Row brew­ing over Cham­ber­lain Park course de­signs

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ELESHA ED­MONDS

Golfers are teed off with new Cham­ber­lain Park golf course de­sign op­tions, claim­ing they are un­safe and don’t of­fer golfers a fair test of their skills.

The Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board de­cided at an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing on April 22 to progress with four mas­ter plan op­tions for the re­de­vel­op­ment of the 32.3 hectare park next to the north­west­ern mo­tor­way.

A con­tro­ver­sial dif­fer­ence in the four op­tions is the re­con­fig­u­ra­tion of the park’s ex­ist­ing 18-hole course.

Three of the op­tions of­fer a restruc­tured 18-hole course and the other a nine hole course. Two of the op­tions in­clude a driv­ing range and prac­tise area.

All the de­signs meet the hand­i­cap rat­ing re­quire­ment, which means the course must be nine holes or above with at least two holes more than 229m.

Cham­ber­lain Park Golf Club com­mit­tee mem­ber Richard Quince says golfers are be­ing mis­led into be­liev­ing the course will be sim­i­lar to its orig­i­nal de­sign.

‘‘The ma­jor­ity sup­ported an 18-hole golf course for Cham­ber­lain Park clearly, be­cause we had a sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion which out-voted every­body else,’’ he says.

‘‘The trou­ble is the board can play se­man­tics here and say: ‘Look we’ve given you an 18-hole golf course,’ when re­ally it’s six par 3s and 12 par 4s. That, in my opin­ion, is not a test of golf.’’

Lo­cal board mem­ber Graeme Easte says users of the course need to know how the re­con­fig­u­ra­tion will af­fect them.

‘‘It is noth­ing like the ex­ist­ing 18-hole golf course and it could po­ten­tially be quite tight, po­ten­tially less safe,’’ he says.

‘‘You might get a nice, chal­leng­ing golf course with only nine holes, but good holes, or a whole mess of short holes. You’ll still have 18, but some of them won’t be quite sat­is­fac­tory.’’

The shorter golf course also cre­ates a safety risk, Easte says.

‘‘We need to have a rea­son­ably gen­er­ous safety zone be­tween buf­fers and golfers,’’ he says.

Quince says un­less walk­ways and cy­cle­ways through the course are to­tally en­closed, ‘‘there is a real health and safety is­sue’’.

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