Controversial radio host Steve Price has issued a stern warning to the Portsea Golf Club on the Mornington Peninsula, vowing to sever ties with the club if former Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is allowed to join their ranks.
Price, known for his outspoken opinions, expressed his disdain for Andrews, attributing it to the ex-Premier’s decisions during the two-year-long COVID-19 restrictions.
Price, speaking on Sky News Australia, criticised Andrews for imposing a lengthy ban on golf activities, a move that deeply affected the golfing community. He underscored the irony of the premier’s potential membership, given the restrictive measures imposed on the Mornington Peninsula, even though it was situated 120 kilometres away from the city.
Price argued that allowing Andrews into the Portsea Golf Club would be a betrayal to the golfing community that suffered under his leadership.
“If Dan Andrews is allowed to join the Portsea Golf Club, I’ll quit, I’ll resign, I’ll tear up my membership and I’ll go and play golf somewhere else,” Price told Sky News Australia.
“This is the premier who stopped us playing golf for two years during COVID. This is the premier who locked down this community even though we’re 120km out of the city.
“The same premier who let people on the other side of the bay play golf. No way should that man come into the golf club.”
The controversy gained momentum after reports from the Herald Sun confirmed that Portsea Golf Club president Phil Cramer would evaluate Andrews’ membership application in accordance with the club’s constitution.
Former pro-turned radio personality Mark Allen echoed Price’s sentiments, revealing that other golf clubs along the Mornington Peninsula were contemplating similar responses to an Andrews membership application.
“To the point where not only members from Portsea but members from other clubs were saying that if he’s trying to join anywhere down here, they just will not let him join,” Allen told 3AW listeners on Wednesday.
According to reports, the possibility of the ex-premier becoming a member of Portsea Golf Club was suggested by Max Beck, a property developer and a friend of Andrews. Upon learning that his friend’s membership had faced disapproval, Beck expressed his frustration, telling the Herald Sun that he found it hard to believe “how narrow-minded people can be”.
“It’s absurd. [Andrews] has dedicated himself to the state based on his convictions,” Beck said.
“I’m greatly disappointed, but let’s see if the committee considers his political beliefs, personality, and golfing skills – those are the aspects they should be evaluating him on.”
The anger within the wider golfing community was exacerbated by the delayed reopening of clubs and the peculiar restriction on toilet facilities even after the general reopening in September 2021.
After officially quitting politics in September, Andrews has made various appearances in golf circles, including as a guest on The State of the Game podcast, where he was asked about the controversial downsizing of Sydney’s Moore Park Golf Course by the New South Wales Government.
“The notion that it’s either Moore Park as an 18-hole golf course or more housing, I don’t see how a park gets you more housing. It doesn’t,” Andrews said.
“It means you get less golf and a golfing community that’s pretty upset. And I know a thing or two about upsetting a golf community but, in any event, my motives might have been a little purer than these.”