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East coast storm damage keeps ground staff busy

Tuesday 11, Feb 2020


We have gone from one extreme to the next, from devastating fires to torrential rains ripping through the North East coast of Australia.  Golf courses across New South Wales and Queensland have been inundated, some with over 400mm over four days, causing flooding and damage after a long period of drought. 


Lynwood Golf Club (superintendent Matt Bailey) in North West Sydney stated on Monday, “Torrential rain in Sydney over the past few days has led to major flooding to 80% of the golf course at Lynwood. Water is still rising with peak height predicted for 2pm this afternoon.”

Pymble Golf Club in Sydney’s North Shore had some major tree damage, “Members are advised the course will be closed again on Tuesday, 11 February as we continue to clean up. Big shout out to Steve & the Greens team who have been working around the clock to restore the course!” 

Superintendents and greenskeepers are working tirelessly to get the courses back to playing condition.  Ocean Shores Country Club (superintendent Shane Heaney), north of Byron Bay, had significant flooding.  The grounds team worked hard to get things up and running,  “Our ground staff are so amazing they had the course open for a small par 3 competition today using half the golf course.”

Flooding isn’t the only issue courses are facing, Ipswich Golf Club in Qld (superintendent Luke Nowlan) suffered with major drain damage.  “This is the result of 75mm of rain in 20 minutes - a good old-fashioned gully raker that took paths, dam walls, and even irrigation mainlines with it! …” 

Manly Golf Club (superintendent Luke Partridge) is closed with some major damage.  They have been sending out updates on their social media, “A total of 378mm has fallen on the golf course in the last 96 hours. With a King tide yesterday large parts of the course were completely submerged.  Unfortunately we lost around 50% of the Hills Fig on the right side of the 12th hole which has now been declared structurally unsafe and condemned.  The clean up ahead of us is significant.  The golf course will be closed until at least Wednesday.  We will reassess conditions on Wednesday afternoon.” 

Some courses have come out of the storm with less damage, though still significant clean-up.  Eastlake Golf Club sent out an update on their Instagram, ”Course is open, Golf Carts are allowed.  Greens, tees, fairways, greens approaches and surrounds all being cut.  Bunkers on holes 1-6, 11 & 16 were repaired yesterday, staff will continue after morning mow to repair the rest…” 

Justin Bradbury, superintendent at Camden Golf Club in Studley Park, NSW stated, “Lots of water and debris for us after just over 300mm in 4 days… lots of clean up to be done but nothing compared to some less fortunate courses around the city.”  They plan to open the front nine after being closed the past couple of days and hoping to have the back nine open by Thursday, pending no further rainfall. 

Superintendent Leon Hennessy from Cromer Golf Club in Sydney’s Northern Beaches measured 420mm from Thursday-Sunday.  Flooding and debris has caused the course to be closed for couple of days while they manage clean up. 

Port Kembla Golf Club in Primbee, NSW had over 200mm of rain since Sunday with their course also underwater. 

The ASTMA sends our thoughts out to all those who have suffered damage and acknowledge the hard work of all the superintendents and greenkeepers working hard to fix the damage.