Hollywood Superstar Backs Calls To Save Inner Sydney Golf Course

How many protest petitions would get the backing of a Hollywood superstar?

Well, golf-loving Mark Wahlberg has thrown his voice behind the campaign to “save” Sydney’s Moore Park Golf Course.

Wahlberg was out playing the golf course this week during a working visit ‘Down Under’ for a new movie and the 52-year-old star of such movies as The Perfect Storm, Italian Job, Ted and The Other Guys just loves his golf as the Boston-born competes annual in the PGA Tour’s AT & T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and also is a regular among the amateurs competing ahead of the Tiger Woods Genesis Invitational in suburban Santa Monica.

Though Wahlberg was in the Sydney news some 10 days ago with a private golf club in northern Sydney would not allow him onto the golf course as he was wearing short black socks when he should have been wearing white.

Moore Park is a public 18-hole golf course lying just a few kilometers from the very heart of Australia’s largest city.  It’s a great golf course that was opened in 1913 and it is a golf course for anyone who grew-up playing golf in Sydney would have played as some time in their golfing life.

Hollywood legend Mark Wahlberg in front of the Moore Park clubhouse and the Moore Park course with the Sydney CBD skyline in the background

I can’t remember the number of times I’ve played Moore Park but I know I’ve never been disappointed.  It’s a great layout located virtually across the street from the famed Sydney Cricket Ground and also Allianz Stadium, the home ground for rugby league in Australia.

As well, it’s not too far from Sydney’s famed Randwick Racetrack.

Moore Park golf course is also a divided course with seven holes (If my memory is correct) accessed by a foot bridge across busy Dacey Road, and it is here where you see ever-growing evidence of the continuing need for housing in the Moore Park region as these holes are surrounded by high-rise apartments.

It is unfortunately also the reasoning beind the New South Governement in announcing last October half of the public golf course would be taken over to be turned into Sydney’s “central park” from 2026.  It would mean that up to 20 hectares of the public course will be repurposed in a bid to support an estimated 80,000 residents living within two kilometres of the Moore Park area by 2040.

The proposed change would see more green space opened up to the general public while a 9-hole course would still remain, along with the clubhouse and driving range.

In a video shared on Saturday from Moore Park’s 10th hole, Wahlberg called on authorities to reverse their decision and keep the full 18-hole course.

@9newssydney Mark Wahlberg has made a plea to the Australian public to save Moore Park Golf Course while playing a round in Sydney today.#9news ♬ original sound – 9News Sydney

“Hey everyone — especially in Sydney, Australia — Mark Wahlberg here,” he began.

“I know I am not a citizen of Australia but I am pleading to you to save Moore Park Golf Club,” said Wahlberg, an avid golf fan who recently touched down in Australia.

“It’s been here for over 100 years, it’s been giving people hundreds and hundreds of years of pleasure and joy.

“Just people being able to come out and get a nice healthy walk, spend quality time together with family and friends.

“Please, I’ve seen lots and lots of parks and I haven’t seen too many lovely public golf courses like this that have access for everybody. Please save Moore Park Golf Club.”

Moore Park Golf Club’s location in inner Sydney – Virtually across the road from the Sydney Cricket Ground and also Allianz Stadium

Wahlberg’s comments mirror the views of thousands who have signed a petition calling on the government to abandon the proposal.

NSW Premier Chris Minns, and not certain if he is a golfer or not, commented:

“As the New South Wales government issues more density, more apartment living, more units, we need to balance that with more open space.

“This will transform people’s experiences as they come into the world’s greatest city with more natural parkland, more recreation space. It’s great opportunity for the residents in this community to get out and have fun with their family and friends in this densely populated area.”

Speaking to golfers who may take issue with the decision, the Premier emphasised that the area is “one of the most densely populated parts of the entire country”.

“I just want to say there are a lot of golf courses in Sydney and we’re not taking over all of them,” he said.

“This community is expected to grow from 30,000 to 80,000 by 2040 in a five kilometre radius of where we’re standing.

“And it’s a recognition by the government that given we are making decisions about urban consolidation, more units, more apartments, there’s got to be more green space too, this has got to be a trade off and this is part of our vision for Sydney.”

He added that the government is “certainly not declaring war on golf”, but that this particular golf course has better use for apartment blocks.

Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich expressed his support for the move, adding that he’s excited to see people enjoy public parkland rather than a closed off golf course.

“You know, closed off 18 hole golf courses are no longer fit for purpose in global cities with density continues to grow,” he said.

“This is a massive opportunity to open up new parkland and we’re gonna see golf buggies being replaced with picnic mats and kids playing, and that’s what that’s what we need in this part of the world.”

Public submissions to the NSW government on the future of Moore Park golf course close on April 10.

Thanks to News.com.au

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