30 Jan 2024 | Clubs and Facilities |
Revamped Pakenham Golf Course a community success story
by Andrew Young
Golf is returning to one of Victoria’s key growth corridors, as Pakenham Golf Course re-opens as an entirely public facility at Deep Creek Reserve in Melbourne’s outer south-east.
Redesigned, revamped and now under the operation of Golf Services Management (GSM) in partnership with the Cardinia Shire Council, Pakenham Golf Course – formerly the Deep Creek Golf Club – is at the heart of the thriving public facility.
“So far it has been really positive,” said Scott Eduati of Golf Services Management who has taken on the Role of General Manager at the course.
“The Council has been fantastic to work with, and since we (GSM) took on management responsibility, they are embracing golf as one of the key assets for the community.”
Home to an Eco-Centre with a café, bistro, function space and fully stocked pro-shop, the Deep Creek Reserve was already a one-stop shop for locals, but the newly managed and reconfigured Pakenham Golf Course has helped to take it to another level.
Once Deep Creek Golf Club went into voluntary administration in the early part of 2023, GSM, along with Golf Australia made a concerted effort to ensure golf would return to the region, with an emphasis on public play.
“We kept stressing to the Council why golf was so important in Pakenham and at this location,” explained Tony Craswell, Head of Venue Development at Golf Australia.
“If we didn't actively engage with the Council, there’s a chance golf might not have stayed at the site. We just made sure we were involved in the conversation all the time.”
So, with the Council on board, and golf approved to resume at the site, GSM went about creating a new and improved experience for golfers in the region.
Significant course works and re-routing of the driving range and hole design has altered the look and feel of the course; increasing playability, as well as golfer safety.
An extensive process, Eduati explains that with their expertise, GSM were able to help the Council understand what was required to make things work at the site.
“We identified risks early and went about rectifying them,” he explained. “Ball flight studies from other courses we manage showed where the general risk would be.
“From there, we were able to re-route the range and entire golf course. Ultimately, we are pleased to say it is the best layout we could deliver the facility.
“Additionally, the course had been closed for an extended period before we came in – with no maintenance – so there was a lot of work to be done to get it back up to speed.”
Before opening day in mid-December, new maps, tee signs, as well as an all-new course rating were completed, to ensure players could easily transition to a new golfing experience.
Now just over a month into operation, things are going well for the new course and golf in Pakenham, as utilisation grows steadily amidst a burgeoning passion for the game.
“On course golf has been steady without being over the top,” Eduati said. “But the real winner has been the new driving range.
“It’s a drawcard for new and experienced players alike, and with its accessible opening hours, it has been getting a lot of use.
“It is just fantastic for locals.”
The success at Pakenham is a powerful reminder of golf’s unifying force and Tony Craswell is confident it will set a precedent for other councils considering the best way forward.
“Golf is in such a growth phase, so the enhancement of the game and its facilities is important and in areas like Pakenham, there is so much upside to getting it right.”
Form more information on Pakenham Golf Course or to book a round at the new facility, click HERE
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