Warwick Golf Club celebrates volunteers

At least 60 volunteers were recognised at a special thank you celebration by Warwick Golf Club late last month.

From gardeners to event organisers, builders to bunker rakers, like many clubs Warwick relies on volunteers and the community to maintain and develop its golf course and clubhouse.

Warwick Golf Club A rejuvenated Warwick Golf Club in regional Queensland

“When people see things moving ahead in a positive way they offer to help,” said club president Don Stewart.

Over the last 12 months volunteers have provided ongoing irrigation system maintenance, myriad clubhouse repairs including new carpet and furniture, new clubhouse gardens, an outdoor wedding ceremony area and a sandstone entrance gateway.

“There has been such a turnaround here in the last couple of years, due mainly to the installation of fairway watering systems using Grade A recycled sewage water,” said Stewart.

“The course in now in the best condition it has ever been in. There is a great feeling in the club at the moment and it’s our task to keep the momentum going,” he said.

Eighty-three-year-old member Effie Austen donates at least 30 hours a week to planting and caring for trees, gardening around the tee blocks, and keeping the weeds under control. Last year she won a community volunteer award for her efforts.

Member Geoff Strom started almost unnoticed establishing a large area of gardens near the first fairway. Recognising the increasing beauty of this area the club now hires it out for weddings and is soon to build a rotunda in which to invite more of this business.

Strom was also instrumental in beautifying the clubhouse’s gardens and building a sandstone entrance way to the club’s grounds. The donated sandstone was carved free of charge by stonemason Con Lo Guidice, the father of the club’s restaurant chef, Frankie Lo Guidice.

One of the hardest working groups is the junior golf committee. Three years ago they struggled to get kids interested in the game. Today they now manage up to 60 junior members. Their successful Friday night raffles in the clubhouse have not only raised thousands of dollars for club improvements but have attracted a new, younger clientele to enjoy the club’s facilities and restaurant. So much so it has become a popular and much-needed family venue in the community.

With the growing interest in the club, one of the new ventures in 2011 will be to conduct a feasibility study on building motel-style apartments on site.

“With the generosity of spirit in the club and the tremendous support of our volunteers and members, as well as a beautifully presented golf course, the sky’s the limit to what we can achieve,” said Stewart.