Date: June 27, 2016
Author: Golf Victoria

Grant success at Leongatha

Superseded technology can often be the ball dragging the chain at golf facilities. Facing inefficiencies due to an outdated irrigation system, Leongatha Golf Club rolled up their sleeves to raise funds for a much needed update.

Manufactured in the 1960’s and installed in the 1980’s, the irrigation system currently in place at Leongatha is a manual labour nightmare.

The technology, now 55 years old, is extremely inefficient costing the club in both man hours, electricity and water use. 

The solution – a modern automated irrigation system, to irrigate all tees and greens, three fairways and the club’s turf nursery, in turn saving the club thousands of dollars each year in reduced labour and utility costs. Not to mention a significantly smaller environmental footprint.

The project was costed at $220,000. An overwhelming sum for most regional golf facilities… However, Leongatha reached out to a number of organizations in place to support local sports facilities and now their goal is within reach.

Working closely with their local Regional Sports Assembly GippSport, and consultants Hands On Community Solutions, the club underwent a strategic planning process during the 2014-15 year which clearly identified the irrigation system upgrade as the club’s highest priority.

Club Manager, Josh Hall, and Vice President, Dan Poynton, then embarked on an 18 month process to secure funding from both local and state governments.

South Gippsland Shire Council have committed $50,000 towards the project while a successful application to the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund has secured an additional $80,000.

Club Manager, Josh Hall is thrilled to be on the receiving end of much needed funding.

“From a club management perspective, implementation of this project frees up a significant amount of both paid and volunteer labour,” said Hall.

“The current system costs the club a significant amount in maintenance and most significantly it takes the equivalent of one full time position a week to irrigate the course from October to March. 

“With this automated system we'll be able to irrigate the course overnight and then re-invest that labour and money into other course and club development projects. 

“It will also allow us to continue to invest in innovative community participation programs to ensure the whole South Gippsland community can enjoy our great facility.”

Leongatha now face the more manageable challenge of raising the remaining $90,000. Through the Australian Sports Foundation, Leongatha is accepting tax-deductable contributions from their membership base, local business partners and others in the community. To contribute, click here

South Gippsland Shire Council will put the project out to tender in late June-early July.  The project is scheduled to start in August with an anticipated completion date of September 30.

Golf Victoria Government and Community Relations Manager, Fiona Telford encourages any clubs in need of assistance to consider the various grants on throughout Victoria.

“There are a range of grants on offer from the state government that are designed to assist sporting clubs around Victoria to redevelop ageing infrastructure, implement sporting programs and boost participation,” said Telford.

“Leongatha Golf Club has taken the initiative to raise funds through government and other sources and I congratulate them for their achievement.”

For more information and to see what is available, visit the Grants and Funding page.