New golf course for youngsters at Macksville

TA-DA: John Ainsworth, Chris Murphy, Brian Turner, Dawn Edwards, Stephen Ash, Carmel Freudenstein, Rob Channels, Desma Hughes, Craig Johnston, Rhonda Hoban, Ron Edwards, Kylie Johnston, Lindsay Keer, Brian Brabant, Brian Toby, Ken Martin and John Delamare
TA-DA: John Ainsworth, Chris Murphy, Brian Turner, Dawn Edwards, Stephen Ash, Carmel Freudenstein, Rob Channels, Desma Hughes, Craig Johnston, Rhonda Hoban, Ron Edwards, Kylie Johnston, Lindsay Keer, Brian Brabant, Brian Toby, Ken Martin and John Delamare

MACKSVILLE Country Club has created a slice of heaven to build the future - adding a trio of new holes to form a self-contained course for juniors.

The area of land down from the machinery shed used to be scrub and lantana, but on the back of hard work by members over many years, it's now a manicured green playground replete with ornamental gardens.

The volunteers and the mayor Rhonda Hoban celebrated the official opening of the course on Sunday, and none was happier than Country Club director Desma Hughes.

"The course is very tricky with bunkers and trees and the plan is to encourage kids to give golf a go," Desma told the Guardian.

"There's a perception that golf is only for the elite, so we are planning to make it free for learners by providing them with balls, junior sticks and a buggy so they can try it out.

"We want parents to know that it's certainly not going to cost them a fortune."

"We have been encouraged by Jack Newton Junior Golf people to help with enlisting new junior members and try and keep the game of golf alive. Golf is a challenging sport but most enjoyable. If we don't recruit new golfers we will end up closing our golf course in the future."

Six years ago a group of volunteers decided to clear some scrub from the site for the purpose of having a place where kids could play and learn golf. The area was progressively cleared and mown from 2013 -17, and the Country Club applied to ClubsNSW nearly three years ago to provide some funding to create three greens as they are expensive to develop due to the cost of excavation, gravel, sand and turf.

In August 2017, the Country Club received a grant from ClubBiz (in excess of $24,000) to complete the course.

The volunteers (Ron, Brian T, Brian B, Lachy, Rob, Chris, Lindsay and Barry, Ken and many many others) mowed, fertilised, watered and cultivated gardens, fairways and greens - and now the course is finished. Juniors will be able to play the three holes, three times (9 holes) for a game.

Any young people wanting to learn to play golf or become members should call the club on 6568-1400.

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