NEWS RELEASE   April 03, 2023

New Beginnings for Historic Course

Crestmead, Queensland (3 April, 2023) — THE 600km stretch along the Murray River between Albury and Coomealla has become arguably Australia's premier golf holiday destination, and Cobram Barooga Golf Club embodies all this region has to offer.

The stunning 36-hole championship standard complex is located a 30-minute drive west of Yarrawonga on the New South Wales side of the Murray, nestled amongst native pine and red gum trees.

It's a picturesque setting close to the heart of Terry Vogel, who first mastered the course as a player, winning the Cobram Barooga championship 21 times. Today his intimate knowledge of the course is helping him optimise the experience for other players.

As the Club's superintendent, he said he couldn't imagine working anywhere else.

"I've basically spent my whole life here — 46 years as a golfer and 38 as a greenkeeper," Mr. Vogel said.

"I don't mind putting in the extra hours because this place is my home.

"We get an average of around 100 players a day with a mix of locals and tourists, and everyone is always in a great mood.

"A lot of people come here from the city and they don't see a traffic light for a few days which is a nice change for them.

"It often attracts people to make a tree change permanently when they come out and see how relaxing it is. Country life is addictive."

Mr. Vogel and his team of 11 full-time greenkeepers diligently maintain the club's two 18-hole courses.

First played in 1928 and extended to 18 holes in 1955 designed by Vern Morcom, the famous 'Old Course' requires clever management to negotiate the narrow fairways and lurking bunkers.

Completed in 1987, the newer 'West Course' was designed by Kevin Hartley as a blend of resort and modern links styles, with numerous water hazards surrounding the wide fairways and large greens.

"We've barely tinkered with the layout of the Old Course since it was opened, so visitors get to play on basically the same course people played on back in the 50's," Mr. Vogel said.

"We rave about it being the 'Royal Melbourne of the bush'. We're very proud of that traditional aspect of it.

"It does take a bit to maintain — we're one of the rare clubs that still uses manual plug-in sprinklers so a few of the holes have to be watered by hand every day and night which is quite time consuming.

"It's all worth it though when people comment on how beautiful the course is. We're very proud of it so it's nice to get that feedback from others."

Out of the rough

While Cobram-Barooga has long been a favourite among locals and tourists alike, the club has had to make smart moves to ensure it is sustainable.

In 2009 it amalgamated with Barooga Sports Club ("Sporties"), after facing the prospect of surrendering control of its operation due to financial strain.

Sporties CEO, Bobby Brooks, said it was an important move for the club and the town.

"We didn't know anything about golf at the time, but we understood what an important community asset the course was," Mr. Brooks said.

"It not only drives tourism but long-term population growth, and we knew a lot of our patronage came from people who were in town to play golf, so we decided to help shoulder the financial burden.

"At the time we had $6 million in the bank and no debt, and within 10 years we had nothing in the bank and $6 million in debt.

"So it definitely took some time to figure out how to sustainably run a 36-hole course, but we've completely changed our model and developed a strategic plan for increasing revenue and being more efficient.

"We've managed to bring costs down significantly, to the point we'll be breaking even and hopefully even profiting from the golf course within the next year or two.

"The community has really got behind us and they love that the golf club has been resurrected, because for a while it looked like it might not survive."

Going green and gold

Cobram-Barooga recently played host to the TPS Murray River PGA tournament, with Sarah-Jane Smith taking out the title in the unique mixed-field format which featured Mr. Vogel's daughter, Steffi.

The event also marked the launch of John Deere's Women in Turf program, with six female greenkeepers from around the country volunteering alongside Mr. Vogel's team in preparing the course for the event.

The program was part of the partnership recently struck between Cobram-Barooga and local John Deere dealer, LandHQ, encompassing a full-fleet conversion to John Deere equipment to be completed by April.

The club has received four 2750 Precision Cut Triplex mowers, two ProGator™ GPS PrecisionSprayers, an 8000A E-Cut™ Hybrid and 8900A PrecisionCut™ fairway mower, as well as two 1200A Bunker Bikes and two 3038E Compact Utility Tractors.

Over the coming weeks, LandHQ will be delivering two 9000A TerrainCut™ mowers, two Verticutting renovation units for greens and fairway mowers, four HPX615E Gator Utility Vehicles, a 2030A ProGator Utility Vehicle, two more 8900A PrecisionCut fairway mowers, a ZTrak™ Z950R Zero-Turn Mower and two 7200A PrecisionCut Surrounds mowers.

"The conversion is really going to help the club moving forward, particularly around improving efficiencies," Mr. Vogel said.

"We took one of the new GPS spray units out the other day as a trial and saved about 25% of what we would've used with the previous equipment.

"Most of the team have never used John Deere before, but so far the feedback has been great.

"It's a genuine partnership with the local dealer, who is so responsive and visits the club regularly to see how it's all going.

"I think a lot of other clubs along the Murray will see what's happening here and look to do a

John Deere conversion themselves.

"We're excited to have the full 28 units on the course, and for next year's TPS event to be fully green and gold."

About John Deere:

Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at or in Australia at

Media Contacts:

Stacey Wordsworth
0438 394 371

Hannah Hardy
0421 196 004