A year on from the anxious weeks of forced closure because of Covid-19, Whangamata Golf Club is experiencing a boom.
Golf courses across NZ have been ultra-busy after the global Covid crisis and Whangamata is no exception, said president Terry Wilson.
This has increased revenue from green fees, membership, golf shop turnover and at the bar, and the financial boost has allowed the club to undertake new projects.
"There's an awful lot going on at the Whangamata Golf Club," Terry told a recent, packed special general meeting of the club.
Terry urged the club to move forward as one with a long-term tree project, upgrading and maintenance of the Titoki and Williamson clubrooms, establishing electric power supply to the new water bore, the purchase of new mowers and resealing the Titoki carpark.
The club has the Titoki 18-hole course on the edge of town and Williamson nine-hole course in the heart of Whangamata.
The meeting focus was about informing, getting views and support from members and giving them an understanding of the level of spending involved and the related funding.
Green fees have increased by almost 50 per cent and Terry said memberships have risen by about 10 per cent over the past year. Green fee numbers were at 20,000 a year.
"That's a significant number of people coming to Whangamata getting accommodation and playing golf," he said.
The increased interest was driving forward plans to review where the club was going.
"The Whangamata Golf Club board and management are asking, what should the Titoki and Williamson golf courses look like in 25 years?" Terry said.
The initial step of the long-term tree project will be the removal of numerous exotic trees, mainly pines, gums and poplars.
He said many of the trees were planted years ago as they were fast-growing and established quickly. However, many are now surplus, strangling each other and the native trees that need room to flourish, and pose health and safety risks because of their age and falling branches.
Replacement trees — principally natives — will be planted to encourage native birds and flora. He said during this first step there will be some disruptions to course operations but these will be minimised.
Titoki and Williamson clubrooms need upgrading and concept plans include essential maintenance. The buildings do not need substantial structural changes.
The new water bore system at Titoki needs a specific electricity supply.
And although greenkeepers have lovingly nurtured the mowers for rough and green areas, they have come to the end of their economic life, the meeting heard.
The Titoki carpark needs resurfacing and marking, as numerous potholes have appeared.
Strategies were presented to members about how to pay for these projects, along with clubhouse concept plans, prepared by local design and decor store Palette with contributions from several club members.
The plans got unanimous go-ahead at the meeting.
The investment in these projects will position the club not only to provide an even better golfing experience for members and visitors, but also to become an even more valuable community asset for hosting events such as weddings, funerals and workshops and other club meetings such as the bridge and mahjong.