Golf clubs forced to close

Kilmore Golf Club president Bea Lay.

By Jackson Russell

Kilmore Golf Club is one of hundreds across the state to shut its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic after Golf Australia issued a recommendation on Friday.

The clubs will remain closed until April 13 to align with the Deputy Chief Health Officer directions regarding non-essential recreational facilities.

The club stopped competitive golf last week but social golf continued until the club closed on Friday.

Kilmore Golf Club president Bea Lay said the closure had come at a bad time for the club.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s come at a really bad time for the club because our fees are due and some members won’t be able to pay,” she said.

“Easter being a great time for holidays, so we won’t have any income from green fee players.”

Lay said she felt for some of the members who had lost their only social outing.

“When I spoke to one member on Saturday morning, he said ‘what am I supposed to do now?’ she said.

“Some members have golf as their one social outlet so I really feel for them.

“Some of our members live alone and that’s a problem too but that’s a problem right across Australia.”

The club is looking into receiving financial assistance to help keep it afloat while it is closed.

“We are looking at the possibility of getting some help from the ATO and talking to our bank,” Lay said.

“I don’t think we’re on our own, Broadford is in the same boat.

“We also have to worry about how we’re going to pay our debt now. We were going well before, so I’m devastated.”

Hidden Valley Resort has also had to close all its facilities to comply with the government directions.

General manager Stephen Roberts said it had also forced the closure of its bar, bistro, pool gym and golf course.

“Our whole operation is shut. A number of staff have been stood down temporarily and other staff are on dramatically reduced hours,” he said.

“We’re really just staffing the clubhouse to service any member needs and maintain security around the property.

“We’ll have a daily presence around the clubhouse and golf course to maintain security.”