04 May 2023 | Clubs and Facilities |

Wallaroo to get greens, 5 SA clubs receive grants

by Martin Blake

Wallaroo GC members image
Wallaroo members celebrate with Sports Minister Katrine Hildyard (centre).

Wallaroo Golf Club on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula is about to enter a new era, thanks to hard work from its 120-plus members and a grant from the South Australian Government.

The 18-hole course will use the $65,000 grant and money raised in a members’ campaign to install new, Santa Ana greens starting in July when the current scrapes.

The putting surfaces at Wallaroo are currently a black slag which is a byproduct off the copper mines that existed in the area 100 years ago, and according to club President Alan Poole, "not ideal for wearing new shoes on".

It is one of five golf clubs to benefit from grants announced by the State Government recently, and Wallaroo will become the first 18-hole course on the peninsula with a full set of 18 greens.

“Hopefully, it draws people towards us,” said Poole, who drove the campaign.

“We think that this will encourage people to move here. We think Wallaroo’s a good place to retire but scapes are not where we needed to be. We don’t think it’s reached its full potential.”

The change has been four years in the making and included two funding rejections by the Government at a time when membership was declining.

Frustrated, Poole wrote to the Premier, Peter Malinauskas, some time ago and at the third submission, the club won its battle.

The Sports Minister, Katrine Hildyard, attended a Masters Games event at the club recently and made the grant announcement on the spot.

“It was a complete shock to everyone,” said Poole. “We had no idea.”

Poole paid tribute to the club’s members, particularly the women, who raised another $220,000 towards the cost, and to the Copper Coast Council, which loaned Wallaroo $80,000 that kept it afloat several years ago when the sprinkling system needed upgrading.

The council also has offered to dig the current scrapes up.

“It’s not going to be Royal Adelaide,” said Poole. “But it’s going to become a really good course for families to come and for people who just want to enjoy a game of golf.”

The Wallaroo golfers are hopeful of putting on a full set of new greens by the end of this year.

Four other clubs received grants in the latest round of funding. They are:

• Bute Golf Club - $14,500 to install synthetic turf tee boxes, edged with concrete sleepers. • Sandy Creek Golf Club - $26,500, to construct two storage sheds and install a solar system battery. • Victor Harbour Golf Club - $49,700, to construct a golf practice facility, including six hitting bays, roof, storage shed, golf diagnostic equipment and distance markers at Fleurieu Golf Academy. • Port Augusta Golf Club - $90,000, to replace approximately three km of corroded pipeline.

Wallaroo GC scrapes image
The scrapes at Wallaroo are about to be removed.

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