AN $800,000 grant to improve the fairways at Chequers Golf Club in Bullsbrook could put the golf course on par with Perth’s premier golf spots within years.
Chequers has struggled to retain memberships in recent years because the fairways have been so dry.
As a result, the club has struggled in the past two decades and membership has halved.
But club president Brian Millburn is now optimistic about the future.
Not only will the $800,000 City of Swan grant enable the club to invest in a reticulation system, but the population around the course is projected to quadruple over the next 20 years.
Bullsbrook is set to grow from 5000 to about 20,000 by 2036, while neighbouring Ellenbrook, Brabham, Dayton and Caversham will bring about 70,000 new residents to the area in that time.
Mr Millburn said this population growth, combined with better fairways, would “slowly but surely” bring the club back to its former glory.
Running the golf course has been a labour of love for Mr Millburn for the past nine years.
He regularly works 12-hour days and has toiled to get the greens and tees to a top standard – which he has now achieved.
“Chequers has always been renowned for excellent greens and the past few years they have been spot on,” he said.
“Soon we will have pristine fairways to match.
“We’ve put up with very ordinary fairways for a lot of years and this is the key to securing our future.”
Swan North ward councillor Kevin Bailey said it was the City’s responsibility to upgrade the course infrastructure.
“The club provided a quote for the works, but City staff recommended appointing a consultant to undertake planning and specify the required work,” he said.
“The City is arranging to trial products to improve the soil condition at the golf course.”
Work on the course is expected to start towards next winter and the campaign to lift membership and participation will then be started.
Loss of golf memberships in recent years has not been exclusive to Chequers, with Golf Australia reporting a cumulative loss of 7.2 per cent of club members since 2010.
The decline is slowing though, and across the nation actual rounds of golf played increased by 7.2 per cent.
Golf remains the sixth most participated-in sport in Australia.