For several harrowing days over the new year period, Moruya Golf Club
was isolated from the world as the Clyde Mountain and Badga’s Road fires ripped through a large swathe of south-east New South Wales.
With a tourist evacuation order in place, but all roads closed and nowhere to go, scores of holidaymakers in cars, campervans and trailers were forced to park across the club’s fairways and wait for the all-clear to leave.
With all staff on board who could help, the club ensured everyone who needed assistance received it while waiting out the inferno.
Sadly, however, the goodwill extended by the club has impacted their course and clubhouse, leaving them with a considerable tidy up bill. The evacuees left behind plenty of mess, and a number of greens needing immediate repairs.
Golf NSW through the NSW Golf Foundation has made a significant contribution to this clean-up effort via the Golf NSW Clubs Bushfire Relief Fund.
The Golf NSW Club Bushfire Relief Fund has been set up to assist Clubs in the NSW Golfing Family to get back on their feet following the recent bushfire disaster. For more information click on the link below:
“The grant Golf NSW is giving us is absolutely fantastic news,” Josh Prowse, the General Manager of Moruya Golf Club said.
“We had several greens severely impacted by traffic moving over them, and we were also unable to water them for several days.
“The fairways were lined with rubbish, things like clothing, sleeping bags, household trash were just left behind.
“The place is covered in ash, and large areas of the club now need to be cleaned professionally.”
Like almost every business in the region, the club relies heavily on the Christmas holiday tourist season. Mr Prowse said the drop in trade from the disaster, coupled with the fix-up costs was already putting plenty of stress onto the club’s finances.
“December, January and February are the three months of the year where we make most of our money.
“This year they are going to be the worst three months of the year if things continue as they have throughout December and January.
“It is going to be a challenging year for us, and lots of tough decisions will need to be made to make sure we get through this,” Mr Prowse added.
Like many business leaders on the far south coast, Mr Prowse echoed the need for people to understand they were back, open for business, and more than welcome to visit.
“Let’s hope the tourists make their way to the South Coast and support the small towns,” he said.