Huntingdale Golf Club, one of Australia’s most iconic courses and spiritual home of the defunct Australian Masters, has entered talks with The National Golf Club to form an unprecedented ‘Super Club’.
The National, already boasting three courses at Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula and another near Frankston just south of Melbourne, is set to expand its growing portfolio with one of the country’s most cherished Melbourne sandbelt layouts after a statement from respective club captains released Monday confirmed “preliminary discussions” over a merger were underway.
“There are many potential benefits of a merger including the provision of an unparalleled golfing offer which includes five championship courses and associated first-class practice facilities located across three geographical locations – all for the price of one membership fee,” the statement said.
It added that the club committees had signed a confidentiality deed for information to be exchanged and a business case built.
“Once these interim steps are completed, both Committees will consider the information prepared and will either approve or reject continuance of merger discussions. It is important to note that should the committees sign-off on formal terms, the members of each club would separately vote on the agreed proposal and as such members would have the final say whether the merger proceeds or not.”
Having already merged with Long Island Country Club in 2015, The National offered members of that club an automatic membership of The National without having to buy a share, even though The National is an equity-based club. It is expected a similar agreement will be struck with Huntingdale members.
With Australian clubs facing ever-increasing pressure to offer more affordable memberships with added value, amalgamation is becoming a viable option. In 2013 Kingswood Golf Club and Peninsula Country Golf Club became the first golf clubs in Australia to merge, forming Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club. It has since undergone major renovation work by the Ogilvy Clayton Cocking Mead design firm, with many tipping it to be one of the country’s leading golf facilities once complete.