Date: May 22, 2019
Author: Justin Falconer

Wentworth on the mend after blaze

There’s finally been some good news for Wentworth Golf Club in Orange after its clubhouse burned down on Saturday morning.

With no damage to the pro shop or playing surface the golf course has been reopened this week and thanks to the club’s insurance policy, the club won’t be dramatically out of pocket.

President Simon Atkinson joined Inside The Ropes on Tuesday to discuss the devastating incident that has rocked one of country NSW's proud golf regions.

“It was bad enough to burn it to the ground which was really sad and devastating,” Atkinson said.

“There’s no official cause at the moment but they think it could be electrical down underneath.

“It all started on the western end.

“I thought this end would have been pretty secure because it had a concrete floor but the heat was that intense underneath that it buckled the posts and the concrete floor came down.”

The site was initially treated as a crime scene but golfers have been allowed to return to the course.

“We got to save the pro shop and all the machinery for the green keepers, all our pumps and irrigation, so that’s all back in action,” Atkinson said.

“The course is still up and running as it was, we just haven’t got a place to have a drink after a Saturday afternoon of golf.”

Originating in 1965, the walls of the Wentworth clubhouse were home to decades of history of golf in the region.

But Wentworth’s proud past will not be completely lost, as much of its history was recently recorded for its 50th anniversary.

“There’s a lot of old members up there that are still about and you can nearly see the tears coming out of their eyes because of the blood, sweat and tears taken to create this clubhouse,” Atkinson said.

“With the honour boards, there’s a lot of memories up there. Fortunately, with our 50th anniversary a couple of years ago, we had a lady go through doing a story on the place.

“I’ve got a feeling she took photos of every honour board.

“When the new clubhouse is done we make up the boards with the names back on them.”

The club’s first order of business is to provide a temporary clubhouse and help get things back to normal.

Wentworth’s insurance policy means the club won’t be hit hard financially, some welcome news in a tough week.

“We’re lucky we’ve got full insurance on the clubhouse and contents and loss of trade insurance as well,” Atkinson said.

“From Saturday onwards everything just grinds to a halt.

“We’ve got to work as hard as we can to get a temporary clubhouse set up for the members because number one, we don’t want to lose our members.”


Listen to the full Inside The Ropes chat with Simon Atkinson: