Blind eyes and deaf ears

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A Wakatipu golfing big gun believes Queenstown Lakes District Council should listen to the experts instead of closing down the Frankton community course.

Queenstown Golf Club boss Michael Shattock is dismayed that letters of support for the popular nine-holer – forwarded to QLDC from top bodies like New Zealand Golf and the Royal and Ancient in St Andrews, Scotland – appear to have been bunkered.

The council plans to shut the Wakatipu’s oldest course when the lease expires in 2012, with the land earmarked for Events Centre expansion.

“We have the support of all the local golf clubs as well as the R&A and NZ Golf, who want the Frankton course to stay open.” Shattock says.

“The council should take note of what the experts in the field say – which is that facilities such as Frankton are what’s required to grow golf.

“It’s the feeder course for all the other courses locally and it’s not too intimidating – people don’t have to worry about what they are wearing or who might be watching them play.

“At Frankton, you can also enjoy a casual game at half the price of the next cheapest facility in the area.”
Shutting down or shifting the course wouldn’t add up financially, Shattock claims.

“It’s a well-used facility and why would we want to close it to build more sports fields?” he says.

“Constructing another golf course at not such a good location doesn’t stack up either.

“You can’t build another pay-and-play course somewhere else and expect to charge $15 per round like we do at the moment – financially, it wouldn’t make sense,” Shattock says.

“My biggest fear is that in the current economic climate, another course simply wouldn’t get built at all.”