A recent KPMG survey showed that 64% of the NSW Golf Clubs in NSW are at risk of financial distress or already in financial distress. One percent of NSW Golf Clubs close every year. And 110 clubs in NSW have closed or amalgamated.
Castle Hill RSL Group is committed to supporting Lynwood Country Club to secure its long term future.
In the past decade Castle Hill RSL Club Group has established itself as progressive hospitality group encompassing Castle Hill RSL, Parramatta RSL and C2K Fitness and Aquatic Centre.
Over the last 12 months Lynwood Country Club has been challenged by the ongoing financial viability of the club with increasing cost pressures, cashflow challenges and difficult trading conditions.
With the experience of Parramatta RSL’s successful amalgamation in 2008, Castle Hill RSL Group responded to an Expression of Interest circulated by Lynwood Country Club to the industry approximately 12 months ago requesting an amalgamation partner. Castle Hill was receptive to the request due to our community ties with the northwest sector and in particularly the Hawkesbury region. Formal partnership discussions have commenced to pursue opportunities for amalgamation with Lynwood Country Club to secure the future of the magnificent community facility.
Tony Sgro President of Lynwood Country Club said “The Board of Lynwood Country Club is delighted to confirm partnership discussions with Castle Hill RSL regarding a proposed amalgamation. The Boards of both clubs are working on a Memorandum of Understanding proceeding Deed of Agreement.
Lynwood Country Club takes its name from Lynwood House, a colonial style cottage built in the first quarter of the 1800's. The links style course is spread over 54 hectares, set amongst the Hawkesbury River, Pitt Town Lagoon and surrounding farmlands. This 18 hole course offers pristine facilities that no golf course should be without including a two tiered grassed 300 metre long driving range, short game practice facility, bunkers, water obstacles and wide fairways.
The Lynwood vision is to develop our facility to be one of the premier golfing and leisure facilities in Sydney. This amalgamation with such a significant partner as Castle Hill RSL will maximise the possibility of this vision coming to fruition.
We at Lynwood are looking forward to this amalgamation opportunity with much anticipation and excitement”.
Clubs NSW CEO Anthony Ball said that “Castle Hill RSL Group plays a vital role in the Hills and Parramatta communities and commends both the RSL and the Lynwood Country Club for initiating this discussion. Over the years we’ve seen clubs shut their doors because they have waited too long for amalgamation. That’s why it is so important that these clubs are working together to make sure that the Lynwood Country Club continues to do great work in the community”.
The Chief Executive Officer of Golf NSW Stuart Fraser said “Golf NSW is very excited about the recently announced partnership between Lynwood Country Club and Castle Hill RSL.
Since its opening (after relocating from Kellyville), Lynwood Country Club has fast established itself as a premier golfing facility in Sydney’s West, and in the current economic climate this new partnership will be critical to the long term future, and success of the Club.
I am sure Castle Hill RSL members will also welcome the addition of such a fine sporting facility to their already impressive array of member benefits and services.
I wish Lynwood Country Club and Castle Hill RSL every success with their joint venture”.
Castle Hill RSL’s Group General Manager David O’Neil said “The Castle Hill RSL Club Group consists of the parent entity the Castle Hill RSL Club, C2K Fitness and Aquatic Centre and the Parramatta RSL Club. The Group’s mission is to provide facilities, products, services and relationships which add value to our members and communities – we strive to operate a vibrant, exciting, entertainment, hospitality, sporting precincts that are central hub of our communities, relevant to all age and demographics operating in a profitable, efficient and effective manner.
The Group is passionate and committed to supporting our local communities and recognise that our entities in Castle Hill, Parramatta and hopefully Pitt Town need to have their own identity. All venues are vastly different and require an individual approach to servicing the needs of the members and their relevant communities.
The Group is extremely active within our local communities and nurtures and supports local projects providing in excess of one million dollars per year in direct and indirect donations and community support programs. Many of these initiatives are directed at youth through Sporting, Education and Leadership programs. It is our intention to invest in Lynwood Country Club and we have a desire to establish a Junior Golf Academy, nurturing young golfers not only at the game of golf but also in Youth Leadership Programs.
Although the parent club is an RSL Club and we support the veteran community, we are committed to promoting and developing sporting activities and have a major focus within these areas with a massive interest and commitment to sport. Many of our coaches, athletes and sporting teams are operating at the highest national and international level. Lynwood Country Club would be a perfect addition to our diverse sporting activities and our commitment to sport and our youth development programs would be a perfect synergy.
The Group has a membership of approximately 47,000 members which has increased by in excess of 27,000 during the past decade. This growth has been achieved as a result of a strategic shift in Board and Management policies and the decision to reinvest back into our venues and significantly expand our community engagement initiatives. During this time we have re-invested approximately $67m in building costs and $34m in plant and equipment. As a result the Group has an extremely solid asset base of $95.5m and is in a very strong financial situation for a hospitality venue and not-for-profit entity.
Castle Hill RSL Group has established itself during the past decade and is now a state of the art modern hospitality and sporting venue and its facilities and amenities are second to none and brand new. However, the true financial benefits of our recent capital expenditure programs will be realised in the years to come with only limited capital expenditure required at the Castle Hill RSL site, thus enabling the Group to concentrate heavily on its Parramatta and hopefully Lynwood sites.
The Board and management of the Castle Hill RSL Group are excited about the opportunity to further develop a premier nationally recognised Links Golf Course in the Hawkesbury region developing a future strategy for Lynwood Country Club transforming it into the social community hub for the Hawkesbury and Northwest sector through the provision of a Links golf course, accommodation, functions, café, restaurant and sporting infrastructure.
The Board of Directors and management of Castle Hill RSL Group are devoted to the process of establishing a successful amalgamation supported by Clubs NSW building a solid business platform for the future growth and development of the Lynwood Country Club site and the promotion and expansion of golf. Lynwood has an opportunity to capture the community and provide a unique experience to its local and broader community. We believe in partnership we can create a successful future for Lynwood Country Club and its growing communities.