28 Feb 2024 | Clubs and Facilities |

Oakleigh golfers celebrate great reprieve

by Martin Blake

Oakleigh golfers image
Councillor Theo Zographos and Golf Australia's Damien de Bohun celebrate with Oakleigh golfers on Wednesday.

Golfers at Melbourne’s popular Oakleigh Public Golf Course have resumed playing with the course’s future guaranteed.

Thousands of users of the nine-hole facility were celebrating Wednesday after Monash Council voted on Tuesday night to save the golf course, which has been in existence since the 1970s.

The council had conducted a community consultation process with one of two options being the creation of a “regional park”, with no golf.

But ultimately they voted 10-1 in favour of golf after the consultation process revealed 84 percent support for the sport.

A campaign to save the course was run by PGA Professional Sandy Jamieson and the Reach and Belong disability support group, which conducts golf programs for disability at Oakleigh.

More than 4000 people signed Reach and Belong’s petition.

Golf Australia met with the councillors and made a substantial submission on the community benefits of golf.

Neighbouring private clubs including Huntingdale, Metropolitan and Riversdale also threw their support behind the public facility.

Golf resumed at the course on Wednesday after a major clean-up was required after storms just more than a week ago took out numerous trees.

But the mood was upbeat on Wednesday as a new era begins.

“The council wanted community feedback and community ownership, and they got it,” said Fiona Memed, Reach and Belong’s Director.

“It’s a sweet little course. It caters for all abilities and all mobilities. It’s a beautiful place.”

“There are a lot of happy people today, that’s for sure,” said Raj Luis, the president of Oakleigh Golf Club, a mixed club which uses the facility throughout the week.

Damien de Bohun, Golf Australia’s General Manager Clubs and Facilities, was delighted. “It’s a fabulous result for golf,” he said. “Full credit to Monash City Council. They’ve taken on the community feedback and golf will continue for the foreseeable future.

“Public golf is where people learn to play the game, whether you’re 90-years-old like Tony who we’ve met here today, or nine years old like so many boys and girls. A great part of golf is you can play for your whole life.”

Monash Mayor Cr Lucy Lou said: “We heard that the community especially values Oakleigh Golf Course because of the role it plays for people learning the game as an affordable, shorter, and easier course than others in inner-Melbourne.”

Under the council’s resolution, the golf course is guaranteed for the next 10 years, with the council choosing to “not consider any alternative options for the site until after the new management contract term and option extension is anticipated to end in 2034”.

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