News today that the well known Palm Meadows golf course on Queensland’s Gold Coast is closing its doors on August 1, due to a combination of financial factors. Designed by Graham Marsh and Ross Watson, Palm Meadows shot to fame in the 1980s when it hosted Skins games and a number of high profile Australasian Tour events.
Today though, the course is a far cry from its heyday and with increased competition, maintenance problems and rising property prices the current owner has moved to shut golf operations and, presumably, look to sell of land for future housing.
The local Gold Coast newspaper reported on July 8 that:
THE iconic Palm Meadows Golf Course has announced it is shutting down after a series of false starts and years of performing below par.
The 35 employees of the golf course, owned by Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho, were told of the impending closure yesterday and by 4pm the course was deserted.
Some employees were told not to return to work today thursday with the course officially halting operations on August 1.
Hungtat Worldwide, the company which runs the golf course, released a statement yesterday saying the business was no longer ‘financially sustainable’.
“Hungtat Worldwide has made a substantial investment in Palm Meadows Golf Course over many years, in turn contributing significantly to the area,” said a spokesman.
“The golf course business is tough, particularly in this economic climate, and while revenue is down, the considerable capital and maintenance costs required to keep the course running continue.
“Hungtat Worldwide has kept the course open, and staff employed, during difficult economic times but it is no longer prudent to continue operating a business which continually runs at a loss.”
In an effort to reverse sliding green fee revenues and increase patronage, the owners recently offered a low-rate membership of $550 per year which seems a good deal given how over-priced some of the Gold Coast golf has become. The lack of take-up, and continued problems with golf operations, seems to have forced the owners hand and nostalgic Gold Coast golfers now only have a couple of weeks to get in one last round on this famed championship layout.