TALLWOODS golf course at Hallidays Point has closed and its future management is under a cloud, however golfers are hoping that ongoing negotiations will see them back on the greens within a month.
Tallwoods Golf Club president John New claims the course’s previous managers, Club Care, “walked out” on July 13, resulting in closure of the course, the pro shop and restaurant.
Ten employees are believed to be owed pay and holiday entitlements, and have begun negotiations with WorkCover NSW in an effort to recoup wages, some dating back to July 4. The matter is being further complicated by the recent purchase of the Tallwoods International Golf Resort, with negotiations now underway involving the new owner and the golf club board of management in an effort to have the course re-opened. While the local sporting club has pointed the finger at Club Care for its “walking away”, Club Care posted a statement on its website six days later, on July 19, claiming it achieved a “significant operational and financial turnaround at the Tallwoods International Golf Resort... in just 12 months Club Care has turned around a $600,000 loss for the owners of Tallwoods in the 2009/2010 financial year into a $50,000 profit for this financial year (2010/11).”
Mr New said Tallwoods Golf Club has set a tentative date of Saturday August 25 for a meeting of members to discuss the course’s future. By this time the members are hoping to have information from Tallwoods Resort’s new owner, Ray Nolan, on financial and legal aspects of managing the course in the future. “(Mr Nolan) has invited our club’s board and members to take on management of the course. We have been offered a limited lease with the prospect of extending after 12 months, on satisfactory progress. We have had a verbal offer but are now awaiting a written offer of management from Mr Nolan,” Mr New said.
“We don’t anticipate we will be in a position to decide the matter until the end of August.”
Mr New said the players’ club has around 300 members across NSW and from interstate. “It is a pity this has happened, not only for the enjoyment factor of people around here who use the course regularly, but also (Tallwoods) has been a way of getting more people, more tourists and investment into the local community. If we end up managing the course, our intention will be to promote its advantages to greater NSW and beyond. That’s just not happening at the moment.”
He said many club members are now travelling to Tuncurry to enjoy their regular game. He also added that the restaurant facility was also lost to locals. “Now we have to ensure we have something that gives us more certainty.”
In June last year Club Care announced it had been engaged by the then owner of Tallwoods International Golf Resort to run the golfing facility off Black Head Road. Club Care’s website announcement of July 19 this year said the engagement was for: “12 months to turn around the business at Tallwoods from being a significant loss making operation to that of a financially sustainable operation to assist the owner to sell this iconic golf course and associated development land.”