Romsey Golf Course is within Romsey Park; the park was established on October 15th 1883. Other regular users of the park are: The Romsey Scouts and Cubs, The Romsey Football/Netball Club, Romsey Junior Football/Netball Club, Romsey Cricket Club and Romsey Tennis Club and the Romsey Recreation Centre where a wide variety of indoor sports competitions are held.
The park is owned by the people of Victoria; it is Crown Land and falls under the control of the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP). DELWP has entrusted the Shire of Macedon Ranges with major responsibility for day-to-day operations of Romsey Park. Since 2011 (DSE, DEPI) DELWP has provided the club with over $15,000 for the removal of dead and/or dangerous trees and branches across the Park.
The Shire of Macedon Ranges website page for “Romsey Park” gives a good idea of the facilities and sporting and other groups who use Romsey Park.
A “Park’s Committee”, comprising of representatives from the user groups and the community, is able to make recommendations to the Macedon Ranges Shire on the maintenance of, and improvements to, the park.
Romsey Golf Club is a completely volunteer organisation and has responsibility for almost 70% of the total area of the park. We receive no regular financial or other support from local, state or federal governments. The club takes the responsibility for such a large section of Romsey Park extremely seriously and has worked very hard to maintain and improve the park and the golf course.
In 2009 the long drought broke and since then the golf club has carried out strategic plantings of indigenous, native trees and bushes (240 planted in 2010, 135 planted in 2011, 125 planted in 2012, 150 planted in 2013, 155 planted in 2014, 85 in 2015, 65 in 2016 & 200 in autumn and 100 in spring of 2017). In recent years we have also planted more smaller flowering bushes. These plantings primarily aim;
* to create a good environment for all community members and golfers who use Romsey Park,
* to increase the beauty of Romsey Park and the golf course,
* to provide habitat and food for native insects, reptiles, birds and small mammals,
* to assist carbon abatement,
* to increase shade and
* to provide improved wind control.
We have also planted many exotic beautification plants such as roses, lavenders, hebes and a wide variety of bulbs to add to the general beauty of Romsey Park. New greens, tees, bunkers and fairways add to the challenge of the golf course.
Soil testing of the fairways in early 2015 indicated that they were lacking in both Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg). In September of 2015 we spread 30 tonne of lime (Ca) and in May 2016 we spread 30 tonne of dolomite lime (Mg). This material will now settle into the soil and we will again soil test in May of 2017 to discover what other work we have to do to bring the fairway soil up to expected standard.
In early 2016 the club contacted Deep Creek Land Care and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council (MRSC) with a view to discussing the locating of nesting boxes within the Park. William Terry (MRSC) was more than happy to visit the Park and to discuss options re nesting boxes. It was decided that we would build and locate 30 nesting boxes, in groups of ~10, across the Park. Of these 15 would be for small birds, Tree Creepers, Striated Pardalotes and many smaller parrots and 15 for small marsupials such as phascogales and antechinus. The boxes were put in place across the will Park on Friday June 17th. The Golf Club will work with the Environment Officers of MRSC to take a census each April/May. This census will show us just how many of the boxes are being used, which creatures are using them and, over time, indicate the health and size of the Romsey Park populations of these smaller creatures.
Since 2008 the club has worked very hard to gradually build up our equipment and to renovate and repair the large, old machinery/work shed. We are constantly training members in the correct, safe use of mowers and other machinery, fertilisers and other course related chemicals.
RGC is active in seeking assistance to improve the golf course. Often major works will take far more money that our club can provide so we look for funding opportunities through local, state and federal government grants. In each of these applications there is a sizeable amount of the total costs covered by volunteer labour and use of the private machinery and expertise of the members of the club.
Since 2010 the club has actively sought out funding opportunities. We have researched, prepared and submitted numerous applications for grants to assist us to expand the existing irrigation system. Whilst we came very close, down to the last three, we were not successful. In December of 2013 Western Water approached the club to discuss some assistence to help bring our expanded irrigation plans to fruition. Western Water had worked with Rural Development Victoria and the Shire of Macedon Ranges to bring recycled water to Romsey Park. All told 20 mega litres of recycled water is to be used across Romsey Park, of this 10 Meg will be used on the two ovals and the other 10 Meg across the golf course.
Western Water’s (WW) plan was to utilise the funds remaining from the “Putting Locals First” grant which funded the provison of re-cycled water to the Romsey Sporting Precinct. On August 6th 2014 representatives from RGC, WW and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council met to formalise this funding. These monies, $30,000, along with funds from local businesses, RGC members and the golf club were to be used to implement stage one of our two stage plan to increase the irrigation system to take in all tees, all surrounds and all fairways at least to the 150m marker.
On October 1st 2014 we were informed that the Macedon Ranges Shire Council would allow RGC to place a sub-meter on the existing, 100 amp, power line that runs to to the pump that supplies water to the two sports ovals. This greatly reduced the cost of the power supply to our irrigation pump allowing more money to be allocated to water storage and distribution infrastructure.
Work to trench and install fairway sprinklers was began on Monday October 18, 2014. Members gave their time, their tools and their expertise to put in 100s of metres of trenching and pipe, connect 100+ sprinklers and then backfill all trenches. All sprinklers were levelled and packed in sand, timer boxes were installed where the fairway pipe met the existing 40mm blueline main or the new purple 40mm main (Additional 40mm (purple) mains lines were run to link in with the 40mm blue line pipe that is already in place). We have also installed and fenced off a 104,000l storage tank.
Once we installed the pump shed and pump and connected it via 80mm pipe to the 40mm main line on the course we were in in a position to beginning irrigating a far larger area of the course.
Stage 2 of this project saw;
* electronic switches added to each flow control valve,
* a central electronic timer
* additional banks of fairway sprinklers
* sprinklers on all tees
* tapping points for existing and new gardens
Stage two was largely funded in the MRSC 2015/16 budget – $10,000 was allocated for “Re-cycled Water Works at Romsey Park”. The club allocated funds to top this amount up and the wonderful club members again volunteered their time, machinery and expertise to finish these work off from mid winter to early spring of 2015.
This project was a long time coming and thanks to the hard work of our members we now have both a green golf course and a greener Romsey Park all year round. Whilst the golfers are very happy with the project, the results of their hard work will be a great asset to the whole community of Romsey.
During 2015 the land immediatly to the east of the course was subdivided and developed for housing. Part of this subdivision included the removal of many large, old pine trees along the eastern border of Romsey Park. These trees were in their last years and would have caused many problems within the next few years. As a result of these removals the area around the club’s machinery/work shed was completely opened up allowing us to look into connecting a tank and drinking fountain to the shed. With the advent of re-cycled water there is now no fresh water in the park so a fountain at our shed would serve golfers but also all community members who use the park. We submitted an application to the Bendigo Bank for funds to purchase and install a rainwater tank with pump and drinking fountain. The location of the shed is almost half way round the Park and is a great spot for community members, and their dogs, to have a rest and a drink. In October of 2015 we were told that the Bendigo Bank would provide $2,000 to our project, the golf club will supply all other funds. In the very near future we hope to provide potable water on course for golfers and all others who use Romsey Park
These tree clearances also saw the SE corner of the course completely opened up. With a few additional branches removed we may be able to build a 2nd tee for the par 5, 14th (currently the same as the par 5, 7th). This 2nd tee will only be constructed after the sub-division is completed and we know exactly where the new fence-line is. This 2nd tee will see a par 5 of 460m – 470m making the hole very different to the current 7th/14th layout.
Each year members of the club attend a Working Bee to carry out works to maintain and improve both Romsey Park and the golf course.
Currently we have twelve greens and 14 tees, in the future additional greens and tees may be added.
The men’s course – 5,924 m/par 72/Scratch 72/Slope 124.
The women’s course – 5,135 m/par 71/Scratch 73/Slope 119.
Distance markers, Red – 200m, Blue – 150m & White – 100m – from the centre of the green.