Following 14 months without a general manager at Shepparton Golf Club, Gary Dixon started in the role last Thursday, bringing across vast experience from international and interstate clubs.
But he is returning to where he was a club professional for two years during the 1990s, having recently come back to Australia after managing the Sky Lake Resort and Gold Club near Hanoi, Vietnam.
Before going overseas Dixon was involved in a lengthy stint at Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania, overseeing the project from the inception of the picturesque course right on the northern coast through to its management.
But Dixon will settle back in the Goulburn Valley, saying the decision to apply for the role at the Shepparton was straight-forward.
‘‘We were overseas in Vietnam and things were winding up at the job I was in and we noticed that this position had come up and my wife Debbie always said if the right job would materialise we’d come back up, we love it up here,’’ he said.
Dixon — who is no relation to the Dixon family well known at Shepparton Golf Club — said he had plans to grow membership numbers, as well as those who took part in the sport in general.
He is willing to work with the other clubs in the region and said it was the best way to bring more attention to the game.
‘‘It is a challenging time for golf, what is a reality is the quality of courses and the quality of clubs that no matter where they are, they have good times and bad,’’ he said.
‘‘Because they are quality they stand the test of time, so we’ll try our best to make a few changes and see what we can do to try and reinvigorate all of the golf clubs in the area to try and encourage the game.
‘‘We have to because the game is in a tricky situation, so it’s on all of us to try and grow the game.’’
Already with plans for the coming months and beyond, Dixon hoped in the short-term to start putting in place measures to help the club deal with the growth aims to achieve.
Coming into a role that has been left vacant for more than a year, Dixon said those who took on added responsibilities should be commended.
‘‘Trevor Tennant, the president of the golf club, and the entire community have done a wonderful job and the place is being very well run,’’ he said.
‘‘But a lot of it is being done voluntarily and there comes a time when that can only last so long, so they made the decision to employ someone full-time, but they really have done well.
‘‘It’s in really good shape, so hopefully I’ll try to makes some leaps forward over the next days, weeks, months and years.’’