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December Update

Mini Golf is prepared for lift off!

It seems like years since we first envisaged this moment... actually it is years. No matter, we're at the blocks with the starters pistol in hand. December 12th we lift the lid on the Mini Golf course and the first element of the Rippit Golf facility is off and running!

Given previous experience I should throw a caveat of 'weather permitting' in there as it's been a difficult thing to allow for. But, we only have a couple more days of work to finalise the synthetic turf, then a few days of testing and training and fingers crossed it will be putters at the ready.

While we don't have the restaurant operating in the main building we do have Arriverderci's​ in the tennis court lounge area next to us serving up fantastic Italian food and a few choice beverages to wash it all down with.

Still sorting out the requirements for the Driving Range, we discovered a main sewer line running under where we planned an awning - not by accident fortunately! Just means that we need to redesign the driving range structure to ensure we don't impact on Hunter Water's access.

The works continue in the clubhouse for the golf simulator bays. We have one operational at the moment that we are currently testing, we hope to have this ready for Christmas.

October Update

The Development Application has Landed!

It was a thoroughly frustrating experience but we have now secured our Development Application from Newcastle Council. Naturally there are still all manner of regulatory hoops to jump through but we are at least on a path to opening sections as the build develops. 

First stage will likely be the mini-golf. I say likely because the ​weather still won't cut us any slack and let us complete the build. We need a solid 3 weeks of dry weather to set down the final solid layer and then the synthetic turf will be the finishing touch.

We have the demolition inside the building just about complete and framing works for the simulator bays well underway too. We should be very close to offer training, lessons and gaming in those bays by the end of November or early December. The liquor license application has also been submitted, while it will likely be January before that's resolved we can at least direct patrons to the bar at the tennis centre side of the facilities for a sneaky brew.

The driving range engineering plans are also close to completion. By the time we receive quotes and build it out we're getting close to Christmas. Wouldn't that be a nice Rippit present?

July Update

Are we there yet!?!?

I thought getting Crown Lands to ratify our sub-lease would be the hard part. Turns out getting the DA approved is just as time consuming and every bit as frustrating. We are now required to have a Public Voice meeting for our development proposal and the Councilors decide whether to approve it a month later on.

There's a 6 week lead time between Council getting the report completed for the Public Voice and the Public Voice actually taking place and then a further month after that before we get a decision. At the moment it looks like it's going to be a late September/October decision and there's nothing we can do about it except twiddle our thumbs and wait.

We haven't been able to get any feedback from the Council as to why it's going to Public Voice, we don't know what the concerns may be or therefore how we may possibly assist in assuaging them. If we do get the ok in October, it will be 2 years since we initially started the agreement and approvals process.

We are still very upbeat on the facilities we have coming, we just want to get on with it; start employing staff, creating a great community facility and letting our customers have fun. Until the DA comes through we will start working on some test videos to demonstrate the facilities that we have coming. Stay tuned for that and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest we have coming your way; 

April Update

The slow wheels of progress

Well, to say the least, the last couple of months have not gone to plan. Firstly, the rain delayed the opening of the mini golf as we couldn't get enough sunny days to finish off the build. Our DA was rejected by Newcastle Council due to the Crown Lands permission not being sufficient to satisfy the Land Owners Consent provision (back through the Crown Lands hoops for a couple of months). And to top it all off, there was a requirement to prove to Council that the Mini Golf area was not a Flood Control Lot and therefore didn't need a separate DA to finish off the build. The joys of trying to start up a new business!

We're now slicing through the last reams of red tape and hope (Newcastle Council permitting) to have the DA in our hands at the end of April/early May. We've resumed the build of the Mini Golf, although the weather is still playing havoc with that, and plan to have that part of the facility ready for mid to late May.

We expect to start the internal build work immediately following the DA approval that will enable the indoor simulators to commence by the end of May as well. The driving range will take a little longer due to the importation of the netting structure ​but if the planets line up for us for a change, this should still be in June.

December Update

It's been a while...

Where to start? How about - we're nearly open! The mini golf course is well underway and our civil works machine, Goran, assures me that we're going to be open on Boxing Day with a few days to spare. Looking at the amount of work yet to be done I'm scratching my head as to how he's going to pull it off but he knows his stuff and hasn't let me down so far. 

The new roof is on and the 'indoor slip and slide' from all the leaks is no more
​ - thank you to Aaron Simcoe from Seaside Roof and Gutter for the great work. It was a great relief to get that sorted out.

The DA for the driving range and the works in the Auditorium was submitted mid-November and while we expect to see that come out the other end of January we cracked on with getting the architecturals and design elements lined up to go to tender. Catalyst Project Management have proved a Godsend, could not have managed this undertaking without them. Not only have they shouldered the load in progressing the project but they knew the right people to talk to and when they needed a tap on the shoulder.


So, hope to see the majority of Newcastle at the new mini golf facility on Boxing Day!!!

The new simulators inside the auditorium are now not far away either!

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE! The Mini Golf had slipped a few days due to the amount of rain we had through early December and then... close contacts for Covid struck the team working on the build. Unfortunately, we've had to make the call to delay opening until early in January to ensure everyone's safety. When we have a better picture of when we will be opening we will repost.

September Update

Out of the blocks.

Right, the first job in the barrel is to replace the roofing over the auditorium. As much as the tarpaulin rig for the leaky roof (see the May update further down) is a thing of rare beauty, it's not going to hang on much longer. Replacing the roofing will stabilise the damage to the auditorium's internals and enable the construction of the teaching and fitting bays.

We've also appointed Catalyst Project Consulting to direct traffic on the various sections of work to be undertaken. Anthony d'Arcy from Catalyst is forming a team to best tackle the job in an orderly manner.

August Update

... And waiting

Last bit of feedback we've received from Crown Lands was July 27th that the application has finally progressed from the Project Officer to the Assessor to complete​ and sign off. It's now August 11th, we're budgeting to invest a million dollars in the project, employ about a dozen people when operational and we've been waiting on Crown Lands since March.

The entire process with Crown Lands is supposed to take between 3 and 5 weeks, according to their own guidelines. 6 months later...

Yep, I'm a little frustrated!

As much as the tarpaulin rig for the leaky roof (see the May update further down) is a thing of rare beauty, it's not going to hang on much longer.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Ok, chill pill consumed and rant over. We have used the past month to assess some more options for the practice and lesson bays and refine what the outdoor areas will look like.


The mini-golf course layout has been designed, at a high level, by James Wilcher from 'Golf by Design'. The design can be seen here. Similarly we have drawn up a concept of the outdoor driving range to provide guidance to the engineers in preparation for the DA. As Doc Brown from 'Back to the Future' would say 'Please excuse the crudity of the model...' but my CAD skills are limited! The concept design can be found here.

We're also now planning on a dedicated chipping bay, including an indoor bunker, as well as a dedicated putting bay. The chipping bay will also utilise the Uneekor technology and we are currently assessing techs for the putting bay.



July Update

Progress so far...

Without the formal approval we're limited to testing equipment and trying to stem the decay of the auditorium and surrounds. The first test bay is operational and demonstrating that the technology employed is 1st rate and providing an incredible amount of feedback to the golfer.

How good is this!?!?

Originally we expected to rip up the old court synthetic surface and replace with a new one. Thinking it may be an interim step we thought we'd test out a pressure clean of a section of the court to see if it would at least look reasonable until the work to replace the surface commenced. To our amazement, under all of the algae, grime and God knows what the synthetic turf was still in tip top shape. The test section went from an almost concrete-like surface to a fluffy synthetic grass again.

Hat's off to Dave at Blazing Pressure Cleaning for the result. We look forward to you tackling the entire court surface at the end of the month. There will be lots of double takes from the cars driving past at the bright green surface that's coming back to Broadmeadow.

A photo of the empty golf area
A photo of artificial grass
A person feeling the artificial grass

June Update

Twiddling Thumbs...

Seems like there's a lot of "t's to cross and i's to dot" for the sub-lease approval, as soon as we get requests for changes we comply and resubmit immediately. Then it sits there for a few more weeks until something else turns up and we go through the process again.


In the meantime, we've had some fun setting up the next prototype bay. A lot of bent nails and statements like; "Shouldn't you have screwed that bit in first?", "That's not going to work" and "Why didn't you tell me that before" and we finally had a bay to trial...

A side-on view of a prototype simulator bay
A front view of a prototype simulator bay
A 45 degree view of a prototype simulator bay
The inside of a prototype golf bay, with scanners and projectors

May Update

May Update

Any Day Now...

After a false start with Crown Lands, the correct paperwork was submitted in April and we are now waiting on a response. In the meantime we are stabilising the deterioration in the auditorium as best we can. There are too many leaks to try to plug so the best we can do at this stage is set up tarps to channel rainwater back outside. As soon as we get the Crown Lands approval we will replace the roofing to completely fix the water ingress.

The inside of a building having renovations

April Update

Found it!

To whomever takes over the lease of the auditorium after us, here's a tip. When you're looking to connect the internet service and the technician is trying to located the MDF (The thingy with the wires that makes the interwebs work), it's inside a column in the main bar area. Who knew?!?!

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth looking for the MDF, John climbed into the roof and traced wires from the source in the adjoining building through to the bar area. A conversation ensued along the lines of "It's right below me now", "So am I and there's nothing here", "Open your eyes", "Shut your mouth"...


Eventually, a painted over panel on a column gave up its secret and we are connected to the world again.

An image showing the MDF in a room
The MDF board

March Update

Work to be done

Whenever you hear a building referred to as having "good bones", you know it's not going to be pretty.

The bones on this one then are world class. It's a large area and admittedly fantastic potential but man, there's some work to do!

Roof tiles that are starting to fall off
A stripped down area of a building
Empty room in building
A bar area with debris on the floor
An empty building
An empty room
A hole in a roof
An abandoned bar area
A wall in a building that is partially painted
A fence
An empty building
An empty room
Buckets on a dirt ground
A large empty room with windows outside
A roof with a section of it peeled off
Fence and a gate with a No Parking sign
A room with empty shelves
Old bathroom
Roof with tiles falling
Roof with cracks and exposed electronics
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