CHANGES are afoot at Wingham Golf Club but secretary manager Gary Considine, who has been in the role for four months, is moving cautiously and with optimism.
Gary brings 12 years’ experience as general manager of Springwood Country Club to the position, after relocating to Lake Cathie, with wife Kathy, for a sea change.
He thoroughly enjoys the daily commute from Lake Cathie to Wingham and back, as it allows him to get ready for the day on the way up, and switch off on the way back.
“I see it as a tool to de-think or re-think,” says Gary. “My wife says this is the most relaxed she’s seen me.”
The interior of the club is currently undergoing a facelift, with carpets and furnishings being replaced very soon, followed by a fresh lick of paint to the walls, which will be done by the club’s enormous volunteer base.
The volunteers are also responsible for raising the funds needed to renovate the club, by providing Saturday barbecues for members
“The volunteers here are magnificent,” Gary says. “I’ve had volunteers where I’ve worked before, but not to the level here. Over the years a lot of the stuff here has been done by volunteers.
“That’s why we have to make sure the amalgamation [with the Wingham Bowling Club] moves carefully and we think of every possible scenario.
“We can’t make a mistake, because there is so much history in both clubs.”
Another physical change set to take place is the relocation of the Golf Shop into the club building, which should be completed within two weeks.
Wingham Golf Club’s new secretary manager Gary Considine comes with 12 years’ experience of managing the Springwood Country Club in the Blue Mountains.
The empty shop will then be refurbished, with the club considering turning it into meeting room that they can hire out.
It could also be used for functions, an area which Gary is keen to develop. “We’re in the middle of improving the environment. Once that is finished, then we can start promoting functions,” Gary says.
Caddie’s Restaurant will be an important part of the function business.
The restaurant is now owned entirely by the club. It is no longer sub-contracted out, but is run by staff, who are employed by the club.
“We have to be very strongly aware of quality,” Gary says, citing it as a major reason for the move from sub-contractors to employed staff.
Gary has been instrumental in modernising the club with a new electronic scoring system and membership system, which he says will further streamline the business which is an ongoing process.
“We’re moving forward in that way which will lead to other developments. The members have taken to really quickly, and the volunteers are making it all work,” he says.
“I think they can see that long term it will make things easier for them.”
Wingham Golf Club features a beautifully maintained nine hole golf course with 18 tees.
It hosts a busy schedule of events to cater for all players.
Tuesdays sees the women competition players play 18 holes and veterans on Wednesdays nine hole social ambrose on Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday is the nine hole ‘chook run’ stableford game with a men’s competition played on Saturday.
The club is one of the oldest in the area, and last year celebrated its 100th anniversary. The club has moved to five different sites around Wingham before settling in its current location in 1953.
Wingham Golf Club is open seven days a week, and Caddies Restaurant is open Tuesday to Sunday nights, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. The restaurant will be open on Christmas Day.
To contact Wingham Golf Club, call 6553 4761.
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