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Golf Course Condition Report – February 2020

As you are no doubt aware, we have had a significant amount of rainfall on the course over the last 5 days, 615 millimeters has fallen since Thursday 6th giving a year to date total of 808mm.The entire year of 2019 the course received 887mm! Furthermore we have had King high tides this week adding to the inundation of water on the back 9 holes.

As I write this the Goonies and the Course Maintenance team are out there getting the course playable for our Members to enjoy as soon as possible, with the Ladies today been given the opportunity to play a Par 3 competition. Due to the amount of rain we have had our 64 bunkers have been washed out and this will take a considerable amount of manpower to restore. Also, we are unsure that this rain event is not yet over and the last thing we want to do is get all the bunkers playable again only to be washed out a few days later. So our bunkers will remain GUR until we are confident this weather event is behind us.

So if we don’t have significant rain today, we are confident we will be able to have the course open and a par 3 competition available on Wednesday the 12th. Naturally, it will be CARTS ON PATHS So please be responsible an ensure you keep your golf carts off the playing surface and help our course return to normal.

At Ocean Shores Country Club we are experiencing weather extremes unlike what we have seen before. Just 4 weeks ago we were in a drought with no significant rainfall in over 4 months, now we are at the opposite end of the scale with more rain than we can store. Our water storage capacity is about 3 months of normal watering and previously that has been more than sufficient to maintain our course. But as we are now seeing longer sustained dry spells, we need to look at alternative water sources of either bore, or treated sewage the 2 potential options. The Board are now looking closely at this and will invest in whatever is the best option for us.

On another matter, several members have asked why has the left rear bunker on the 8th green been filled in and made a grassy mound? Back in early 2019 the Course Superintendent identified to the Golf Management Committee (GMC) that something needed to be done with this bunker as it was impossible to keep it playable. A simple repair was not an option and the only answer was a total rebuild of the bunker at an estimated cost of up to $10,000. The concern was that we knew at some point in the future the 8th green would need to be relocated due to golf balls impacting the homes on the right-hand side. So it seemed impractical to spend that amount of money on something that potentially would be ripped up in 18-24 months time.  The GMC considered the options and decided filling the bunker in was the best option for now. This decision was not taken lightly; contact was made with Andrew Robb (Manager Game Development, Rules and Handicapping) NSW Golf to ensure this was not a major modification to our course. We also asked our Golf Professional to monitor the 8th hole score average both before and after the modification to ensure a correction to the hole index was not required. He found prior to the removal of the bunker the average score was 1.7 over par and after was 1.6 over par, a change of 0.1 was insufficient to require any change to the hole index. So although a few members have suggested there was a breach to the Clubs constitution, claiming this was a major modification to the course, both the GMC and the Board with the backing of NSW Golf, are confident that this was not the case.

Under the Constitutional review that is being undertaken, clarity as to what is deemed a major modification of the golf course will be determined for the future.

Happy Golfing

Lance Selleck

Golf Director