Neangar Park Golf Club

PROJECT: Public access nine-hole pitch ‘n’ putt and driving range
ASK:  $250,000
STATUS: Funding committed

Traditional golf in central Victoria is easy to access but evidence suggests that even at a relaxed club like Neangar Park, the intimidation factor to start golf is high. So Neangar, home to a couple of pretty handy tour players in Lucas Herbert and Andy Martin – who knocked off Jarrod Lyle in the Australian Matchplay Championship some years ago – came up with an idea: build a nine-hole pitch ’n’ putt facility and upgrade its existing driving range. This allows newcomers to the game the opportunity to start small, do some foolish things while learning in a friendly and fun way, and maybe get hooked enough to progress further in the game.

As club president Philip DeAraugo said, “people can get ‘one good shot euphoria’, then maybe ‘one good round euphoria’ and then they want to keep playing.”

Designed by a professional golf course architect, the pitch ’n ’putt facility will sit next to an upgraded driving range and be accessible to the public as well as members. It will be built by course superintendent Brendan Brown, who is very excited to oversee construction estimated to start in early July 2019. With no other such facilities in this area, it is sure to prove a winner with the locals – and introduce a few people to the traditional game as well.

“The project should be viewed as a regional facility, rather than just for the benefit of our club,” said DeAraugo.

Neangar Park worked closely with Golf Australia’s Golf Development Senior Manager Mark Bamford to design the project. Now approved under the Victorian State Government’s November 2018 election promise, it is ready to go.

“This project should be seen as a regional facility, rather than just for the benefit of our members.”

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