Date: July 14, 2017
Author: Dave Tease

Wilcannia is back on course

The folk from Wilcannia are back on course.

The Central Darling Shire town in north-west NSW with a population of about 600, will be back on Golf's map soon after the NSW State Government committed to assist Golf NSW help rebuild the town’s disused nine-hole course.

Deputy Premier and the Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro and the Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries, delivered the news of the grant which will go towards revitalising the town golf course and establishing an instruction and practice facility for the community.

When the revitalisation of the golf course site is complete, Golf NSW will also be facilitating instructor training in the sport for teachers from local schools as well as organising periodical visits from golf professionals for more formal coaching.

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Minister Barilaro was thrilled with the project and praised Golf NSW for taking the initiative in assisting the club.

“I want to thank Golf NSW for showing leadership in this. There are parts of our community in regional NSW that don’t get the attention and love they should, and these kids deserve as much of a go as anyone else,” the Deputy Premier said.

Besides expert advice from consultant agronomist Martyn Black about ongoing course maintenance, when the project is complete, Golf NSW will be supplying the club with 30 sets of golf clubs and 2000 balls for use on the facility.

Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries reiterated the Deputy Premier’s comments about the initiative.

“I think Golf NSW has made an outstanding contribution out here, particularly in time and effort.”

“The fact that personnel are out here advising and working with the Wilcannia Community to revitalise the facility is fantastic.”

“Most of our communities have the assets. They’ve got the infrastructure. This new initiative will hold the community in very good stead over the next couple of years, “ Mr Humphries added.

Graeme Phillipson, General Manager, Golf NSW believes facilities like the town golf course are important community assets.

“We understand how important facilities like the local golf course are to towns across regional NSW,” Mr Phillipson said.

Local grazier and Golf Club Director Chad Howard said the facility was all part of keeping rural towns like Wilcannia alive. “It’s a positive for the town, like having a local butcher or a local baker,” he said.”It is a social meeting point, a place to have a talk with your friends and spend a few hours together. If you don’t have these facilities, you lose where you come from.”

The Club’s Secretary Manager Margaret Stribbles expects the completed work to have a positive impact on the local community.

“It’s an all-around good sport to play, and I can’t see why the locals here won’t get on board. I know there are a few keen golfers out here, but there’s been no structured golf for a long time.”

“I’m a keen golfer, and I can’t wait,” she grinned.