Romsey Golf Course has been within Romsey Park since 1922, the park was established on October 15th 1883. Other regular users of the park are: The Romsey Scouts, Cubs & Joeys, The Romsey Football/Netball Club, Romsey Junior Football/Netball Club, Romsey Bowls Club, Romsey Cricket Club, Romsey Tennis Club and the Romsey Recreation Centre where a wide variety of indoor sports competitions are held.
Romsey 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 assisted the Shire with 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.
The “Park’s Committee”, comprising of representatives from the user groups and the community, was able to make recommendations to the Macedon Ranges Shire on the maintenance of, and improvements to, the Park. This committee has been replaced by the Romsey Sporting Association. This group is made up of representatives from most of the user groups within Romsey Park.
Romsey Golf Club is a completely volunteer organisation with responsibility for about 80% of the total area of Romsey 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 “millennium drought” broke, since then the golf club has carried out strategic plantings of largely indigenous, native trees and bushes. In general we plant in May/June when there is still some heat in the soil and enough sunlight to see the new plants grow a little before the cold of winter really hits the area. When necessary we water young trees through their first summer. Plantings have been;
- 2009 – 145 trees,
- 2010 – 240 trees and flowering bushes,
- 2011 – 135 trees,
- 2012 – 125 trees and flowering bushes,
- 2013 – 150 trees,
- 2014 – 155 trees,
- 2015 – 85 trees and flowering bushes,
- 2016 – 165 trees,
- 2017 – 300 trees and flowering bushes (200 trees in autumn & 100 flowering bushes in spring),
- 2018 – 45 trees,
- 2019 – 65 trees and flowering bushes
- 2020 – 45 trees
- 2021 – 50 trees, (native and exotic) and flowering bushes.
We have had an excellent strike rate with ~80% of our plants surviving.
After 2015, with many taller trees in the ground and doing well the club worked to increase the number of indigenous, native flowering bushes, these will provide food and habitat for insects and the smaller birds and smaller reptiles. We are now at the stage where we can plan and build new gardens and replace those of the Park’s plantings lost to age, drought, vandalism or “mower induced” injury. In recent years we have also planted more smaller flowering native bushes. The primarily aims of all these plantings are:
- To improve the town’s large public open green space for all community members, and golfers, who use Romsey Park.
- To increase the beauty of Romsey Park and of the golf course.
- To provide food and habitat for native insects, reptiles, birds and small mammals.
- To assist carbon abatement.
- To increase shade.
- To provide improved wind control.
We have also planted many exotic beautification plants such as roses, helibores, lavenders, hebes, Crepe Myrtles, Japanese Maples, Magnolias and a wide variety of bulbs to add to the general beauty of Romsey Park. New greens, tees, grassy mounds 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 the club purchased and spread 30 tonne of lime (Ca) and in May 2016 the club purchased and spread 30 tonne of dolomite lime (Mg). This material has now settled into the soil. Soil testing in May of 2017 indicated we needed to apply a Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash (Potassium), NPK fertiliser. This was spread across the course in mid September of that year.
In early 2016 the club contacted Deep Creek Land Care and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council (MRSC) with to discuss locating nesting boxes within the Park. William Terry (MRSC) was more than happy to visit the Park and to go over 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 2016.
The Golf Club has worked with the Environment Officers of MRSC to take a census in April/May. This census shows us just how many of the boxes are being used, which creatures are using them and, over time, will indicate the health and size of the Romsey Park populations of these smaller creatures.
The club monitors the condition of the nesting boxes and has replaced those damaged and built and installed another 25 nesting boxes across the park.
Since 2008 the club has worked very hard to gradually build up our equipment, we renovated and repaired the large, old machinery/work shed to securely store the club’s machinery. 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 expertise and machinery 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 the Romsey Sporting Precinct at Romsey Park. All told 20 mega litres of recycled water was to be used across Romsey Park, of this 10 Meg will be used on the two ovals and the other 10 Meg was allocated to 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.
Stage 1: 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 many 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 ring main or the new purple 40mm main (Additional 40mm (purple) mains lines were run to link in with the 40mm blueline 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 much greener golf course and 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. These tree clearances 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.
Additionaly, 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 tap to the shed. With the advent of re-cycled water there was 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 supplied all other funds. The 10,000 litre tank at the work shed now supplied;ies potable;e water to all who use the park.
During 2020 the club prepared and submitted an application for funds from the Macedon Ranges Shire Council 2020/21 budget. These funds were for;
- Drainage filling and levelling works on many low, boggy and slippery areas across the whole of Romsey Park
- An increase to the existing irrigation system to get re-cycled water to more of the park’s gardens and the course’s fairways
- Improved, more dought resistant grass cover to much of Romsey Park.
Since 2014 funds spent on the irrigation system, drainage and improved surface of Romsey Park have been
- Western Water/MRSC – $78,000 (56%)
- Romsey Golf Club – $38,000 (27.5%)
- RGC member donations, – $22,000 (16.5%)
A detailed report on all the works to improve the irrigation system and Romsey Park as a whole can be found at;
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.
Romsey Golf Course is an 18 hole course, we have twelve greens and 15 tees, in the future additional greens and tees may be added.
The Blue Course – 5,924 m
Men – Par 72/Scratch 72/Slope 124.
Women – Par 76/Scratch 77/Slope 129
The Red Course- 5,135 m
Women – Par 71/Scratch 73/Slope 119.
Men – Par 70/Scratch 68/Slope 114
Distance markers, Red – 200m, Blue – 150m & White – 100m (from the centre of the green)
Ten Year Course Development Plan
In late 2011 Greens’ Committee members Bob McLennan, Graeme Clement and Anthony Lakey walked the course and noted future changes for each tee, fairway and green. This list of works was presented to the committee in December 2011. The committee approved the list of works and asked that it be provided to each member for comments and possible additions. In February/March/April of 2012 members submitted their responses and the Greens’ Committee made minor alterations to “Ten Year Plan”.
Since the middle of 2012 the club and its volunteers have been steadily working their way through this list of works. Our Annual Working Bees have been used to get some of the larger works completed and new works have also been planned and completed. Many of the listed projects have been completed by our well organised groups of volunteers. The plan below includes the members’ suggestions however, its format shows what the membership received and how they were asked comment etc