Category: News

MGC celebrates another hole-in-one double

Maleny Golf Club has been celebrating not just one hole-in-one, but two historic Aces on the same hole within a week of each other during competition rounds.

The rare pair of deuces on the 9-hole Graham Papworth-designed course came just as the club prepares to expand the tricky links-style layout by bringing three new holes into play – two Par 4s and a Par 3.

Geoff Smith celebrates his first Hole in One on the Par 3 3rd Hole at Maleny Golf Club_e Geoff Smith (pictured left) struck a majestic shot on the Par 3 Third hole from 150 metres out with a 6-iron on Saturday morning (14/4/18) from the front tee and watched in awe as the ball kicked toward the pin and went in.

Alas, his celebrity status was short lived! Members hardly had a chance to hear about his good fortune when Chris Pottinger (pictured below) took on the same hole the following Saturday with a driver from the middle Tee 175 metres out and Aced it as well.

Chris Pottinger extracts his ball from the cup while playing partner Richard Clayton looks on_eClub President Dr Max Whitten said members were astonished and delighted to be celebrating two more historic hole-in-ones in such quick succession – reminiscent of events in 2016 when the club celebrated two Aces within 8 days.

“We were all very excited for Geoff and now Chris has done it as well and both during competition rounds too, so our congratulations go out to them. We’re still a young golf club so historic feats like these are particularly memorable,” he said.

The odds of an amateur golfer achieving a hole-in-one are estimated to be around 12,500-to-1 – let alone two on the same hole within a week.

Geoff’s Ace was the first ever scored by a male player on the Par 3, 3rd hole during a competition round while Chris’s was the first from the Men’s White Tee during a competition round.

“I just heard a tink from the tee,” recalled Geoff, a 66-year-old teacher who only returned to the game a couple of years ago and had never scored an Ace before.

“We knew the ball had hit the pin, but could not see if it went in, so I wasn’t really certain until I got to the green and retrieved the ball from the cup. It’s every golfer’s dream isn’t it?”

Chris, a 70-year-old retiree, said he too was thrilled.  “I used my driver and got a kindly member’s kick off the front left bank which really helped and we all saw it go in,” he said.

Traditionally, golfers who score a hole in one shout the bar.

While Geoff got off rather lightly there was quite a contingent on hand when Chris, a tee-totaller, announced his good fortune to a field of almost 40 participants who’d just completed their rounds off a Shotgun Start.

Richard Owen

Hinterland Golfer – April 2018

Strategic Planning process
Thank you to members for providing input and feedback in the early stages of the Strategic Planning process. The Management Committee has since received input from Golf Queensland, the PGA, Sport and Recreation, Sunshine Coast Council and our local business community.

On 19 March the Management Committee further developed the draft Strategic Plan outlining the direction of the Club over the next 3-5 years. The Strategic Plan will be finalized at the April meeting and presented to members at a Special General Meeting in May.

There is agreement on two fundamental directions – the desire to provide an 18-hole golf course and the responsibility to generate operating income to maintain the course.

To achieve our Vision ‘a strong viable Maleny Golf Club with a quality 18-hole community golf course’ we need to ‘provide and promote a vibrant and viable Golf Club for the enjoyment of our members, the Maleny Community and Hinterland visitors’.

Our strategic priorities are:
•    Club viability
•    Participation
•    Course quality
•    Member services
•    Community engagement

What this means for each one of us as members of Maleny Golf Club is that to be a viable Golf Club and to achieve our vision, we each need to:

•    Play as much golf as we can – socially and in competition
•    Bring a guest or friend to play golf – once a month or more
•    Spend up to $50 per week in the Golf Shop
•    Invite a friend to become a member of Maleny Golf Club
•    Support our sponsors so they continue to support us
•    Continue our volunteering efforts

We all volunteer in different ways – contributing time, effort, expertise and money. This next phase of the Club’s development is built on the goodwill and collective contributions of all our members and friends.

The Management Committee is working with Golf Queensland (as part of their Club Support program) to recruit a Club Manager/Pro. We are also driving a number of marketing and promotional strategies to assist a turnaround in the Club’s fortunes. If we all ‘do our bit’ we will secure a positive future for Maleny Golf Club.
Greens news

Marc on the diggerAlas we bade farewell to our Assistant Superintendent Haydyn Ridley in March but are very happy to congratulate Marc  Kearney who has become the Maleny Golf Club’s first apprentice graduate under the guidance and tutelage of our award-winning Superintendent Mick McCombe.

Marc, a keen junior AFL player, surfer and Maleny local,  joined the golf club staff in August 2015 as an apprentice green-keeper under the AFL Sportsready program.

However, Marc did not commence full time until later in the year on completion of Year 10 at the Maleny High School.

Since then Marc has worked under Mick’s guidance, studied and graduated from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat as a fully qualified green keeper.

Men’s Pennant Team
Marcus Wellington - Pennant Team AwardCongratulations to members of our 2018 Men’s Pennant team who took out the MDSRC 2018 Sports Team of the Year Award. Captain Marcus Wellington was on hand to receive the Honour. The presentation dinner was attended by team reps Jack Day and Peter Gilbert.

Many thanks too to Jack Day for managing the social media for Competition results and Golf updates. Sponsor Jacques Fayolle, ANZ Mobile Banking was also on hand to enjoy the evening – Liz Mellish – Vice President

Design and Construction Report
New holes: The 3 new Tifdwarf greens are now ready to play, thanks to the continuing efforts of Superintendent Mick, his team and volunteers.  These greens are as good and challenging as the best of our first nine. The kikuyu fairways continue to improve, but with a few rough spots on the new 6th.

John Hay Rob Bailo and Tom Kennedy constructing revetted bunker on the new 6th

John Hay Rob Bailo & Tom Kennedy constructing revetted bunker on the new 6th hole.

The weather has prevented eliminating crows foot weed from approaches to each green.  These will disappear with continual mowing and may require ‘preferred lies’ in some patches. All boundary fencing has been removed and the surrounding bush provides a pleasant backdrop for golfing.

One of the 3 bunkers has been revetted and a second should be completed in April. This bunker and the final bunker will be GUR or serve as turf bunkers until revetted.

Before the new 3 holes can be brought into play during April, we need to complete the following during the 2nd week of April, weather permitting:
•    Returf of the new 5th tee;
•    Installation of a safety barrier near the walking path behind the new 6th green; and
•   Preparation of an access path for golfers passing from the 8th green to the new holes.

Maintenance Shed Hinterland Golfer April 18

Maintenance Shed nearing completion.

Maintenance facility:  Construction of the new maintenance facility has been completed and final landscaping is under way. Basic electrics and some final plumbing will be tackled in 2nd week of April.  We anticipate that the relocation of maintenance equipment will commence in the second half of April.

Clearing the temporary maintenance facility and preparing the area for a future fairway will be addressed during May and the following months.

Final six holes: Graham Papworth has commenced design work on the remaining 6 holes.  Preliminary designs for the new 1st, 2nd and 3rd holes have been completed and preliminary designs for the final 3 holes is underway and should be completed by June.  Max Whitten – President

Volunteers Information Morning Tea
There have been some recent changes at the Golf Club for those working behind the counter, including the sale of alcohol under license. An invitation is extended to all volunteers (as well as anyone else interested in volunteering) to attend a morning tea at the Golf Club on Monday 23 April from 10-11:30am.

Quite a few of our regular volunteers will be absent after Easter so the club will welcome any new members keen to join our shop roster and work for a couple of hours a week in the golf shop.

Apart from thanking all volunteers for their valued assistance, the program will include short sessions on Work Place Health and Safety, Alcohol Sales, the Vend System and handling Online Bookings.

Those attending are asked to please bring a small plate of eats to assist with the catering. We look forward to seeing as many volunteers as possible whether or not you are currently volunteering in the shop or on the course.

Please RSVP to Tom Bertwistle via email at before 5pm on Thursday 19 April.

Junior Golf – Beginners Lessons
Parents and grandparents of school children, the club will commence a four-week junior golf for beginners program starting after the Easter school holidays.

Even better news is that this tuition and any necessary equipment will be provided  free to Junior Members of the Golf Club! Non-members will pay a nominal fee of just $2 per session.

The sessions will be held after school every Wednesday afternoon during the Second Term for four weeks from 3.15pm to 4.30pm, commencing on 18 April (Additional dates 2nd May, 25 April & 9 May).

Parents and guardians are welcome to relax on clubhouse deck and watch proceedings. To register please call the Golf Shop on 54 999 960 or just turn up on any of the afternoons.

Captain’s Corner
With our three new holes to be commissioned shortly, the Match Committee has recently devoted a lot of time to addressing some of the issues arising from expansion of the course from 9 holes to 12. At the same time, with the benefit of a lot of historical competition data, the Committee has undertaken a detailed review of the Stroke Indices currently allocated to the existing holes to ensure they truly reflect the relative degree of difficulty of each hole. In several cases, they were way off the mark.

The first task was to determine exactly how the three extra holes would be integrated into an 18-hole competition format. That was done with the benefit of input from a number of players and it has been decided that the order of play will be as follows:  Current holes 1 to 5, current hole 8 (travel to tee from 5th green via the western side of the 7th green), the 3 new holes, current Hole 9, current holes 10 (1) to 13 (4) inclusive, current holes 15 (6) to 18 (9) inclusive.

  • The ensuing challenges were to:
    Work out the best way to put some variety into the 6 holes that will be played twice, which are current holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9;
  • Ensure that, in doing so, the ladies were not set “impossible” challenges, such as teeing off from the white markers on the current 9th hole;
  • Establish more realistic indices for the holes currently played, based on statistical data extracted from One Golf;
  • Determine the anticipated degree of difficulty of each of the 3 new holes relative to that of each of the existing 9 holes;
  • Factor in changes in degree of difficulty on various holes resulting from the use of different tees, such as the blue tees for the men on holes 3 and 4; and
  • Where considered necessary and achievable with little effort and cost, seek Management Committee approval to establish an additional tee block.

Those objectives have now been achieved, with some of the more significant changes relating to variety of play being:

  • On current holes 1, 2, 3 and 4, the ladies will play off the white tees the second time around, with stroke indices reflecting the change in difficulty of the holes;
  • The men will play off both the white and blue tees on current holes 1, 3 and 4, while they will use both the current red and white tees on holes 2 and 9;
  • On current Hole 8, a new tee will be established between the existing men’s and ladies’ tees for use by both the men and the ladies;
  • On current Hole 9, a new tee will be built for the ladies adjacent to the first stand of pine trees between the 8th and 9th fairways; and
  • The new tees will probably be temporary in nature until permanent tees can be built.

Such a major change to the layout of a course require a complete review by Golf Queensland (GQ) of its Slope and Scratch Ratings for handicapping purposes. To this end, GQ’s Course Rater, Abby Driver, inspected the whole course on Friday, 23 March, noted changes made to it since the current ratings were allocated (such as the bunkers on Hole3) and recorded details/measurements of the three new holes. It is expected that the re-rating process will be completed shortly, so that we can start to run competitions under the new format.

The final step will be to prepare new 18-hole scorecards, incorporating changes to Stroke Indices on several holes, and this will be done soon.  A 12-hole scorecard will also be introduced.

We hope you find the new format both interesting and challenging when it comes into play. For those of you who think it’s already challenging enough, I’m afraid Hickey’s Paddock is still going to be there.

Members of the Match Committee will be quite happy to answer any questions you may have about the changes.

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. Good golfing – Doug Johnstone


Hinterland Golfer – March 2018


The Management Committee’s February Meeting focused chiefly on reviewing the club’s updated Strategic Plan – a link to which is included for comment. The main objective is to consolidate and enjoy what we’ve got during the next 2-3 years while building up sufficient funds to finance further expansion.

The Strategic Plan identifies the key risks confronting the golf club and sets out a variety of strategic tactical responses to address them.

The key risks being that:

  • Operating expenses not exceed income
  • Departing volunteers are not replaced
  • Social/Visitor numbers decline
DSC_0120_Bunker guarding the 5th Green and the Pin arvo edit

The best 12 holes in Australia and growing! Maintaining the quality of the course is of paramount importance.

Strategies have been designed to retain and grow memberships by offering additional member services, a rewards program, an improved retail offer, enhanced playing and post-round experiences for social golfers – be they members or visitors.

A new Promotional Strategy also aims to boost the club’s analogue and digital marketing efforts using the theme: “The best 12 holes in Australia and growing!” This will dovetail with our revamped Partnership Strategy to expand and leverage “brand Maleny” via sponsorships, an enhanced reciprocal club offer, additional signature events and deeper community and schools engagement.

A revised Course Maintenance and Development Strategy aims to maintain long-term quality, complete the new maintenance facility within budget, build up our volunteer mowing team to accommodate redundancy and prepare an Asset Management Plan in conjunction with a Financial Plan to support equipment fleet maintenance and replacement.

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The three new holes will soon be brought into play.

Course Development will focus initially on integration of the 3 new holes into the course – played in 9, 12 or 18-hole configurations and then shift to completion of the design of the final 6 holes and the addition of new Championship Tees for Holes 1 and 7.

Plans for construction of the next 6 holes from 2021 will be subject to achievement of financial targets, with interim alternative uses of land east of the wetland such as a practice facility to be investigated. Development of rental buggy sheds for members alongside 8th hole is also to be considered.

Our Governance and Management Strategy will focus on improving communication and engagement with members regarding operations and projects, enhancing recognition and rewards for shop and course volunteers, and employment of a Golf Pro/Manager to market the course and serve members. The strategy will also seek to strengthen the club’s sub-committees to drive the successful operation of the Club with a view to achieving financial sustainability and a surplus for investment.

To review the Draft Strategic Plan please click HERE and direct any comments and feedback to me at by 12 March as the Management Committee intend to finalise the Plan when they next meet on 19 March.

Golf Professional/marketing manager recruitment update

We are pleased and fortunate to have and continue the coaching services of Don Portway to provide golf clinics for members as the circumstances of the Pro from from Dubai Simon Payne have changed.  Maleny Golf Club is now in discussion with the PGA to define a new role for Club Pro/Club Manager. In the meantime, as outlined in the Treasurer/Golf Shop Manager’s messages, we are pleased to have Sarah Harding keeping an eye on the Golf Shop, supporting volunteers and taking on more communication, administrative and marketing responsibilities.

As part of the Strategic Planning process the recruitment of a Golf Pro/Club Manager needs to add value and assist the club meet its growth and financial targets. Members will be kept up to date over the next 3-6 months regarding our recruitment progress.

Legends pro-Am Update

Captain Doug Johnstone with PGA State Assistant Manager Justin Maker

Captain Doug Johnstone and the PGA’s Justin Maker starting off the 2017 Legends Pro-Am field.

We are aiming for a bigger and better event this year with a $20k purse and possibly a dual event, over the weekend 15-16 December, including women professionals. Pop the Pro-Am date in your diary and stay tuned for updates as we seek to enhance the profile of Maleny Golf Club to the golfing community, our local community and visitors to the Hinterland

Marquee-deck extension

The Clubhouse project team is seeking approval and funding to purchase a permanent marquee to expand our safe, social and shade space for upcoming events. These events include the cross country events from May and the Knitfest/Astronomy event from June, our own Club Championships and ultimately our Legends Pro-Am event in December. In addition to the permanent marquee, we are planning an extension to the temporary clubhouse deck. These initiatives aim to improve member services and creating social spaces for members and visitors to enjoy apres-golf relaxing.

Sponsors Day

Maleny Golf Club has up to 40 local businesses who support, sponsor and partner with us on various initiates and we “aim to drive business our sponsors’ way”. Members are invited to join with sponsors to play in a fun 9-hole Ambrose Teams event on Sunday 20 May. Register your interest and we’ll match you up with sponsor teams. The defending Champs are the Trilogy Tax Team.

Liquor Licence

The first initiative to enhance the experience for Members and Visitors alike is the successful application for a liquor license which will enable us to sell alcohol from 1 March. This will go a long way to restoring the post-round fellowship which we used to enjoy.

IGA Community Benefits Scheme

Maleny IGA is a sponsor and strong supporter of the Maleny Golf Club which is a participant in the store’s generous Community Benefits Scheme. Under the scheme 1c in every dollar spent is donated to a customer’s nominated community organisation. The committee urges all members to sign up to the scheme and nominate Maleny Golf Club as your preferred community organisation. Entry forms are available at the clubhouse or alternatively go to Maleny IGA’s website and download the form.



Pennant Team members from left Jack Day and Mal Ewing with Captain Doug Johnstone and team sponsor Jaques Fayole from ANZ Mobile Lending.

Pennants: Maleny Golf Club fielded its first-ever Pennant Team earlier in the year, with 11 players travelling to Caboolture to represent the club in Group B of the Glasshouse Mountains Zone competition on 4th February.

The team acquitted itself very well against a very strong Caboolture team, winning 4 of its 11 matches, and it has continued to perform at a very high level in three outings since, with two of the last three matches being played on our home course.

These matches give us the opportunity to showcase our course and establish important relationships with some of the better players at other clubs within our Zone. All visiting players have been very impressed with our course, including those from Caboolture – none of whom had previously played the course. In fact, some were unaware that Maleny had a golf course before we entered the Pennant competition.

Congratulations to the team led by Marcus Wellington and all the best for the remainder of the Pennant Season.

Glasshouse Mountains Zone Seniors: On Monday, 26 February, we hosted one of a series of events to be conducted at different courses throughout our Zone during 2018.

Fortunately, the weather stayed fine and we had a field of 54 players from several clubs throughout the Zone who competed in a Single Stableford event. With the benefit of a little local knowledge, several Maleny players finished well up the leader board in Men’s A and B grade competitions, while Toni Bishop won the Ladies’ competition on a countback from Penny Edwards.

A big “Thank You” to Robin Hay who oversaw the nomination process, set the fields, allocated carts to those who needed them and entered many of the scorecards on the day. There is a great deal of work involved in running one of these events and the assistance of all concerned, including Paul Lowe, Beth Glover and our catering team, is greatly appreciated.

Thanks also to Mick and his team for preparing the course to the fullest extent possible under difficult weather conditions.

Monthly Medal: February’s Monthly Medal competition, which was cancelled because of the weather, will now be held on Saturday, 11 March. This will give the greens some time to recover from renovations currently in progress.

New Holes: With the three new holes expected to be ready for play in the near future, the Match Committee is currently looking at how to incorporate them in an 18-hole course format suitable for both staggered and shotgun starts.

This process will include a review of the stroke indices on all holes currently in play, which statistics indicate are well off the mark in some instances.

That’s all from me for now. Good golfing!



Maintenance Shed framing stage 20 Feb 2018_Max

President Max Whitten watching the frame of the new maintenance facility go up.

We have just completed the bi-annual renovation of our greens which were scarified, cored and top dressed to help maintain the putting surfaces to the high standard we have all become accustomed.

The greens should be back to their playing best in about 4 weeks – aided by the recent deluge. However, we have struggled to keep up with the mowing as a result of the rain. Consequently members may encounter the odd patch of long grass until we can get on top of it!

I am “super-excited” to see the new maintenance facility really starting to take shape now behind the 3rd green and look forward to completion in around 6 weeks – coinciding with the time we expect to get the three new holes into play.

The new fairways and greens are really coming on well, although we have yet to complete some irrigation work and the revetted bunkering and to get on top of the weeding and crow’s foot.

Collaborative planning to deliver safe walking trail

Maleny Golf Club has been collaborating with Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) officers to ensure the safety of walkers using the Maleny Precinct walking trail when the three new holes south of the trail are brought into play.

Maleny Golf Club President Dr Max Whitten said consideration of the safety of walkers had been paramount in the design of the Maleny trail network and golf course.

“The Golf Club is totally committed to providing a safe environment for walkers, as well as sweeping vistas across the picturesque golf course and rehabilitated wetlands,” Dr Whitten said.

Dr Whitten noted that there were many examples in Australia and around the world where golfers and walkers shared public space including the home of golf, St Andrews in Scotland.

“The safety concerns here are also not dissimilar to some arising at the Maleny Showgrounds where walkers and campers share space with cricket, soccer, equestrian pursuits and dogs-off-leash.  Common sense and goodwill make it work.”

Dr Whitten said the SCC had recently relocated a seat and section of the trail to move it further away from the 6th green as part of agreed actions by the Maleny Golf Club and the Council.

“Maleny Golf Club is now working through the detailed boundaries of a screening garden to prevent balls from reaching the trail – preparation and planting of which will occur shortly,” Dr Whitten said.

“As the plants will not provide an immediate barrier, the Maleny Golf Club is also investigating the installation of a physical barrier to provide the required safety.”

The Maleny Golf Club has indicated on numerous occasions to council a willingness to arrange site visits and work with community representatives who may have concerns with aspects of the golf course design and operations.

MGC Pennant Team looking forward to home course defence

Members of our Pennant Team acquitted themselves very well against strong competition at Caboolture Golf Club on Sunday and are looking forward to exploiting some home-course advantages during the next competition round at Maleny Golf Club on Sunday February 11. The weather was fine, but very windy and several of our players had never played the Caboolture course.

Competition rules require the 5 top-ranked team members to play “off the stick” against their opposite numbers and the remaining 6 team members to play off their daily handicaps, subject a maximum of 12.4.

Our top-ranked player was Blake Wellington with a handicap of 4.2 was up against a player on +1. All the other Caboolture “scratch” players were on handicaps lower than Blake’s, while our lowest-ranked “scratch marker” was Jimmy Byun with a GA handicap of 9.2.

At the other end of the scale, Mike Hallam with a GA handicap of 15.8, had to concede some 4 shots to his opposite number because of the handicap limit.

Despite all that, the team managed 4 wins from 11 matches, which was a really great effort. Peter Gilbert, Rhys Cooper and Jack Day all had good wins and Mike Hallam, whose match was the only one to go the full distance, got up on the 18th hole. The other matches were close contests, with many (including Blake’s) finishing at around the 15th or 16th hole.

This Sunday, we face Pacific Harbour at Maleny, so we will at least have the advantage of our home course so please come out and provide some support and encouragement.

Caboolture will also be playing South Burnett here and the Caboolture players, none of whom have played our course, are all looking forward to being here.

Captain – Doug Johnstone

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