Pau­ata­hanui golf course gets $4 mil­lion facelift

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Pau­ata­hanui Golf Club ver­sus Trans­mis­sion Gully shapes as a mis­match any day of the week, but the smaller of the two is chang­ing its lay­out for the sake of progress.

By this time next year, the ru­ral nine- hole, 10- green golf course will look much dif­fer­ent, fol­low­ing $4 mil­lion worth of al­ter­ations.

That’s what it will cost to buy land next to the course, the fees of a course de­signer, pay for con­sents, fell trees and carry out the re­con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Earth­movers are on site now, and ir­ri­ga­tion work is be­ing car­ried out, so there could be dis­rup­tion for the club through­out sum­mer.

Club pres­i­dent War­ren Hoy said changes had been on the cards for more than a decade.

Dis­cus­sions with NZ Trans­port Agency had oc­curred on and off in that time.

‘‘We’ve known for a long time that we would be los­ing land in the north­ern part of the course,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s dragged on, but now we can give some cer­tainty to our mem­bers and green fee play­ers about what’s hap­pen­ing.’’

About 2.5 hectares of the course will be taken for Trans­mis­sion Gully, so the golf club will lose the two holes fur­thest from the club­house.

There would still be nine holes and the changes meant the course would be flat­ter, Hoy said.

New bridges and sand-based greens would add a more mod­ern feel.

He said the trans­port agency had been great to deal with, but the club mem­ber­ship had dropped to about 100.

The next 12 months was pro­jected to be tough on the club’s cof­fers, he said. Green fees are down to $ 15 to at­tract more play­ers.

‘‘ There is un­cer­tainty, es­pe­cially for green fees play­ers, who hear about the work go­ing on and think, ‘We can’t play there’,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s not the case.

‘‘ The mem­bers are tick­lish about all this and at the end of the day we didn’t want a mo­tor­way through the course. But we’re here now and there’s op­ti­mism about the new de­sign.’’

The trans­port agency’s act­ing state high­ways man­ager, Sel­wyn Black­more, said the need for part of the golf course was iden­ti­fied as far back as 1996. At that time it was thought only one fair­way might be af­fected, he said.

‘‘We do ap­pre­ci­ate the mem­bers’ pa­tience and tol­er­ance dur­ing the dis­rup­tion,’’ he said.

Black­more said hav­ing con­trac­tors on the course while it was open was chal­leng­ing.

But it was an im­por­tant part of both par­ties’ de­sire to have the course be­ing used through­out.

Han­dover is ex­pected on Novem­ber 1, 2015.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Pic­turesque

view: The changes to the course lay­out

at Pau­ata­hanui Golf Club will re­sult in sand­based greens, more bridges and a flat­ter walk for play­ers.

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