Century-old Queensland golf club collapses into administration

A 116-year-old Queensland golf course which, at its financial height, turned over $20 million a year has collapsed, with the business now up for sale.

The Ipswich Golf Club was founded in 1897 by a group of local residents and was the first golf club in the area.

On April 19, 2013 the club went into administration, with Peter Lucas from PA Lucas and Co appointed as the administrator.

The firm is now calling for expressions of interest for the club, with an advertisement placed in today’s Australian Financial Review.

Assets of the business include club freehold ownership of golf course land and buildings, 58 electronic gaming machines, large clubhouse facilities including bistro, catering and function rooms, 400 golf members and full onsite green keeping staff and equipment.

SmartCompany contacted PA Lucas and Co but received no response prior to publication.

The long-established golf club has gone through a number of changes in its history and in 2007 was considered a “community centre, open every day and evening”.

In the 1980s the club made the majority of its turnover through its drink sales at the bar but throughout the mid-1980s and early 1990s it struggled to make a profit.

In 1992 the club made an operating loss of $19,295 due to “costs associated with the drought” and “a significant capital debt”, according to the club’s website. Later that year the club introduced gaming machines and 1993, the club made an operating profit for the first time in seven years.

By 2007 the golf club generated a turnover of $20 million.

In a description of the club’s history on its website, Ipswich Golf Club says most of the $20 million in turnover was returned to the customers through the poker machines, but it was also making a cash turnover of $5 million per year.

Australian Golf Industry Association figures released in May indicate the amount of golf being played by Australians this financial year is rising, up by 5.8% in the first ten months of the financial year.

Despite these figures, the latest IBISWorld report into sports and recreation facilities operation in Australia found golf’s popularity has declined substantially since 2002.

The report found interest in the sport was at its lowest in a decade and the lack of interest was attributed to no significant international tournaments being played in Australia.

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