Sirromet Wines and bank work deal for Ipswich Golf Club
IPSWICH Golf Club is toasting its rebirth after Sirromet Wines came to the rescue of the troubled but proud 116-year-old establishment.
A company associated with Sirromet Wines, one of Australia's leading winemakers and home to popular events such as A Day on the Green, has bought the club.
It is another step in a foray into Ipswich for Sirromet Wines owner Terry Morris and fellow Gold Coast businessman Dean Merrell who have bought eight pubs around Ipswich.
The course reopened in August after it was wound up in June due to financial woes. Ipswich Sports House took responsibility for the pro shop while receiver BDO, on behalf of the Bank of Queensland, looked after the clubhouse and operations, including the course.
Mr Merrell said he and Mr Morris were very excited about the potential of Ipswich Golf Club.
"We see tremendous opportunity. We see it becoming more of a community sports club, open to more visitors and fitting more into the community," he said.
"From our experience we can put a bit of expertise in here and get it running as a good club."
"We see Ipswich as a very big part of our footprint for Sirromet."
Sirromet's winery at Mt Cotton has become famous for A Day on the Green that has featured Elton John and Elvis Costello.
"That's a possibility to have that here and one of our other businesses is the Carrara Markets, so we like to leave doors open to look at all kinds of angles," Mr Merrell said.
He said buying the club was something of a family affair.
"My cousin Brett Merrell was the greenkeeper here for many years and he's used it as a stepping stone and has travelled all around the world," he said.
"He sent me a message on Facebook basically saying, 'Did you hear the Ipswich Golf Club had closed down?'
"I was extraordinarily surprised. I can't count how many 21st birthday parties and whatnot I've been to here over the years.
"My family are all from Ipswich; my father had a business here and my uncle Tony worked for the council for many years."
Mayor Paul Pisasale said the sale was great news for the Ipswich community and golfers.
"I was over the moon when I found out these guys were getting involved," he said. "The Bank of Queensland has been tremendous in getting the club back up and running. If it wasn't for them we wouldn't be where we are now."