Sunshine greets a golden move

A three-way membership arrangement between two of the Gold Coast’s finest golf courses and the jewel in the crown of the Sunshine Coast is not without possibility as a result of the move by Clive Palmer in to golf course ownership.

The Colonial and Robina Woods, two of the most picturesque golf courses on the Gold Coast, have recently joined the magnificent Hyatt Regency Coolum in the stable of Clive Palmer, Queensland’s leading businessman and richest man.

Robina Woods Robina Woods Golf Course

Earlier this year he purchased the Hyatt Regency Coolum, home of the Australian PGA for the past decade.

Palmer recently struck a deal to acquire the golfing landmarks on the Gold Coast after they went in to voluntary receivership in April 2011.

Both courses are consistently ranked in Australia’s top public access courses and feature award-winning facilities, not just for golf but also for weddings and corporate and private functions.

While the probability of a three-way membership with the Hyatt Regency is not on the agenda ‘at this stage’, dual membership of Robina and The Colonial is already being offered.

Angie Ison, secretary of the management company QN Securities P/L which will oversee both Gold Coast operations, said a limited dual membership at $1990 was now available.

The unique membership enables members to play both courses at will, with green fees no longer applicable. And there will be no joining fee.

“Formerly a membership like this would have been $2750,” Ison said.

“This rare dual-course option allows golfers to use both venues to play the game and hone their skills either on the courses or the respective driving ranges. And bookings can be made online, so that gives members the freedom to secure their round from any location at any time.”

Directors of Playmore Golf, the previous owner of both golf courses, blamed reduced tourism, discounting in the industry and consistent rain and flooding since November of 2010 as attributing reasons the courses were forced in to receivership.

Playmore Golf is owned by a syndicate headed by Sydney businessman Danny Goldberg and the company bought the properties in 2003 for $12.5 million. The price Palmer paid for the courses has not been disclosed.

However, a bright future is now tipped for both venues and already the announcement has been made that The Colonial will host the Greg Norman Foundation Junior Masters in December.

It will also be the venue for the Mitsubishi Masters tournament in October.

Ison said while the acquisition of the two golf courses by Palmer was a boon for golfers, the other major boost for the Gold Coast was that 90 local jobs had been saved thanks to the new ownership.

“These two golf courses offer state-of-the-art golfing amenities as well as first-class corporate and wedding function facilities in a beautiful, natural setting and a first-class staff is required to conduct business successfully,” she said.

“The golfing community in general, and members and staff of both venues, can look ahead with confidence now the future of both courses is assured. A solid businesses group is now behind both courses and is here for the long term.”

General manager of The Colonial and Robina Woods, Brian Doherty, spoke of the buoyant mood among his staff when news of the takeover came through.

“The receivership was a stressful time for everyone here so the new ownership came as a great relief,” Mr Doherty said.

“The fact the two courses will stay together under the same owner is fantastic and has breathed new life in to us all. The atmosphere here is excellent and we can already feel the new optimism.

“This is a big win for our team at the two courses, and naturally for local golfers too.”