Three top Melbourne clubs investigate merge

Huntingdale Golf Club
Huntingdale Golf Club during the 2015 Australian Masters

A groundbreaking move by three of Melbourne’s top ranked golf clubs to establish a ‘super club’ could shine a light into the future of club golf around Australia.

Huntingdale Golf Club, Patterson River Golf Club and the Sandhurst Club, after extensive preliminary investigations, have advised that the clubs will enter into a Heads of Agreement to merge all three entities under the one Huntingdale Golf Club Group (HGCG) brand.

The proposal is aimed at securing the long term future of each of the respective clubs and to create a financial environment it is believed will see the combined group become a significant force in Australian golf. It comes at a time when more than 50% of Victoria’s golf clubs are reported to be under financial stress, mainly due to declining memberships.

Under the proposal, Members of the combined group will have access to 63 holes of golf, outstanding clubhouses, plus other recreational offerings now demanded by a rapidly changing market. As well, the sale of excess land at Patterson River will enable the formation of a significant future fund with solid annual cashflows, to protect the clubs and preserve them for future generations.

Current privileges will be retained but post transition will be enhanced. Members of each club will be given limited access rights to each of the golf courses at the respective sites. All members of the combined group will have unlimited use of the clubhouses, practice facilities and other non-golf facilities at the each of the three sites.

Huntingdale Golf Club Captain David Parton said "This merger will further strengthen our iconic brand in Australian golf, provide ongoing benefits to our membership and will create operational synergies across three sites that will generate significant additional annual cashflow and secure our future indefinitely".

Patterson River Golf Club President, David Healy, said the merger would “give our members an unparalleled opportunity to access a super club concept...and more importantly would provide generational protection for existing and future members.”

The Sandhurst Club Chairman, Kevin Greaves, said the merger provided a unique opportunity for Sandhurst. “It brings together the most critical ingredients – Branding, Capacity and Capital – to ensure survival and prosperity in what is a tumultuous period in the golf industry.”

Extensive due diligence will now be undertaken, with the assistance of independent expert advice, after which a detailed proposal for the merger of the three clubs will be presented to the respective club memberships for approval, most likely in early 2016.

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