HORSHAM Golf Club has made a number of changes to improve its financial position following years of growing debt.
Officials expect the turnaround to continue to improve into the future.
After being appointed president in November 2017, Leo Delahunty and the board had worked with Golf Business Advisory Services to create a strategic plan to address all aspects of the club’s finances.
In 2016-17, the club faced losses of $279,000. Last year, under the new board, losses were reduced to $79,000.
“We had cash injections of $366,000 in the first two years as well, but had nothing over the last year. We also paid the bank $57,000 in the last year,” Mr Delahunty said.
Mr Delahunty said the strategic plan had, above all, given the club a better understanding of its financial situation.
“The club did not understand where it was at – but now we’re quite comfortable with where we’re heading. There is fiscal transparency, monitoring and reporting,” he said.
Mr Delahunty said the club’s membership had dwindled since the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, dropping from nearly 800 members in 2009 to 440 in June.
The club has since offered new membership plans encouraging people to join.
Mr Delahunty said incorrect recording of membership numbers under previous administrations worsened the club’s financial position.
“There wasn’t a proper recording system previously and as a result there was an optimistic projections about membership numbers. There are costs associated with making those mistakes,” he said.
Mr Delahunty said the club had worked to boost sponsorship, which had dropped off significantly in the past few years.
“We have a target of $100,000 in sponsorship and we’re back well over $80,000 at this stage – our average was $40,000. We’ve had absolutely terrific support from local businesses,” he said.
Mr Delahunty said the club also had plans to install a solar system to minimise power costs, sell land the club owned, and to outsource catering services.
He described the fundraising campaign as an attempt to buy more time for the club to continue its turnaround.