Wentworth Golf Club members have supported a memorandum of understanding set to be drawn up ahead of a potential amalgamation with the Orange Ex-Services' Club.
A meeting of more than 200 people, including members of both clubs, last week agreed to take the next step in the process that could ultimately lead to the Ex-Services' Club running the Wentworth golf course.
Wentworth general manager James Bale said once the memorandum was drawn up Wentworth members would then vote on whether to amalgamate or remain as a standalone club.
We don't have to merge. We can go it alone if the merger doesn't go ahead.James Bale, general manager Wentworth Golf Club
Mr Bale said the Ex-Services' Club was offering more money and more resources for improvements to the Wentworth course and provide a different clubhouse than Wentworth could afford to build following a devastating fire that destroyed the previous building last May.
"They've got funds to go into the course. They've got resources that we haven't got," he said.
"We don't have to merge. We can go it alone if the merger doesn't go ahead."
Both the Wentworth and the Ex-Services' Country Club golf courses are on Crown Land and have about five years of their leases remaining.
Future uses, including the state government needing the land to expand the adjacent Orange hospital facilities and car parking and becoming the site of Orange's proposed $25 million sporting complex, have been suggested.
Orange Ex-Services' Club owns the Country Clubhouse and bowling green area.
Mr Bale said the Wentworth club owned the carpark and the clubhouse and pro-shop areas at its course.
"We're now waiting for the memorandum of understanding [to be prepared]," he said.
Ex-Services' Club president Graham Gentles said they were waiting for the Wentworth club to confirm they wanted go ahead with an amalgamation.
Mr Gentles said they had asked the Wentworth club to provide an answer by November.
He said the plan would also have to be approved by Ex-Services' Club members.
Mr Gentles said it could still take about 6-12 months for a deal to be done.
He said they wanted to turn the Wentworth venue into "much more of a community club" for Orange residents and visitors.
"It would include golf but that would only be part of the business model," he said.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...