Australians are well known for their camaraderie in times of hardship and at Maffra Golf Club the sentiment rung true following the devastating bushfires that tore through the East Gippsland region.
When presented with the opportunity to use the Volkswagen Scramble as a way for his community to rally together and assist Mallacoota Golf Club and local East Gippsland farmers, Maffra Club Captain, Sandy Murray and his members were all in support of the decision.
“I feel extremely humble and proud at the same time that our club and committee are able to help out Mallacoota and the Gippsland Farmers with some great support from the sponsors being Energis Smart Energy Solutions, Rich River GC Resort, Macalister Hotel, Maffra Community Sports Club and the PGA of Australia,” Murray said.
Buoyed by the thought of helping his community, Murray jumped into action to ensure his Volkswagen Scramble would be a great day.
“I really think word of mouth is a big part of the promotion. We as a club make sure we attend other community events and not just a couple of representatives, we will have quite a few attend and feel that we get, as I call it, reciprocation for our efforts to help out the other clubs,” he said.
To promote the event the club also used their Golf Club App to communicate with their members and posted on Facebook to extend their advertising to the wider community.
Located almost three hours east of Melbourne, a field of 108 players teed it up on 2 February to great success.
“We undertook a huge couch grass project, planting six new fairways in November last year and the word is out that we have eighty percent coverage and are now playing preferred lies,” he said.
“I think a few people wanted to come and see what we’ve been able achieve, now being able to boast that we have eighteen holes of Santa Anna couched fairways.”
Not only a fundraising initiative, the Scramble event was also a family affair with Murray’s son and two grandsons on the drinks cart and a host of volunteers cooking sausages on the barbeque.
Neville Gutteridge, President of Maffra Golf Club even took a day off playing golf and worked behind the bar pouring drinks. Maffra Golf Club Life Member and Tournament Director, Ian Moulton, arrived early to help Murray register the teams, start the field and returned later in the day to complete the results.
Intending to raise five hundred dollars, Murray was overwhelmed by the response of his players whom were buying raffle tickets by the dozen in a bid to ramp up the appeal.
“We raised over one thousand dollars that will be going towards the purchase of new flags, cups and tee markers for Mallacoota Golf Club,” Murray said.
Club Captain of Mallacoota Golf Club, Greg Hopkins was extremely appreciative of Murray’s efforts.
“We would like to thank all the sponsors involved that made this day such a resounding success and of course to all the players who came out and donated to the cause,” Hopkins said.