Colac Golf Club is described as a “hidden” gem, but for how long?
Situated half-way between Geelong and Warrnambool on the Great Ocean Road, this 18-holes of heaven at the bottom of the Otways has been named Best Facility in the national Sportscover Clubbies Awards.
The club got big ticks for its self-sufficiency drive, expanding the course’s water catchment capacity, sowing drought-proof grass and installing solar pumps. A big write up in the Colac Herald emphasised the morale boost of clinching one of the top gongs in Clubbies 2020.
But it’s the can-do spirit of the volunteers that really ensures this tranquil outpost will be around to enjoy for generations to come. Treasurer Bruce Roberts admits it’s a hard but rewarding slog for the committed membership.
“We’re trying to make ourselves good community citizens, as in doing the right thing by the environment, supplying a facility that enables people to wander around and enjoy the ambience of it all, and yet not cost a lot of money,” Bruce said.
“People tell us it’s a special place. We had one guy drive all the way from Adelaide just to play golf. It’s a really nice course and people often say it’s a bit of a hidden gem.”
There’s no doubt that the stunning views of volcanic lakes, sweeping farmlands and nearby township are a significant drawcard – plus the chance to kickback at the end of a round on the new volunteer-made decking. But Bruce says it’s the community atmosphere that really sets Colac Golf Club apart from more high profile golf courses.
“It’s not an overly wealthy community – it’s a pretty quiet little area,” he said. “We have a lot of dairy farmers around the outside. Yet so many people get in and get involved. There’s a sub-committee or dads army that does the maintenance.
“We have only one groundskeeper and of course an 18-hole golf course takes a lot more work than one person can do. We sort of laugh and call it a men’s shed a couple of days a week. For a lot of the old boys it’s their social outing for the week –mowing fairways and collecting rubbish and generally keeping the place in order.”
Find out more about Clubbies 2020 Facility of the Year award winner.