Tuross Head Men’s Golf 2020 committee: Nigel Barling Vice-Captain, Ted Quinlan Secretary, Andrew Gordon President, Peter Nikolic Captain, David Schmid Vice President and Ian Kingston Treasurer. Absent: Steve Swanbury Golf Development.
The current term started with an extremely successful Tuross Open with record numbers participating from all over the coast. As usual, the course was in pristine condition thanks to the efforts of Tim Watson and his crew of Ben Hewison and Tyson Hastie in a period of ongoing drought conditions.
Then the Bushfires and a quick flood to be followed in biblical order the plague – COVID-19. I would like to expand on the chronology and events of COVID as I’m not sure that everyone fully understands the immediate impact of the crisis and how the Committee had to manoeuvre very quickly in its response to literally save the Course. 1) The previous THCC Board closed the Club on the advice of Clubs NSW on 20th March. This included an immediate shut-down of both the Bowling and Golf Facilities. 2) All machinery was to be hibernated and Staff were to be stood down on March 31.
The Board withdrew ALL funding for ANY ongoing maintenance of the facilities. May I remind members the grass was still growing strongly at this time. 3) Around March 24 Golf NSW advised that Golf was permissible (with some restrictions) for the purpose of exercise. With the condition of the course already deteriorating, the Committee immediately set about to develop a Financial Plan to save the Course from neglect as a result of an extended maintenance shut-down which could potentially result in the Course returning to its current/normal condition impossible. This involved: a) The introduction of the COVID Levy of $5 per person to play. This was later extended to the Bowlers when they were permitted to return by their governing bodies much later. b) A complete rethink of the existing competitions in order to try and fund the Maintenance Programme required whilst complying with COVID restrictions.
Then thank goodness, JOBKEEPER arrived and this was a complete game-changer as the THCC was able to retain the Ground-staff (it should be noted that the senior staff had to draw down on their accrued entitlements to top-up their salaries or work shorter hours). I would like to sincerely thank ALL Members who readily understood the dire situation that we found ourselves in and their support and cooperation in allowing the Committee to pursue this course of action.
Such was the success, that the Levy was dropped in late June with the Committee forming the view that sufficient funds had been accumulated to see maintenance funding through to the end of September. Sincere thanks to Tim Watson and his crew of Ben, Tyson and Callan (who joined us as a 1 st Year Apprentice in February) for their incredible commitment and work through an extremely difficult time.
Their efforts are readily seen in the current fabulous condition of the Course and completion of the major Drainage Project on the 8th and now 7th fairways (funded by grants from Golf NSW totaling $5,700). Sincere thanks is extended to the Ladies and Vet’s Golf Sub-clubs and also the Bowling Sub- clubs. The cooperation between all has been simply superb. I am in no doubt that the efforts of all have not only preserved (and in some cases improved) the Sporting Facilities, but at the same time resulted in saving the THCC.
There were times that the doors could have easily closed never to reopen. We’re not out of the woods yet but I believe there is a strong future for the Club. Whilst thanking people, on behalf of ALL Members, our gratitude is extended to those who volunteer their time collecting and processing the bottles and cans. In particular Graeme Sindel, Ron Rogers, Trevor Jones and Brad Doolan sincere thanks. Ian will have a figure on the money raised all of which will go out on the course.
Welcome to Rob Green Golf Professional. This I feel has been a real coup for the THCC in general and Golf in particular. He is settled in the new Golf Shop and thanks to Dave, Pete, Nigel Barling and Warren Hodder for getting him there. Thank you to the Men’s Shed for their cooperation in negotiating the current space.
The Grants Programme rolls on. Once Tim completes installation of the Shade-cloth system for the Bowlers, the road from the lower carpark to Tim’s shed will be complete along with pathway extension down the 6th , alongside the left of the 1st Tee and a small extension toward the 7th . Total cost $24,695 funded by the latest successful Grant Application.
A plan has been developed with Tim for the Ongoing Development of the Golf Course – a copy for your perusal is here if anyone is interested. Finally with the increasing busyness of all things Golf, the Committee has invited Steve Swanbury to join the committee in a new position of Golf Development. He will assist specifically in Grant Applications and sourcing external Sponsorship – both things have proved to be extremely valuable sources of external income for accelerating the Course Improvements.