FINANCIALLY starved Merbein Golf Club is in danger of folding as earlyas April unless it receives­ an immediate increase in members.
Nanjing Night Net

Such is the direstate of the club, it has called for an extraordinary meeting on Monday nightin a last-ditch attempt to come up with a rescue plan to keep the volunteer-runMcEdward Street course afloat.

It has just 37members (half the number it had five years ago), no juniors, and has slashedits annual membership from $210 to just $120 in recent days.

Club presidentFred Stevens told Sunraysia Daily yesterday “things aren’t real flash,and we desperately need community support and new members”.

“The main thrustof the meeting on Monday night will be coming up with ideas on how we attractnew members to our club,” Mr Stevens said. “We are really struggling forfinances,­ and we’ll hopefully get a good turnout at the meeting to thrash outsome ideas and a membership plan for the future.”

He said he was “notat liberty” to disclose how deep of a financial hole the club was in.

“We’ve gone downthe path of trying to get community grants, but nothing seems to be available,”the 78-year-old club stalwart said.

Asked how muchlonger the club could survive, he said: “At this rate, we have our Openchampionship in April, and even though that is a good money-raiser, we mightn’table to go on for too many weeks longer after that unless we get new members.”

Earlier thisweek, Sunraysia Daily golf columnist Garth Doherty implored the local­ communityto “stand up and be counted” in trying to help save the ailing Merbein andWentworth golf clubs.

“And yes, Garthis right,” Mr Stevens said. “We’re now throwing it open to the community to askthem if they really want to see our club survive for years to come.

“There’s no uselosing the club and then people asking ‘how did that happen’, when now is thetime to act.

“So, I hate tosay it, but if we don’t get new members in the next month or so, we won’t beable to go on much longer.”

Monday’s meetingstarts at 7pm at the McEdward Street club and Mr Stevens said “everyone in thecommunity is welcome to attend, not just past and present members”.

“We need help to brainstorm ideas, and it’s now about comingup with the right membership drive to keep the club alive,” he said.

Merbein Golf Club president Fred Stevens has warned that the club could fold, due to a lack of members. Picture: Clancy Shipsides

Merbein Golf Club president Fred Stevens has warned that the club could fold, due to a lack of members.

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