BELMONT Golf Club will build two undercover synthetic greens near its clubhouse at Marks Point after a merger with the Belmont Bowling Club was given overwhelming support by the members of both organisations.
The two bodies signed a memorandum of understanding in August, which was endorsed unanimously by their respective members at separate meetings last weekend.
Belmont Bowling Club, which had been struggling financially, sold their premises in the heart of the suburb’s business precinct for $4.8 million earlier this month, paving the way for the merger. The sale will allow the club to discharge its liabilities and fund the construction of the new greens.
Belmont Golf Club will now lodge an application with the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing to have the bowling club transferred, which is expected to be processed by March.
The construction of the greens, which will cost about $2million and be located where the 12th hole is now, is due to begin in April. The 12th hole will be replaced by a new par-three hole, which will run alongside the beach, and is nearing completion. A new locker room and bowls office will also be built.
In the meantime, the bowling club will continue to operate at its current location.
“Belmont Bowls committee have been working for 18 months to get to this point,” club president Trevor Gasson said. “The club is 87 years old this year and we wanted to ensure that future generations would be there. It has been a very involved process but we very happy with the outcome.”
Belmont Golf Club were among seven licensed clubs to submit an expression of interest when the bowling club sought an amalgamation in February.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Belmont Golf Club general manager Glenn Howard said. “From a sustainability point of view, it is an amazing opportunity for us. We get more people frequenting the club and acquire another 11 poker machines. One of the key elements was that the bowling club would retain its identity. They will always be Belmont Bowling Club. Their memorabilia and life memberships will be preserved.”
Belmont Golf Club president Lyn Cooper described the partnership as a “perfect” fit.
“It is very difficult relying on golf for an income these days,” she said. “You have to get people in the club. When this opportunity came along we thought it would be perfect. The hardest bit is out of the way. The early sale of the bowling club building helped. There was a lot of worry that we would have to go into debt to build the bowling greens for them. That is not necessary.”