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The purpose of this report is to inform members of matters relating to the course and of the progress to date regarding the 5 year Master Plan that was approved at the AGM in August 2016.

It is also my final report to members as spokesman for the greens committee.

Our priorities have been, and remain, the provision of an enjoyable golfing experience for all players by presenting a well maintained course in excellent condition. We endeavour to provide consistent conditions with the minimum disruption of play while taking care of the environment.

9th hole – the rains came!
As a result of regular heavy rains which have generally coincided with spring tides, the 9th has once again been inundated and has been out of play for a number of weeks. We recognise that this is not acceptable to our members and we are seeking a “permanent” solution.

In 2015 a drainage sub-committee comprised of respected and qualified members, made a number of recommendations to improve the drainage on the course. The most relevant to the 9th was to open up the drainage ditches along the right of the fairway as well as opening up the ditch all around the course. The recommendations in this regard have been followed and in 2018 the entire ditch was cleared at a cost of some R50 000.

While the report did not make specific proposals relating to the 9th we have taken advice from various sources. These include development of a core drainage system, sumps and pumps and raising the fairway. The last, while the “ideal” proposal will be very expensive and the construction period will be very disruptive. We are exploring alternatives.

In any event no work can be done while the course is very wet.

Course condition
It appears that the “normal” winter weather patterns have resumed and the course has been very wet for the past couple of months with an adverse impact on maintenance. Despite the weather Tienie and his crew have been able to present tees, greens and bunkers in a playable condition and have continued to elicit positive comments in spite of the rain.

It is our intention to top dress and level all tees on a regular basis but this work has also been affected by the rain. The work will continue when the course dries out to avoid the tees becoming mud patches.

Unfortunately due to excessive water on the 9th the “par 4” tee has suffered and temporary markers have been placed on the fairway.

Overall the fairways and rough areas are playable with the exception of the extremely wet areas.

Progress has continued on replacing the bunker sand in the reconstructed bunkers with sand sourced from Mossel Bay and the response from players has been positive.

Despite the weather and an outbreak of fungal disease that has affected greens throughout the Southern Cape, Tienie has managed the greens very well and they are firm and true.

The cart paths near the club house have been rebuilt and post and rail fences placed near the 1st and 10th tees to improve the initial experience.

The Master Plan
After approval at the August 2016 AGM, the time scale for the Master Plan was set at 5 years for the following reasons:

To fit in with the “low season” and,

– To minimise cost by carrying out all work by existing staff, supplemented as necessary by temporary workers on fixed contracts.

– Work commenced on the course in June 2016 with the reshaping of the bunkers at Hole 1 and was followed by the remodelling of Hole 7.

– Reshaping and remodelling bunkers was seen to be the most pressing priority and significant progress has been made and 27 bunkers have been redone. Another 9 bunkers remain to be rebuilt.

– All of the work has been carried out in house. In addition more than 100 trees were planted of which some 80 have survived the drought and the water restrictions.

Completed works and work in progress

To recap, the work carried out over the past 3 years is as follows:

Hole 1
Remodel bunkers and insert drain from right of green
Remove palm tree “gobblers” to speed up play
Remove Blackwood

Hole 2
Reconstruct bunkers, improve mounding
Remove dead gum tree

Hole 3
Reconstruct greenside bunker
Trim gums

Hole 4
Plant trees to create screen between 5th tee

Hole 5
Construct new strategic bunker
Fill bunker left of fairway
Remove greenside tree
Plant trees behind green

Hole 6
Enlarge fairway bunker
Build new “blue” tee
Replace bridge

Hole 7
Rebuild greenside bunkers
Build new strategic fairway bunker
Remove greenside tree
Remove gum tree

Hole 8
Rebuild greenside bunker

Hole 10
Rebuild greenside bunkers (in progress)

Hole 11
Refurbish existing greenside bunkers
Fill bunker behind green

Hole 12
Rebuild greenside bunkers
Remove bunker short right

Hole 14
Rebuild greenside bunkers
Remove tree killed by lightning
Build grassy mound and extend to 15 tee

Hole 15
Rebuild greenside bunkers

Hole 16
Rebuild greenside bunkers

Hole 17
Rebuild greenside bunker

Hole 18
Rebuild greenside bunkers
Replace pond with bunker and swale

Future works
Our plans include

– Completion of the bunker programme
– Upgrading tees, particularly blue and red tees
– Repositioning and upgrading cart paths

Specific Costs

At the outset we estimated a total cost for renovation under the Master Plan of some R2 million over a 5 year period.

Actual costs as per our financial records for the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019 are:

Year ended 30 June 2016

Year ended 30 June 2017

Year ended 30 June 2018

Year ended 30 June 2019

Total per ledger

These costs do not include an allocation of normal fixed costs for course maintenance.

We are confident that our original estimates are attainable.

We welcome written input from members and will respond in writing.

Please address any comments/complaints/suggestions email to or on paper to Chris Dixon who will pass them on.

Peter Oosthuizen
2 August 2019