Player course recovering its condition after court rules in favour of home owners.
lair Atholl has gone through trying times since the Gary Player design, on the site of his original Gauteng home near Lanseria Airport, was ranked No 4 in the 2014 Top 100. As a result this magni cent course, on a low-density golf estate with 250 000 trees, has slipped to No 14.
Over the last two years there has been a protracted legal dispute between the Blair Atholl Home-Owners Association and estate developer Robbie Wray. The home-owners went to Ar- bitration to successfully reclaim the golf course from Wray, who according to the HOA had unlawfully transferred the golf course property from the HOA into his personal company. The developer had attempted to wrestle control and ownership of the course, the clubhouse and the common property away from the members without their knowledge.
Three former Supreme Court judges ruled in favour of the home-owners, and ordered the Wray-appointed board to be dissolved and the assets returned. Wray no longer has a say over the management of the estate, run by a residentelected board and committees, including golf.
During a lengthy and arduous period of uncertainty before the court case was settled, club captain Alan Rahme said that the condition of the course had been neglected by Wray. It had taken a serious turn for the worse due to limited maintenance. The rough grasses anking the fairways became long and unkempt, and the bent grass greens su ered without regular hollow-tining and verti-cutting. Their health was in peril until Southern Turf Management applied some intensive treatment last year after being given the contract to manage the course.
The greens are now nearly back to their best, and the cynodon fairways are recovering.
Blair Atholl is a private golf club, and their previous policy towards visitors was only to welcome the guests of members, not to have visitor times.
However, Rahme con rmed that a limited number of visitors would be welcome on certain days of the week. The R800 green fee includes the halfway house, probably the most special halfway house in the country, outdoors on the banks of the Crocodile River.Visitors need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a tee time.
PGA professional Paul Marks, formerly at Woodhill, has been appointed as the new director of golf, and he will be setting up a golf academy and tment centre.
LONG PAR 3