Greenkeepers laid off at Chisholm Park

Looking south at Chisholm Links, Dunedin. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Chisholm Links. Photo: Gregor Richardson.
Chisholm Park Golf Club has laid off its greenkeepers as it looks to cut costs.

It has been hard hit with a drop in income from gaming trusts and green fees, and made the decision to cut its two fulltime greenkeepers.

A part-time contractor had been employed to fill in for the greenkeepers over the past few months and would finish next month.

Club president Matt Heaton said the focus on the past year had been on improving the golf course and resources had been put into that, which pushed up expenses.

The club usually got an increase in green fees in the summer as golfers from other clubs went to Chisholm Park when it was wet. But this did not happen as Dunedin had a relatively calm summer.

Membership was steady at about 350.

With the onset of Covid-19, the club lost seven weeks of income over the bar and had zero income from green fees.

Golfers were allowed back to play relatively early in the lockdown but Heaton said it was no money spinner as they could not play in groups and it was mainly members who played by themselves.

The club was lucky as it had a keen group of volunteers who would now be working as greenkeepers. The club was also working with former member and club champion John Griffin over improvements at the course.

Griffin, who was the club champion in the early 1970s, is now the golf manager at Jack’s Point in Queenstown.

Heaton said the next six months would be tough but he hoped the course and club would be in fine shape going into summer.

 

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