While the playing surfaces of the new Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club are a level above, as Kate Torgersen writes it’s the out of play areas where some of the most significant transformations have taken place.
Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club (PKCGC) is a special place for me as it was here that my passion for golf and its interaction with the environment began 15 years ago. I am still in awe of the beautiful natural surroundings there and feel privileged to have found my way back there to be involved with the course vegetation management as part of the redevelopment.
The story about the transformation of the out of play areas started long before my involvement. As part of the redesign, architects Ogilvy Clayton Cocking Mead (OCCM) had the management of the existing vegetation and incorporation of new areas of revegetation as a major component, given how the areas off the fairway contribute so much to look and feel of the golf course. This is especially true at PKCGC as even though there were many degraded areas, there were also some fantastic remnant patches, particularly on the North Course.
Once the masterplan had been approved, OCCM started working on more detailed plans including a vegetation removal plan and, most importantly, a landscape plan for the site, along with ensuring appropriate budgets for all removal, slashing, burning, mulching, seed collection and propagation of new stock. To assist OCCM, highly-regarded ecologist Jeff Yugovic, who has a great deal of experience and passion for the Sandbelt vegetation communities, was engaged. He identified the various EVCs (Ecological Vegetation Classes) across the site both through the study of plans but also field work. In one instance he even brought a geologist to the site who dug some observation holes as he wasn’t confident that some of the plans were correct. Through Jeff’s work on the EVCs, OCCM developed a palette of plants for each area of the golf course and then started interviewing a number of nurseries to find a suitable partner to collect and propagate stock.
The revegetation of the course was overseen and implemented by the construction team working under OCCM. It was around this time that, together with director of courses Glenn Stuart, thoughts started turning to employing a dedicated team to oversee the vegetation moving forward – looking after what had been planted but also progressing the vegetation across the site.
Originally published in Volume 21.5 (Sept-Oct 2019) Australian Turfgrass Management Journal.