Newcastle is home to great dining and entertainment, along with a keen interest for golf. For new golf venue and function space Rippit Golf (Rippit), offering this unique blend of experiences, in one place helps locals continue their love of golf and even be introduced to the sport. A project that’s been three years in the making, Rippit are now the Hunter Region’s only combined driving range, virtual golf simulator and mini golf course. We sat down with Operations Manager Mark Forster to learn about the business, how they’re making their mark in the community and future plans.
Rippit Golf was an idea created by avid golf enthusiasts and businessmen John Schneider and Aaron Spalding formerly of Computer Systems Australia. As Newcastle locals, choosing to build the one-of-a-kind destination locally was a simple decision. Managing day-to-day operations is Mark Forster, who brings over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. For Mark, Rippit Golf brings ‘activetainment’ to Newcastle, a concept that blends hands-on entertainment.
With the driving range set to open before Christmas, the golf simulators and mini golf course are open for the community. Once development is complete, the official opening is set for February 2024.
Once open, the Rippit driving range will use PowerTee technology, an Australian-first and the world’s leading automatic teeing system designed to measure performance, increase efficiency and encourage a better golf swing. Bringing this golf innovation to the Hunter helps revolutionise the way golfers practice and elevate their game, and making it more accessible and convenient year-round.
In addition to golf, the venue also has a bar and will soon offer dining. For Mark, supporting local businesses is essential to everyone’s success. ‘We’ve built a strong relationship with local brewery Modus and distillery Earp Distillery, and have brought on board Tony Harrison as the executive chef’, said Mark.
Chef Tony Harrison offers remarkable fine dining and is best known for Harrisons Food and Wine in Hamilton, along with previous experience at Newcastle Yacht Club, Queens Wharf Hotel and Lowlands Bowling Club.
Supporting local charities is also important for Mark. In the short few months since opening, Rippit has already demonstrated its commitment to the community by raising over $50,000 for local charities. Their ongoing partnership with RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities) allows families staying at the house to come and play for free, offering them a break from their everyday challenges. In addition, they are also proud sponsors of the Newcastle District Cricket and the Newcastle Netball Association.
Any new business can benefit from some tips and advice from seasoned business operators, and for Mark his top three tips for small businesses who are getting started are:
Wanting to bring printing in-house, Mark sought a dependable print solutions partner where the ‘professionalism and community outreach aligned with theirs’. Sharp Office stood out for these qualities and Scott Roberts helped find the best solution. Working with Scott was a fantastic experience for Mark. ‘Scott went the extra mile to simplify the entire process’ said Mark, with Scott offering different options and selecting a model that could grow with their business. Mark feels any business ‘won’t be disappointed. Scott is professional, and nothing was an issue. It’s not just during the sales process; it’s the service experience afterwards too’.
With a Kyocera Taskalfa 3554ci, the venue can now print menus, signage, documents, score cards and even party invitations internally, saving outsourcing costs and hassles.
Connect with Scott or another Sharp Office print solutions expert today and see how your business can grow.