Date: November 11, 2018
Author: Martin Blake

Merger talks between Huntingdale, The National

 

Two big Victorian clubs have begun talks over a merger that would create an unprecedented ‘Super Club’.

The National, which has three courses at Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula plus one near Frankston just south of Melbourne, has begun talks with Huntingdale Golf Club, a jewel of the Melbourne sandbelt and longtime host of the Australian Masters.

If the merger went ahead – and it is subject to a vote of both existing clubs – it would create a club with five world class courses, and by far the biggest club in Australia.

The National has been proactive before in growing its facilities. It merged with Long Island Country Club in 2015 to create the current 72-hole facility, giving members a playing option closer to Melbourne.

 Rumours have existed for some time that the club wanted to form a partnership with a Melbourne club to complete the set, so to speak.

In a statement from respective club captains released today, the clubs acknowledged “preliminary discussions” over a merger.

“There are many potential benefits of a merger including the provision of an un-

paralleled golfing offer which includes five championship courses and

associated first-class practice facilities located across three geographical

locations – all for the price of one membership fee,” the statement said.

It added that the club committees had signed a confidentiality deed for information to be exchanged and a business case built.

“Once these interim steps are completed, both Committees will consider the

information prepared and will either approve or reject continuance of merger

discussions. It is important to note that should the Committees sign-off on formal terms, the

members of each club would separately vote on the agreed proposal and as

such members would have the final say whether the merger proceeds or not.”

In the case of the Long Island merger, members of that club were offered up automatic membership of The National without having to buy a share, even though The National is an equity-based club.

Not surprisingly, they voted 98 percent in favour of the merger.

Huntingdale has played out of the current South Oakleigh site since 1941