Lane Cove Council Seeking Comments on a Sport and Rec Precinct

Lane Cove Council has proposed a new Sport and Recreation Precinct where the Lane Cove Cove Golf Club, River Road Tennis Courts and car park are currently located.  They are also seeking comment on changes to the Golf Course layout.

There are currently no public indoor sports courts in the Lane Cove Council Area.  This impact several sports such as Netball, Basketball and Volleyball.

Concept Plans

The Concept plans show the following:

  • A nine-hole golf course
  • Golf driving range (optional)
  • Putt-putt golf (optional)
  • Five indoor multi-sport courts and four outdoor multi-sport courts
  • A Stage for large scale meetings/performance
  • Program space for activities such as gymnastics and yoga etc.
  • Café and Restaurant
  • Expanded car park.

Lane Cove Council Video

The Lane Cove Council has put together a video to explain the concept plans.

Community Feedback

The Lane Cove Council is seeking comments on both the new multi-sports facility and changes to the golf course layout.

Regarding the golf course layout, there are two options:

  • Leave the course layout basically as it is with only minimal changes to the first hole to accommodate the multi-sport indoor and outdoor courts; or
  • Amend the course layout to include a putt-putt golf area and a driving range.

To accommodate these facilities, Greg Norman Golf Course Design was commissioned to design a shortened golf course layout.  The planned driving range is 150m.

Current Status of the Golf Course

The Lane Cove Golf Course is a public course.  Anyone who wants to play golf can book a game.  The Lane Cove Golf Club is also located at the golf course and is a member organisation.  The club has blocked tee off times that are only available to club members. During summer they run a weekly comp called The Chicken Run which is open to members of the public and golfers of all abilities.

History of the Lane Cove Golf Club

In the late ’50s and 60’s a Lane Cove Golf Course Committee requested the Council to rezone the river road land (part of it was being used as a rubbish dump and an illegal panel beater) thereby preserving green space for future generations.  This also stopped housing developments on the land.  You can read more about the history of the Lane Cove Golf Club here.

How many people currently use the Golf Course?

This is a hard question to answer.  The video prepared by the Lane Cove Council quotes the number of games booked and the number of Lane Cove Golf Club members.  What the Lane Cove Council video does not mention is the Golf Course is a popular place to walk in the early mornings or after work.

Lane Cove Golf Course neighbours have told ITC that they regularly see members of the public hop on the golf course and start playing golf or practising golf from the back tees.  So usage is hard to quantify.

Bushwalk entrance to the golf course

The Department of Planning recently released a report on green space during the COVID19 Lockdown.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said:

“It took several weeks for facilities to start reopening, and during that time large numbers of people used parks, golf courses and tennis courts.

Increased visits to our many parklands in recent months shows why we cherish our public spaces and why we must work together to enhance them.”

Lane Cove Golf Club Petition

The Lane Cove Golf Club has launched a petition to retain the golf course layout as is.  They are in favour of the new multi-sports complex building being the Lane Cove sports and recreational precinct.

Their arguments are:

  • eliminates 33% of the current course layout;
  • reduces the PAR of the course from 64 to a 58 (resulting in a “pitch and putt facility”);
  • includes a driving range in place of the existing 8th/17th and 9th/18th fairways and 8th/17th greens scoped by the Council to result in 53,500 visits per annum detrimentally impacting the quiet enjoyment of neighbouring properties as well as likely environmental destruction to the local fauna and flora;
  • includes a “putt-putt course” in place of the existing 9th green;
  • includes a short game practice area in place of the 7th green; and
  • increases traffic movements, noise and light pollution.
  • The driving range will mean that less green spaces will be available for the public to walk around the course.

If you want to save the footprint of the current golf course, you can sign the petition on display in the Lane Cove Golf Club House, Porters Liquor Northwood or Nibu Cafe Lane Cove.

Other Golf Course Uses

The Lane Cove Council Video quotes Golf Australia development manager David Gallichio as saying  “We need to be offering new and interesting things, not just the standard 18-hole competitions on the weekend.” “The world has changed, and we haven’t adapted to that.” (Source: ABC News)

Other golf courses around Sydney are used for non-golf activities.  Should we be looking at using the course more for non-golf activities but retaining as much green space as we can?

Footgolf is one alternative use.

The FootGolf organisation quotes the following success story:

“Colonial Golf and FootGolf Course is a 9-hole course located in Sydney’s Western Suburbs (Werrington, NSW 2747). Traditionally known for having a relaxed atmosphere, Colonial GC is great for the golf novice, for junior golfers, for families and groups of casual social golfers.

In June 2014, Colonial Golf Course decided to go ahead with FootGolf. At the time the course owners were trying to increase revenue and make the course more attractive to potential buyers.

FootGolf at Colonial became very popular for social players, birthday parties and bucks parties. It also attracted football (soccer) clubs for pre-season or end of season sessions. There are currently three primary schools from the Werrington area offering FootGolf as one of their sports options with approximately 90 kids per week using Colonial FootGolf facilities. Bookings of groups of 60+ are not unusual.”

Football training is another alternative use.

Just this week an article appeared in the Daily Telegraph reporting the AFL, and Golf NSW have been in talks about golf courses being used as training grounds for teams.

Should the Putt-Putt course be inside or outside?

One of the newest trends emerging in Putt-Putt golf is indoor venues like Holey Moley.  An indoor putt-putt golf centre that is located in shopping centres.  Kids play before 5 pm, and after 5 pm it is a bar, Karaoke place and putt-putt course.

Have Your Say

The view from the balcony at Lane Cove Golf Course is stunning. I can imagine walking there on a Sunday morning and enjoying breakfast overlooking the golf course in a beautiful cafe.

There is no double that a multi-function sports centre is an excellent idea for Lane Cove.

The question most hotly debated is:

“Is it better to keep the green space as is or shorten the golf course and include a driving range and putt-putt course? “

Have your say by completing the online survey. The survey runs from 3rd July 2020 to 16th August 2020.  Link to online survey page here

Before completing the survey, you should look at the Sport and Recreation Precinct Concept PlansRevised Golf Course Masterplan Layout Option and our Frequently Asked Questions.

Lane Cove Council will also be hosting two drop-in information sessions at the Lane Cove Golf Clubhouse, 180 River Road, Lane Cove on Saturday 25 July and 1 August between 9:00 am – 11:00 am to speak with a Council staff member.

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