15 Nov 2023 | Clubs & Facilities |
Private clubs throw weight behind Oakleigh
by Martin Blake
Some of Melbourne’s biggest and most respected private clubs have jumped in to support golfers at Oakleigh public golf course as they struggle to stave off closure.
Huntingdale, Metropolitan and Riversdale golf clubs are all backing the course and its players, who are enduring a Monash City Council review of the facility.
All three private clubs are in the same municipal area as Oakleigh.
Feedback to the council closes on November 30 with two options on the table – keep the golf course or make it a regional park.
Huntingdale’s General Manager Alex McGillivray said Huntingdale had run a member awareness campaign that would continue to seek the support of club members.
The club has also reached out to Riversdale and Metropolitan and is monitoring the situation carefully. Those clubs have also called for support from their members.
Clubs can access a Golf Australia toolkit to help back Oakleigh here
Sign the Reach and Belong petition here
Send your feedback to Monash Council here
“It’s an important club to us in the region,” said McGillivray.
“It’s a great use of green space. There are parks in the region, either side of this course. It seems nonsensical to stop what is a successful use of green space already.
“Golf’s one of the highest organized participant sports in the country, and booming. While the image of golf might be places like this (Huntingdale), the reality is that most golfers are in public golf.”
McGillivray said Huntingdale’s ranks included past captains and presidents who began their golf at Oakleigh, and a current board member.
“It’s not just self-interest,” he said. “This (Oakleigh) is a community asset. These people are not going somewhere else, they’re going to give up golf because they need somewhere that they feel comfortable.
“This facility is perfect to take your kids and get them into a game and get them into an active and healthy lifestyle.”
The petition started by Reach and Belong, the NDIS support service which runs Victoria’s biggest and most successful group disability golf program out of Oakleigh golf course, has been signed by more than 3500 people.
Several of the Reach and Belong golfers were at the course this week including 20-year-old Ash Ranasinghe, who has created a string of ‘Save Oakleigh golf’ posters for distribution.
Golf coach Sandy Jamieson, who runs the Reach and Belong programs, said he was convinced that Monash would make the right decision, retain the golf course and improve it.
“Rightly, the councillors are asking questions about how tis place is better managed for the community,” said Jamieson.
“What you sometimes end up with in public golf is understaffed operations that don’t serve the community well.
“So this is an opportunity as much as anything else.”
Jamieson said the shortness and flat nature of Oakleigh made it perfect for the Reach and Belong programs, which employ a number of community coaches who would lose their employment if the course is closed.
“The City of Monash has six golf courses --- four private clubs with a full 18 holes. There’s two public golf courses in Monash – Glen Waverley which has 18 holes and the nine holes at Oakleigh.
“Of all the golf in Monash, they want to close the smallest footprint environmentally, that caters for the most people who have disability or who have a concession pass.
“Those people are not going anywhere else. They would be lost to golf.”
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