Ipswich Golf Club captain Wayne Ziebell.
Ipswich Golf Club captain Wayne Ziebell. Claudia Baxter

Revival hopes remain for shocked captain

IPSWICH Golf Club captain Wayne Ziebell was "shell-shocked" when told his beloved course was closing.

While understanding the challenges and financial issues as well as anyone, Ziebell still found it difficult to comprehend.

"We are all a little bit in limbo," Ziebell said.

"It (Friday) was like being at a funeral. I couldn't believe it.

"I just felt terrible and everybody did."

Having joined the club in 1967 and been club captain for nearly six years, Ziebell knows the friendly staff personally.

"I'm a little bit shell- shocked. I never thought it would come to this," he said.

"My biggest disappointment is the staff. What do they do now?

"I just hope something turns around really quickly and we can pick them up before they go elsewhere."

Ziebell said other clubs like Laidley and Gailes, along with Golf Queensland, were offering opportunities for Ipswich club golfers in the short term.

"I might just take a short membership somewhere and hope it cranks up and I can go back," he said.

While appreciating the support, Ziebell said it wouldn't be the same as playing at the 18-hole Leichhardt course.

"It's a great design," he said. "It just needed a finishing touch or two."

Ziebell hopes financial backers can breathe new life into the historic Ipswich sporting venue.

"I wouldn't like to see it used for anything other than a golf course," the former Rosewood High maths teacher said.

"I'm on the same wavelength as the Mayor (Paul Pisasale)."

Ziebell said the 2011 floods were particularly devastating.

"Every hole was affected in some way except the fifth which is right up near the clubhouse on the hill," he said.

"The flood on Australia Day this year just capped it off because all the money and work we put back into it just virtually got washed away again.

"When I look at the whole picture now . . . I see the government, I see the council and I see us. We're all cash-affected by those floods."

While coming to terms with what has happened, Ziebell reflected on his personal highlight at the club.

That was winning four major competitions in 1999 - the championships, the mixed, men's foursomes and the Summer Cup matchplay.

It was a rare milestone.

Having given so much to the club, Ziebell dares to dream he could play those events again in Ipswich.

"We just hope that some cashed-up buyer comes along and starts it all up again," the long-time club supporter said.



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