PRESENTATION is not everything.There’s also ambience and a touch of prestige to consider when adding the ‘spectacular factor’ to your event.

Links Hope Island on the Gold Coast is moving from a public to private operation after selling 400-equity share memberships in only six months for $11 million – but it’s the public who have a rare opportunity to sample its world class facilities.

The golf course has been overhauled with a $3 million upgrade of the clubhouse and facilities undertaken while maintenance to top international standards continues.

Links Hope Island general manager Mark Holland says the launch of equity memberships will eventually change the direction of the club to becoming fully private.

The first two tranches were offered at $25,000 and $30,000, which existing club members and then Hope Island Resort residents took up quickly.

Subsequent equity shares priced at $35,000 have been sold to golf enthusiasts through Australia and as far away as England, Hong Kong, Japan and South Africa.

“The sale of membership allows members a share in the company and also provides an exit strategy for the owners of the club to be able to sell the club to members. It’s about getting the financial model to be sustainable and with a full membership base here is far less reliance on outside play,” he says.

“Outside play is dictated and determined by price, economy and lack of time, so the launch of equity memberships provides a strategy to move to a sustainable business model.”

Holland is a former senior executive with Troon Golf and the ex-general manager of Brookwater. He was recently appointed to take over the management of the club from Alan Meacock who stepped down from the role after a decade.

He says an opportunity exists where the public can host a corporate play golf day and utilise all facilities on offer.

“Link Hope Island has enjoyed an international clientele for several years and is consistently rated as one of the top 10 resort courses in the country,” he says.

“It was designed by renowned course architects Peter Thomson and Michael Wolveridge and received international TV coverage when it hosted the Johnny Walker Classic tournament.

“Currently, the public can use the golf course at certain times and they have access to the conference function room, corporate and wedding facilities and they’re welcome to dine.

“Members have all the same access, but they have enhanced membership benefits and privileges and there are certain days and times allocated to members for access to the golf course.”

Holland says growth in the club’s membership base will boost long-term growth.

“Our main focus is growing the membership base, so there are more members and less public – our business model is moving forward and as that membership increases there will be less time for non-members, which means we can be more selective with the clients we choose to take,” he says.

“The club house will remain available for the public to dine or have their functions in and will also retain the high end golf days we host.”

Links Hope Island was purchased by a consortium associated with Consolidated Properties.

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