5 Oct 2018

In what some might view as salt into golfing wounds, the failed Belair Golf Course in the Adelaide Hills looks set to be re-imagined into a world-class sporting precinct – for bike riders.

The South Australian Government has invited proposals for the disused golf land, and is said to be considering Council plans to convert the 50-hectare golf course into a mountain bike tourism facility, complete with riding trails, bike wash-down areas, cafe and accommodation.

Less than half an hour from the Adelaide city centre and adjacent Australia’s second National Park, the Belair site has been used for golf since 1934. The golf course had been leased to a private operator since the early 1980s, but as golf numbers decreased the business fell into administration and the golf course closed earlier this year. Photos on the ABC news website show the fairways and greens already overgrown with weeds.

From the ABC news website comes the following report:

City of Mitcham and Adelaide Hills councils, along with Adelaide Hills Tourism, proposed it as a site for mountain bike tourism, which has been a growing industry in parts of Australia.

Belair National Park offers a number of trails and is centrally located between the Eagle Mountain Bike Park and nearby Mitcham Hills trails.

Council representatives said there was a need for a centralised hub to attract interstate riders who were seeking accommodation, bike wash-down areas, repair facilities, food and activities for their families.


Also from the same report was the following summation of the golf course and its demise. It's disappointing to think anyone would view a course as being 'lower-grade' simply because of its public nature. The Belair Park Golf Club website indicates that more than 50,000 rounds of golf per year were played prior to the downturn – one can only hope those public course golfers are not lost completely to the game, and are instead now playing elsewhere.

The course, while popular at a general level among those who liked sharing it with kangaroos, emus and ducks, generally was not considered a high-level course due to a lower-grade turf and public accessibility.

It has since been allowed to die off, and only 11 per cent of more than 2,200 people who responded to a government survey wanted the course maintained as an activity.

"The previous Labor government turned off the water and sadly left it without a plan for the future," Environment Minister David Spiers said.

"We have taken action and, through an extensive community consultation and an expression of interest process, we will be able to determine the best use of the site going forward."

Friends of Belair National Park (FBNP) treasurer Carol Parrott said her group wanted different developments considered to bring people in.

"We would prefer to see it as public open space that includes recreation activities for different age groups," she said.


For further details about the Government’s plans for the Belair golf course site read the full ABC News article.

There is also an interesting 'Expressions of Interest' video below, produced by the SA Department for the Environment and showcasing the site and the opportunity available for those from sectors other than the golf industry.  

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