small, to discuss your upcoming projects with your Golf Australia Club & Facility Support State Manager through all the planning stages of a project,” he said.
“By working with clubs from the beginning we are able to help identify areas where your application needs to strengthen and by being organised it gives you time to do that before the deadline approaches.”
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