|2 June 2020
The Queensland Government have now increased permittable numbers in our club as from Monday 1st June from 10 to 20 people. It has also allowed for the bar to open with restrictions.
Unfortunately due to the short notice the club is not in a position to fully open immediately so have implemented the following:
To open the clubhouse, the Government have imposed some strict conditions. Please be supportive of our staff as we work through these issues to give all of our members the opportunity to once again enjoy the club facilities.
Many of you have commented unfavourably on the current conditions of the greens and the committee is well aware they are not up to standard. The recovery after the winter renovation is not as we had expected and there are several reasons for this.
In the early months of summer we experienced near drought conditions and then significant rains in January, February and early March. Approximately 860 mm fell in that period. This rainfall promoted rapid growth in the greens and delayed the work on the eighteenth creek for some weeks.
In an effort to assist the committee in running an ambitious pennant and tournament program, it was agreed that the renovations would be delayed as long as possible, with the result that they started about three weeks later than usual on 23rd March. In ideal conditions, the greens normally take six weeks to recover fully, so we would have expected them to be back to normal by early May.
Because of the change from dry to very wet conditions there was a heavy build up of thatch on the greens. As part of the renovations, scarifying and wire brushes were used to remove this growth and it was found that approximately twice the amount of material was removed from the perimeters than from the centre of the green, leaving the edges thin and pitted. The excess thatch around the perimeters was because we have been using the walk behind mower in those areas. The mower is much lighter than the normal triplex greens mower and does not have spiral rollers or grooming wheels that remove a small amount of thatch each time the green is mown. Most of the bare sandy patches on the greens are around the edges. Methods of avoiding this unexpected effect but still avoiding the “ring cut”, that was the subject of so much complaint, are being examined.
Because of the late start and the heavy thatch, recovery has not been as expected. In future the committee will not allow the renovations to be delayed and the golfing program will be constructed around the absolute requirements of the course.
It was always intended to start the expansion of the 17th green as soon as the work on the eighteenth creek was completed and that was expected to be mid January. Because of the weather the work on the eighteenth was not complete until March and work was not commenced until 24th March, so that green has suffered the same cooler weather conditions as the rest of the greens and growth has been slow. This green, and the fifteenth, have been over sown with Poa, a grass that grows well in colder conditions, but this will mean that these greens will require a more intensive maintenance schedule as the warmer weather returns.
The 15th suffers from poorer soil than many of the others and has been slow to recover from renovations for some years. The committee will discuss a long-term solution to this issue with the course architect appointed to draw up the Course Master Plan.
The sudden decision by the Queensland Government to allow groups of 20 has allowed us to adjust the time sheets and allow more players on the course. The time sheets for Saturdays and Tuesdays now have increased numbers. The committee expects that the Government will increase permissible numbers again in four weeks time, on Saturday 27th June. We expect to be able to return to normal time sheets and sub club competitions at that time and are working towards that.
Time sheet release times for competitions from the 27th onwards will not return to normal as it would result in several time sheets opening on the same day and could possibly result in excess numbers in the club when we are serving diners, but the 6AM opening will be altered to more convenient times. These are still being considered and will be advised as soon as possible.
A card scanner will be moved downstairs and from Saturday 6th June. Competitors will be asked to scan their own cards.
The fixtures book will be amended as some off the events will not be possible. For example, shotgun starts and invitation days cannot go ahead. The summer renovation will be started on Monday 21st September and this will mean a change of schedule for the club championships. Some Honour Board events may have to be abandoned but as many as possible, and other trophy events, will be continued. A revised fixtures book will be issued as soon as possible.
I would like to thank the many members who have shown great tolerance for the measures we have been forced to adopt and for the many suggestions that have been made by you. All have been considered and I understand the frustration that results when those suggestions are not adopted, but we have very sound reasons for all that we have done. I would also like to thank all who have manufactured their own sand bucket and those who have made the extra effort to fill as many divots as they can. It is unlikely that we will have buckets or bunker rakes available for some time so please do all that you can to maintain our course.