Sporting groups take six-figure wet weather hit

Border and North East sporting groups have taken a six-figure hit during the big wet.

The Wodonga Golf Club revealed it has lost at least $100,000 since the start of May, while club professional Mandy Buchanan has personally lost half that amount.

“Normally at this time of the year we are flying, with the footy finished,” she said.

“We would normally take $2000 a week in green fees for social players, but last week we only took $800.

“We also take more than a $1000 a week for cart hire, but really over the past five months there’s been no carts allowed on course due to the wet weather.”

As the club professional, Buchanan takes a percentage of the cart hire, along with competition and greens fees.

Her husband, Craig, is now driving trucks to make ends meet.

The Thurgoona Country Club Resort is another border golf course feeling the impact.

“We are probably a little better off in terms of getting carts on the course than some other clubs, but we have still had close to 40 days this year where we have not been able to get carts on the course,” director of golf Kirk Nederpett said.

“We’d be 50 per cent down on competition fees.”

Thurgoona’s veterans competitions are generally well patronised, but in July only 100 players contested the various events.

More than 400 played in the corresponding period last year.

It is a similar story at the region’s racing clubs.

The Wangaratta Turf Club has almost been cursed.

It has lost three meetings to wet weather, had the Wangaratta Cup called off just prior to the main race due to a power outage and then a horse virus closed the course.

“The 2015/2016 financial year has put us back a long way on where we have been,” Wangaratta Turf Club CEO Paul Hoysted said.

“As a result, the club has low cash flows.”

Wangaratta lost up to $10,000 for each of its three washed out TAB meetings, while it took a $35,000 hit when the Cup was sensationally called off in March.

Next month’s Melbourne Cup Day will now be run off a generator.

The Albury Racing Club has also lost three meetings this year, at a potential cost of $30,000.

The scheduled renovation work on the track has potentially lessened the impact at the club.

The $1.6 million upgrade started at the end of August, so the club has not been forced to cancel any meetings during the wet weather of recent weeks.

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MAKING A SPLASH: Reuben Hackett had a ball while his father, Rob, played a shot at Wodonga Golf Club. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

MAKING A SPLASH: Reuben Hackett had a ball while his father, Rob, played a shot at Wodonga Golf Club. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

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