7 December 2023

It's fairway success as Jindera grows its numbers on the greens

| Vanessa Hayden
Join the conversation
Group of golfers

The Jindera Golf Club looks forward to its 40th anniversary next year and with 150 members on the books it promises to be a great celebration. Photo: Ros McMillan.

It’s a little club punching well above its weight and as it creeps up to its 40th anniversary in 2024 the Jindera Golf Club is enjoying a resurgence in popularity and attendance.

The newfound success comes down to a range of things, says men’s captain Craig “Mickus” McMillan, but in no short measure it’s a case of the power of the people, aka members.

“We have lots of input,” said Mickus. “There’s not just two or three or four people putting in, you want lots of people doing their bit and that’s what we have at the moment, lots of people giving their time and doing their thing.

“We are doing a number of things to attract interest; we have improved the condition of the course and we’re trying to improve the product for the visiting golfers and regular members to make it more appealing.

“The events that we are regularly running are drawing people in which keeps the momentum going.

“When people from other clubs hear that we’ve had 50 to 60 people at a tournament then the next year it is on their radar and they are happy to come.”

There’s no fear that the club will fold and history will repeat itself. It was 1940 when the original club formed, with its course around the town football oval, several kilometres from its current site. A dozen or so players would gather regularly back then but enthusiasm drizzled out in the early 50s and it would be 30 years before the thwack of a ball down a fairway would be heard again.

Golf course

Around 30 players line up for Sunday’s 18-hole competition at the Jindera Golf Club and there’s a healthy turnout for Friday afternoon’s nine-hole “chook run” too. Photo: Ros McMillan.

“In 1984 a few golfers formed a committee to reform the club and through the shire it leased the area where it is today. Over 14 months the foundation members designed the new nine-hole sand green course and started playing competition golf in 1986,” said Mickus.

“Some of those members are still very active at the club.”

The original “clubhouse” was a large tent (donated by Doug Dyde) erected on the hill site along Drumwood Rd. In 1988 work commenced to build a shed, which was all done by voluntary labour – a theme that remains today.

In 2022, club secretary Trevor Freeman was successful in securing a grant of $154,000 for the upgrade of the irrigation system around the tees and greens.

“The grant Trev won for us was another turning point and the members made that money go a lot further by using our own labour,” said Mickus.

“There were probably 15 or 20 members who all spent some time on the job which made that money go twice as far.

“We also had a member provide a tractor to the club for half the amount it would have cost us to buy it.

“He wants to stay anonymous,” said Mickus, “but everyone knows who it is, he’s a great stalwart and generous man. He does heaps of work around the club.”

READ ALSO $1.6m in regional grants provides a shot in the arm for small communities

Sunday’s competition day draws up to 30 players and Friday afternoon’s ‘chook run’ – a social nine-hole event – is “the perfect way to end the working week”. Wednesday afternoons the golf carts gather again for the veteran’s competition which attracts 20 players. Today, there’s around 150 members on the books.

There are regular bus outings where members load up clubs (and maybe an Eski or two) and trundle off to spend the day in pursuit of birdies, eagles and the odd albatross at another club around the region. The last event was at Mitta Mitta, prior to that it was at Henty.

The club boasts an A-list golfer, has at least three or four single figure handicappers and two handicap pennant teams which have enjoyed championship status in the district in recent years. The enthusiasm is infectious; more ladies are now picking up their sticks and on two days a week there’s more than just a hit and giggle echoing around the grounds.

“People just love the atmosphere out here,” said Mickus.

“We have really loyal sponsorship with some people having supported us for a long time. Jindera is growing and that means new businesses coming to town which also helps the club.

“We’ve also made the most of some of our connections with the local football and tennis club and we’ve encouraged quite a few new people to come up and have a round and many of them have since joined the club and are really enjoying playing.

“There is good healthy competition and we are getting up to 30 players on the day. Five years ago, if we got 10, we thought we were going alright.”

Four golfers stand in front of golf carts

Men’s captain Craig “Mickus” McMillan (right), ladies president Lucy Kimpton and players Stefan and Clint Brunemeyer at the Jindera Golf Club. Photo: Ros McMillan.

Mickus says the club is blessed with a dedicated crew of very helpful people and there are many well known local names highlighted on the honour boards that line the clubroom walls.

READ ALSO Pocock support sees irrigation water buyback bill set to become law despite Riverina protests

He declares he can’t start naming names because “there’s too many people to mention and I don’t want to get into trouble by missing someone”.

“We have great members that are heavily involved in the day-to-day running; we’ve got a mowing crew, others that do ground maintenance, admin people, others that will organise food on a comp day and the bar is well looked after – our licensee is very well organised, it’s a very important job that one,” he said.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Brendan Leane1:47 pm 08 Dec 23

It’s a great club and have enjoyed the club very much, was up working in the area for 8 months and was so impressed with the players welcoming and the fun I had playing,
Best devotion I have seen from volunteers .

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.