The Orange Ex-Services' Country Club golf course next to Orange hospital is under threat of closure in a plan to consolidate golf and bowls facilities in the city.
Ex-Services' Club and Wentworth Golf Club members attended meetings last week to hear the plans.
In a letter to golf and bowls members Ex-Services' Club president Graham Gentles and CEO Daniel Perkiss said falling player numbers plus concern the club's lease on the course (which is on Crown Land) would not be renewed meant they needed to discuss the sports' future.
"With declining membership and ageing population the sustainability of running multiple golf and bowls clubs in the Orange local government area may become unrealistic, as a mid-to long-term proposition," they said.
"Our existing Bloomfield site sits in a highly sought-after medical precinct and there are grave concerns that when the lease expires in five years it may not be renewed."
There are grave concerns that when the lease expires in five years it may not be renewed.Letter to club members
The letter said the Ex-Services' Club had been in "active discussions" with other clubs to combine facilities.
It said the club wanted to identify the prospects of "rolling out a significant development that will underpin golf and bowls in Orange for the long term".
Mr Perkiss said while the golf course was on Crown Land the club owned the site of the Country Club building.
The issue has also been brought up now as Wentworth's board is considering plans for a new clubhouse after the destructive May fire.
A letter to Wentworth Golf Club members from president Simon Atkinson said "bowling and golf clubs are closing at alarming rates".
"Both boards of directors and the management of Wentworth Golf Club and the Orange Ex-Services' Club have been in discussions exploring how a partnership may benefit both clubs in the short- and long-term future and how this will benefit the community," he said.
Wentworth Golf Club general manager James Bale said the matter would be discussed at Monday night's board meeting.
"We had a meeting with the members last week regarding possible amalgamations," Mr Bale said.
He said no decisions or resolutions were made at that meeting.
He said Wentworth had 400 members and would be able to accommodate current Country Club players in the future.
Long-term Country Club golfer Alison Seib said some members would be upset at the possibility of the course closing.
"A lot of the older members, I'm sure they'll object to it," she said.
"Wentworth is such a hilly course. Country Club is level. They play Country Club because they can walk.
"At Wentworth they will need to use carts. That's a big issue for the older members."
Mrs Seib said there were about 300 members who played golf at the Country Club and about 100 bowlers.
"It is getting used for sure. It's pretty busy," she said.
"I'd prefer to stay where I am. It is very sad. We've got a great little club out there."
However, she said that if the health department wanted the land for a car park or other facility they would have to move.
Mrs Seib said a merger would benefit golf in Orange by consolidating resources, including players.
"The board up there are looking, not for the next five years, but 20-30 years down the track," she said.
Mrs Seib said she had attended last week's meeting but it was not clear what would happen in the future.
"It is all up in the air," she said.
Mrs Seib said she had been playing at the course for at least 12 years and was on the club committee.
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