Veteran pro, club to part ways
YAMBA Golf Club has dumped its professional of almost 19 years as it presses ahead with plans to raise its profile and grow the club.
Club president Jim Kelly said it had been a ‘very hard decision’ not to retain current professional Col Saunders.
“Col’s been great for the club for almost 19 years, but now we’re ready to move on” Mr Kelly said.
“We’ve made the club as financially sound as possible. Now we need to look at new avenues to grow the golf side of the club.”
Mr Saunders’ contract with the club expires in April and when the club called for expressions of interest in the position, he decided against it.
“I asked for a couple of years extension on my contract, which was an option I had,” he said.
“The club didn’t accept that option.”
Mr Saunders said he was not sure what he was going to do in the long term, but planned to take a break and think about his future.
Yamba Golf Club is determined to keep its assistant professional and course record-holder Adam Wiseman in the fold.
Mr Wiseman, who has worked as a professional at the prestigious Queenwood Golf Club in England, made a short list of nine applicants for the position.
Mr Kelly said the successful applicant, John Wright, from the Victorian town of Bairnsdale, will arrive in Yamba on Friday and will have a meeting with Mr Wiseman about the assistant professional’s position.
“Adam was disappointed he didn’t get the job, but we’re hopeful he can stay on as the assistant pro with our new professional,” Mr Kelly said.
He said the club was looking at another option for Mr Wiseman should the assistant professional’s position not eventuate.
He said there had been a backlash from some members, who had wanted a local person in the position.
“There have been some rumblings, it was a hard decision to make,” Mr Kelly said.
“The board has made a business decision, but we’re mindful of the feelings of some members who wanted to see someone from a local family get the job.”