THE Muswellbrook RSL Golf Club is now the official name of the premises after the takeover was formally approved.
The merger has been in discussion for almost a year but received the tick of approval on June 29 from Crown Land and Liquor and Gaming NSW.
Muswellbrook RSL Club CEO Daryl Egan said he was thrilled the amalgamation had been finalised and they could focus on improving the golf club.
They have been helping the club since 2017 and already made several improvements, including roof renovations, a painting facelift and a new steakhouse restaurant.
More change is on the way though, with the new owners keen to create a more family-friendly atmosphere.
A playground and use-it-yourself barbecue area are already under construction, while a mini-golf course is being planned for the near future.
Mr Egan said the club required a shot to the arm when they started working together in August last year, adding that it was in real trouble before the RSL stepped in.
“It needed an injection of funds because a couple of times it was actually very close to closing the doors, that’s how bad it was,” he said.
The extra money won’t just be reserved to aesthetics though, with more competitions being planned for the players.
“We’re creating extra golfing events, we’ll have more charity events, additional corporate days, and club championships as well,” Mr Egan said.
The cooperation won’t end there, with members from the RSL and golf course now gaining access to both organisations, as well as the rewards programs for each becoming interchangeable.
Mr Egan confessed the RSL board had its doubts throughout the process, with legal technicalities and funding issues causing problems, but said they had gone too far to consider turning back.
“There was a lot of paperwork, a lot of compliance to go through,” he said.
“But, once we started renovating the restaurant and the building, we were too far in to walk away.
“We guaranteed our members last year that we’d be here and keep the place running.”
He was clearly pleased now that confidence has been restored in the institution and proud to be involved in its resurgence.
He remained diplomatic on one of the most important questions – who has the best food?, saying that both venues offered good varieties and patrons couldn’t go wrong.
If all goes to plan, this merger is the beginning of a bright new page for the only 18-hole course between Maitland and Tamworth.