Wentworth recovering after the fire

Posted by on May 22, 2019  /   Posted in golf news

There is finally good news for Wentworth Golf Club in Orange after the clubhouse burned down on Saturday morning.

Without damage to the pro shop or the playing surface, the golf course was reopened this week and thanks to the club's insurance policy, the club will not be dramatically out of pocket.

President Simon Atkinson joined Inside The Ropes on Tuesday about the devastating incident that shook one of the proud golf regions of country NSW.

"It was bad enough to burn it on the ground which was really sad and devastating," Atkinson said.

"There is no official cause at the moment, but they think it can be electric at the bottom.

"It all started on the west side.

"I thought this end would have been reasonably safe because it had a concrete floor but the heat was so intense that the posts were bent and the concrete floor came down."

The site was initially treated as a crime scene, but golfers were allowed to return to the course.

"We have to save the pro-shop and all the machines for the green keepers, all our pumps and irrigation, so that's all back into action," said Atkinson.

"The course is still up and running as it was, we just have no place to have a drink after a Saturday afternoon playing golf."

The walls of the Wentworth clubhouse date from 1965 and housed decades of golf history in the region.

But Wentworth's proud past will not be completely lost because much of its history was recently recorded for its 50th anniversary.

"There are a lot of old members up there that are still there and you can almost see the tears coming from their eyes because of the blood, sweat and tears you've taken to create this clubhouse," Atkinson said.

"There are many memories with the honor signs. Fortunately, with our 50th anniversary a few years ago, we had a lady tell a story about the place

"I feel like she took pictures of every honor plate.

"When the new clubhouse is ready, we make the plates with the names behind it."

The first assignment of the club is to offer a temporary clubhouse and to get things back to normal.

The Wentworth insurance policy means that the club is not hit hard financially, which is welcome news in a difficult week.

"We are lucky that we are fully insured at the clubhouse and also the content and loss of a trade insurance policy," said Atkinson.

"From Saturday everything just stops.

"We have to work as hard as we can to set up a temporary clubhouse for the members, because number one, we don't want to lose our members."

Listen to the full Inside The Ropes chat with Simon Atkinson:

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