City of Canning working with Whaleback Golf Course to address declining revenue


Whaleback Golf Course controller Peter Hopkins has proposed a mini-golf course for the site. Picture: Marie Nirme        www.communitypix.com.au   d467026
Whaleback Golf Course controller Peter Hopkins has proposed a mini-golf course for the site. Picture: Marie Nirme        www.communitypix.com.au d467026

THE City of Canning is working on initiatives to address declining revenues at Whaleback Golf Course, which could include the launch of mini-golf at the Parkwood facility.

Whaleback Golf Course controller Peter Hopkins developed the idea of a mini-golf course at Whaleback about 12 months ago and put forward a proposal to the City in January this year.

He said the public golf course had been operating for 36 years and recently there had been a drop in the number of players attending the course.

“There has been a trend down in playing numbers in the whole metro area,” he said.

“Most of it is about the economy; traditionally you go through highs and lows as in any sport and business.”

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With the downturn in revenues at the club, Mr Hopkins said what was needed were new income streams.

He said Golf Australia’s Swing Fit program introduced at the course, designed for women to learn and develop golf skills, was one way to introduce new people to the sport.

He said people were often put off by the traditional game of golf because of the time involved in playing the game, with a nine-hole game taking about two hours to complete and an 18-hole game lasting for as long as four to five hours.

“What most people seem to be looking for is a one-and-half hour game for under $20,” he said.

Mr Hopkins believes mini-golf would attract a new demographic to the public course.

He envisaged the proposed mini-golf course being used for family outings, children’s birthday parties and for people in the 18 to 30-year-old age bracket wanting to socialise.

He said the mini-golf course at Wembley Golf Course was a success and he was optimistic about the proposal proceeding at Whaleback Golf Course.

He estimated the cost to build the mini-golf facility to be between $700,000 and $1.4 million and was hopeful the City would jointly fund the proposal.

“With mini-golf and with the other facilities we have here, we can make it a great venue for all ages in the community to use,” Mr Hopkins said.

“It is all about trying to provide customer service.

Councillors were told at last month’s council briefing that unseasonal weather had influenced declining attendances at the |golf course and income derived from the course had been revised by $109,000 less than previous |forecasts for the 2016-17 annual budget.

Mayor Paul Ng said the City would hold a master planning exercise for the golf course to identify opportunities to ensure the long-term viability of the course and increase use of the site.

“The master plan for the golf course will be done in conjunction with the current operator of the site and could include things such as mini-golf, improved cafe facilities, functions rooms and other leisure activities,” he said.

“The City is revitalising Whaleback, creating a space with energy and more recreational opportunities for the community.

“This is part of the City’s focus on creating new relationships with business, tying in with the growth and energy of the new Canning.”