Teeing up for another 90 years

New Queanbeyan Golf Club CEO Glen Lloyd lines up a putt at the local Queanbeyan course.

New Queanbeyan Golf Club CEO Glen Lloyd lines up a putt at the local Queanbeyan course.

THE Queanbeyan Golf Club has been part of the town for 90 years now, and with river frontage, tall trees and rolling green grass, it's one of the nicer parts. It's also traditionally been a leisure hub of the town, a place where men and women go to relax and play nine or 18 holes, or enjoy a drink and a meal, perhaps even attend a function.

But just as life has changed (read: sped up) since the club opened in the 1920s, so has golf changed, and clubs across Australia are seeking new ways to re-invent this old sport for today's golfers.

The man currently tasked with leading the Queanbeyan Golf Club into a new era is CEO Glen Lloyd, a keen golfer himself and a former general manager at Gold Creek.

Mr Lloyd, 44, started his role in May and said it was a "challenging" time for golf administrators, but one he was looking forward to.

"The opportunity came up this time around and I was looking to get back into the golfing industry and I jumped on board," he said.

"I thought it was a good challenge, and it's a good place. There are a lot of good people here and that's certainly one of the things that swayed me towards this job, the members and the staff."

He's already commenced some renovations of the club buildings and revamped the club's marketing, but said ultimately the challenge was to reshape golf to integrate into people's lifestyles again.

"The hardest things for golf is the time it takes to play golf. It's certainly increased over probably the last ten years," Mr Lloyd said.

"From the time you turned up to the time you got home, you could do it in four and half hours. That's out to near six hours at the moment which has meant a lot of clubs have lost members from the late twenties to mid-forties who have families and so on.

"A lot of those golfers have gone because they just can't devote that amount of time; it takes up most of the day," he said.

Shorter seven and nine-hole competitions are one strategy that has recently been successful for the Club. Restoring the course fairways to their former glory has also had a positive impact, following initial problems of a switch from cool-climate grass to cooch some five years ago.

"It was a bit of a trial undertaken by few courses in the region. We were one of the guinea pigs and it wasn't very successful in the early days, to our detriment- we lost a few members over it. But we've certainly learnt a lot more about the surface," Mr Lloyd said.

However recent heavy rains as well as clearing some trees to allow more sunlight to fall on the fairways has seen the course bounce back considerably.

And with members celebrating 90 years of the club with a hit of golf at 11am today, Mr Lloyd said the Queanbeyan Golf Club would continue to look at new ways to improve the facilities for locals.

"All clubs are looking at new ideas to bring golf into this century. It needs to make some changes to keep people interested and to encourage new people to play," he said.

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