NEW ERA: Jenny Ellenbroek, new chair of the Ballina Golf Club, with club chief executive Steve Middleton.
NEW ERA: Jenny Ellenbroek, new chair of the Ballina Golf Club, with club chief executive Steve Middleton.

Woman golfer no handicap in Ballina

THE gender of the chair of the Ballina Golf and Sports Club isn’t an issue, says Jenny Ellenbroek, who was elected to the position last week.

But the first female chair of the board in the club’s 102-year history did say it was ‘fantastic’ the club was progressive enough to elect a woman to the job in what is generally a male-dominated sport.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, it (being chair) is a custodial role to make sure the club prospers,” she said.

The Ballina club has 250 female golfing members and 750 male golfers.

It was only in the last eight years that female golfing members were given the same playing privileges as men at Ballina.

Mrs Ellenbroek has been playing golf for more than 30 years, and has been a member at Ballina for 12 years – but jokes that her handicap will probably suffer as she devotes more time to her new position.

She is keen to put something back into the game she enjoys so much, and also give something to the Ballina Golf Club.

Mrs Ellenbroek said she wanted to ensure the club maintained its membership at a time when other clubs were struggling.

And she wants to increase the community involvement of the golf club.

“The club provides an oasis for its members,” she said. “Clubs are great places when times are tough.”

She also wants to increase the number of in-house functions at the club, and to increase tourism opportunities, not just for the club, but for Ballina.

Mrs Ellenbroek, who has been on the board for two-and-a-half years, was elected after the previous chair, Steve Morris, and vice-chair, Barry Audsley, didn’t stand for the positions.

She is the station manager for Ballina’s community radio station, Paradise FM, and has hadcareers in special events management and hospitality.

Also on the board are: vice-chair Stuart Kilborn, director of golf Geoff Barnes, and board members John Gates, Greg Messiter, Paul Wilson and Kel Pearce.



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