The Fresh Start Recovery Program has revealed its latest social enterprise, the Six Seasons Golf Club Inc.
Being developed at the Hill, their drug residential rehabilitation centre in Muluckine, the golf club is set to revive a course that was once on the property.
Jeff Claughton chief executive officer of Fresh Start said it has been his vision to reactivate the golf course since the not-for-profit bought the property in December 2015.
“We formed a steering committee made up of us and a few of the indigenous guys in Northam because they mentioned that they wanted to start an indigenous golf club called the Six Seasons Golf Club,” Mr Claughton said.
“During that first meeting their idea really resonated with me because I want to recognise the six seasons on the Noongar calendar in other ways like a bush tucker garden on site here.”
The 9-hole golf course will be open to the public with the goal of having at least one recognised golfing event held at the site each year.
The golf club will be the fourth social enterprise started up by Fresh Start in Northam alongside their catering company, cafe at the Wheatbelt Health Network and contracting business.
Men involved in the Fresh Start Recovery Program will be trained in course management and the maintenance of the facilities.
Mr Claughton said Fresh Start want to provide a connection with the community through the game of golf.
“When we started up out here one of the questions that the local community asked us was ‘what will Fresh Start bring to the local community?’, he said.
“That has rung in my ears ever since.
“I think if we can get a golf course going in the Spencers Brook and Northam community, it will be a very visible way we are giving something to the community.
“I have no doubt we will have people making a bee line for the golf course once it is up and running.”
Golf WA has got on board with the project giving the Six Seasons Golf Club their full support.
Matt Woods the regional club support officer at Golf WA said the group if moving towards a strong emphasis on cultural diversity and culturally diverse backgrounds in golf, and that working with Fresh Start would help them achieve that goal.
“It ticks all the boxes for us as to where we are heading for our strategic plan,” Mr Woods said.
“The game development and opening up of pathways for all cultural backgrounds is what we are after with this program.
“Working with Fresh Start is great for Golf WA and it benefits everyone in the community and particularly those in the indigenous community.”
Mr Woods who has worked with Fresh Start on the plans of the course said the layout is particulary good for the new golfer.
“Gone are the days where you’re going to attract established golfers,” he said.
“Numbers are declining in the sport so we have to attract new to c-grade golfers to this course which it will as it is challenging and appealing.”
Volunteers, committee members and men in the Fresh Start program came together last Saturday for their first busy-bee at the premises.
Workers spent the day re-establishing the tee-boxes on the course with plans for the next bee to see the establishing off the sand green.
Mr Claughton said he did not want to lock an open date in but anticipated that it would be up and running before the end of the year.
He said another three or four busy-bees would be needed before that time.
“I want to encourage the community and local businesses to give their time and resources in the upcoming busy bees,” Mr Claughton said.
“We’re going to need a bit of funding and resources to make this happen but we’ve already had sleepers generously donated from ARC Infrastructure
“Fresh Start has already had to buy a significant amount of fill and soil for the current works.
Mr Claughton said sponsorship will be a big factor in allowing the course to run but also to get the community involved.
“What we envisage is that we’ll be looking for sponsors for each hole in the tradition way where they’ll put up a billboard at each hole, but also there are other opportunities for sponsorship with prizes,” he said.
“We will also need help with machinery and mowing to get it open and viable.”
Fresh Start is planning on holding a fundraising even once the course is open and operating called the Million Dollar Hole in One.
Mr Claughton said the goal is to make it a premier event that would be the only of it’s kind in Australia.
If you would like to get involved with the construction of the golf course or would like more information on sponsorship please contact David Gunter at email@example.com.