Yarra Yarra starts Alex Russell restoration with Renaissance Golf Design in 2018

The Yarra Yarra Golf Club moved to its current East Bentleigh location in 1928, entrusted the design and construction to Alex Russell, the Australian partner of the legendary Dr Alister MacKenzie, in what is regarded as the golden era of golf course architecture. While many of the original design elements remain in 2017, many of the subtleties and intent of the original Alex Russell design have been hidden from view.

After an exhaustive process, in April 2017, the Club appointed Renaissance Golf Design (RGD) as consulting architects to restore the uniqueness of our original design.

“Yarra Yarra is one of the finest courses designed by the esteemed Alex Russell and stands up extremely well in a neighbourhood noted worldwide for fine and unique golf courses. Mr. Russell surely made the most of an elegant piece of property. It is with great pleasure that we have been appointed by the Yarra Yarra Golf Club.” Tom Doak, Renaissance Golf Design

The key themes of the restoration are:

  • Generally – Views across should feature greens, bunkers and the character of the land;
  • Tees – To integrate the tees into their surrounds as part of greater decluttering of the site. Artificial tee pads and any other visual impediments should be eliminated or suppressed.
  • Bunkers – To remove superfluous bunkers and/or reshape those bunkers which are out of character with the Russell style evidence elsewhere.
  • Fairway mowing – To adjust fairway mowing lines to fully engage with hazards and present strategic risk/reward angles into tucked hole locations. Fairway bunkers wherever possible should feel like they intrude on fairways instead of merely flanking them.
  • Greens – Restore altered greens where possible. Where they can’t be restored to their original location, at least rebuild them to look and play like original Russell greens elsewhere on the course. Surviving original greens should be inspected carefully for expansion to regain lost pin positions.
  • Interconnectedness – to judiciously open gaps in the forest for the golf and landscape to benefit.
  • Low Hanging Fruit – to start with relatively low disruption/ high impact works.

“The fundamental reason for appointing an RGD is to ensure the Club’s viability into the future. To stay where we are risks consigning us to allowing external forces influence our longevity. To ensure a viable future we need to have a course that reflects the greatness of its original design; that is fun and challenging so that people want to play the course; and a Club that people want to join – for the next 50 – 100 years.” David Blake, President

“With Brian Slawnik leading the RGD team here at Yarra Yarra there is justifiable optimism that, in the not-too-distant future, our course will return to its rightful position as a top level course in this country.” Bruce Davison, Captain

“The vison that RGD have for our site is simple; Restore the genius of Alex Russell’s gem and then showcase it to the world. The membership of Yarra Yarra is extremely excited for the future of our already magnificent Club.” Peter Vlahandreas, General Manager

Yarra Yarra is excited for our future. We have appointed one of the worlds most respected golf course architects who has been responsible for the creation and restoration of some of the finest golf links around the globe.

The Club believes that the appointment of Renaissance Golf Design allows our club to revive what was once one of Australia’s premier golf courses.

“The Opening Seven”

For further information, please contact the Clubs General Manager, Peter Vlahandreas on;
+61 3 9575 0575, + 61 402 189 819 or peterv@yarrayarra.com.au
Yarra Yarra Golf Club – www.yarrayarra.com.au

Toro Support and Grow Grant Winners

Global leader in turf and landscape maintenance, Toro Australia, has teamed up with Golf Management Australia to bring a pre-owned Toro Triflex 3400 mower to two lucky not-for-profit golf clubs through the Toro Support & Grow Grants program.

With an estimated value of $18,000 each, the mowers will give a much-needed boost to maintaining courses and grounds as well as ensuring that staff and volunteers have the right equipment for the job.

One of the program’s recipients, Gisborne Golf Club based in Victoria, has recently introduced a volunteer brigade to help cope with the need to reduce staffing levels. These volunteers need to be trained and educated without interfering with the continuing maintenance of the greens, tees and fairways.

For General Manager Bill Papadimitriou, new machinery was vital to help achieve this.

“The introduction of a volunteer brigade has revitalised the focus to deliver a great course for members, guests and visitors on limited funding and resources,” Bill said.

“This focus can only be successful if we can maintain our greens, tees and fairways at the level required and have the equipment on hand to match.

“Winning this mower is an absolute blessing for a club like us. It’s an amazing gesture from Toro who support Course Superintendents everywhere; their support is really 24/7. Our club is just beside itself and really excited to have this opportunity.”

For the historic Gloucester Country Club, which has been in operation since the 1920s, the mower was a very timely addition.

Course Superintendent Anthony Ross says the club’s goal is to promote golf in the regional area, however the current equipment was in need of replacement and they had no means of funding it.

“Our old mower had well over 4,500 hours on it, it was ready to breakdown any day,” Anthony said.

“We’re a club run by volunteers, I’m the only full time employee, and we were in no position to buy new equipment. Winning this mower means we can present a great golf course for our members and the golfing community.

“It’s great to come in and know that the mower we now have is going to do an A1 job. Compared to our old mower where you didn’t know whether it was going to make its way around the course,” Anthony said.

Club President Bill Mansfield says the program is so important, especially to the regional golfing community.

“Gestures such as this enable our club to offer a first class golf course in a small country town,” Bill said.

“The efforts of Toro and Golf Management Australia in bringing this program to fruition should not be looked upon lightly. The impact of this program will bring closer commercial relationships as well as enhancing people’s enjoyment of the game.”

Toro’s Senior Marketing Manager – Equipment, Elise Willemsen, said the golf course industry is Toro’s oldest market and the company is proud to continue to support the golfing community through the initiative.

“Toro entered the golf equipment business in 1919 and we know the challenges many face in being able to afford new equipment to maintain their prized courses,” Elise said.

“Whilst Toro Australia offers a large range of used equipment and finance packages to the industry, we are proud to assist through this program and have no doubt this grant will benefit these two well deserving clubs for many years to come.

“We strongly believe in building long-term relationships with our customers and investing back into an industry that has been such a great supporter of us.”

Elise says Toro was overwhelmed with the positive response the Support & Grow Grants Program received and would like to thank every club that applied.

“The sheer number of applications received show just how important programs like this are to clubs all over Australia. We look forward to doing it all again next year!”

Toro is pleased to announce that the Toro Support & Grow Grants Program will be an annual offering. For further information on how Toro supports local communities, such as the Toro Giving Program, please visit www.toro.com.au

Royal Sydney Appoints Adam Marchant as New Course Superintendent

Royal Sydney is pleased to announce the appointment of Adam Marchant as the Club’s new Course Superintendent, effective from 23rd January 2018.

Adam, the Club’s current Assistant Course Superintendent, has worked at Royal Sydney for more than 15 years. During this time he has been responsible for all areas of greenkeeping including irrigation and the Northern Sporting Areas. He has also been involved with many significant Club projects including reconstruction of the greens, refurbishing the bunkers and presenting the course for three Australian Opens (2008, 2013, and 2016) as well as the lawn tennis courts for the 2011 Davis Cup Tie.

General Manager Michael Solomons said that Adam’s qualifications and experience, as well as his long history with the Club, made him the ideal candidate for the role.

“Alongside his extensive experience at Royal Sydney, Adam possesses Diplomas in Landscaping and Turf Management, as well as qualifications in Operations Management with the Australian Institute of Management; Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW,” he said.

“Adam also brings significant knowledge of the global turfcare industry, having recently spent three months working at Merion Golf Club, Pennsylvania. There he gained further understanding of turfcare at other world class sporting facilities, visiting 15 different golf clubs and working on the US PGA Championship and US Women’s Open.”

Adam will inherit the position from current Course Superintendent Steve Marsden, who announced his resignation in early October. The Club is greatly looking forward to Adam’s commencement as Course Superintendent in 2018.

Award winning Barossa golf club taps into youth market to boost growth

A small golf club in the Barossa Valley, which is experiencing unprecedented growth in youth membership, has been named one of South Australia’s best clubs.

Sandy Creek Golf Club, an 18-hole, par-72 course based in the eastern Barossa, was named Club of the Year – Small Regional at the Clubs SA Awards for Excellence earlier this month for the second year in a row.

In a night of celebration for the Club, long standing Sandy Creek Golf Club volunteer Gail Sweet was also named Volunteer of the Year at the awards.

Sandy Creek Golf Club, which was named by Golf Australia Magazine as one of Australia’s best courses with a green fee under $50, has grown its membership by more than three per cent since 2015 with a concerted focus on attracting and retaining young members.

The Club’s General Manager, David Rice, said a notable membership increase in the 18 to 26-year-old category was particularly pronounced and boded well for the Club’s future.

“Our aim is 10 per cent membership growth this financial year. Golf Australia has put in place some fantastic initiatives at a national level to grow membership and we are working locally to seize on the interest from younger participants in the sport,” he said.

“The Sandy Creek Golf Club community has turned around its fortunes by proactively marketing to the wider Barossa and northern suburbs regions, and by seeking out opportunities to bring in more income and cut costs.

“For example, 2016/17 saw us increase our function income by almost 600 per cent, while also decreasing total kitchen operating expenses by more than 53 per cent.”

The Clubs SA Awards for Excellence recognise licensed clubs of all sizes throughout the state.

“Winning the award once, in 2016, was a fantastic boost for members and our committee after a period of hard work, diversification and change,” Mr Rice said.

“To win small club of the year for the second time, coupled with milestones that include membership growth, a steady increase in Saturday competition fields, improvements to the Clubhouse and an increase in sponsorship income, all show Sandy Creek Golf Club is one of the strongest, most sociable and most playable courses in SA.”

For more information on Sandy Creek Golf Club please visit www.sandycreekgolf.com.au.

Flinders Golf Club appoints new Golf Professional

The Committee of the Flinders Golf Club is proud to announce that Josh Shaw has been appointed as the new Head Professional.  Having worked at the club for the last four years under outgoing pro Gavin Coyle the Committee feels that this is an opportunity for the club & Josh to continue to move in the right direction.

Having commenced his role as a PGA trainee here at Flinders, Josh has matured into a fully qualified PGA professional, with a love of the industry, a passion for teaching and a drive to provide the best service to members and guests on the Mornington Peninsula.

The Committee acknowledges that outgoing professional Gavin Coyle has left an indelible mark on the Flinders Golf Club, and while there are many aspects of Gavin’s work, and style that they hope Josh will continue to provide, there are also areas that Josh can improve on and drive here at the Flinders Golf Club over the next few years.

The Committee believes that this appointment is not only a fantastic result for the Flinders Golf Club, but a testament to the program that is the PGA traineeship.  It goes without saying that the education, training & mentoring that Josh received over his traineeship journey has left him in a particularly good space to embrace his role moving forward.

“The Flinders Golf Club is well regarded by golfers and is one of Australia’s true coastal golf courses. Situated on the point of Western Port Bay, the conditions and scenery are spectacular, and is an experience you don’t endure at many golf courses around Australia, and even the world”, says Josh, who intends on building on the reputation left by outgoing pro Gavin Coyle.  “The Pro Shop at the Flinders Golf Club has been positioned at the course for 25 years. It presents a warm, friendly, welcoming atmosphere to all members and guests with its great range of golf products and approachable staff members. We aim to provide our members and guests with an experience like no other, at The Flinders Golf Club”.

The Committee, members & staff welcome Josh into his new role, and look forward to working closely with him, and fostering a fruitful working relationship long into the future.

About Flinders Golf Club

If you haven’t been down to Flinders recently, you are really missing out! 

The course staff have been doing an exceptional job of late, led by Colin Morrison, the team have the course in magnificent condition for this time of year.

We are really excited about working with all our social groups and green fee players, and incorporating our clubhouse offerings into our golf packages moving forward. 

We have recently established a ‘Friends of Flinders’ group, where you can register, and you will receive a buy one get one free voucher as a welcome, then we will follow up with other regular offers for our ‘Friends’.  The link can be found here – https://www.flindersgolfclub.com.au/cms/friend-of-flinders/

Not only is this a great offer for guests, it works well for those looking to join a golf club, as a try before you buy!  There are several different categories of membership, so if you are on the hunt for a club – let us know on the contact details below.

There are big plans in the clubhouse too – with the club opening its doors to all social groups, whether they are playing golf, meet on a regular basis for lunch during the week or on the weekends.   Last week saw just on 120 enjoy the first social event of the new financial year, a Christmas in July lunch and there are already bookings being made for the next one – a Meet the Wine Maker Lunch on August 25th – stay tuned for more information on that one.

For those on social media, you have probably already seen some of the updates on the Flinders Instagram & Facebook pages, where they are really making a splash – if you don’t follow these two pages, do yourself a favour!

If you would like to know anything about what is going on at Flinders, or have any queries at all, the team at Flinders are always willing to take your call or email – contact details below.

Contact Details

Chris Poulton
General Manager
The Flinders Golf Club
A True Coastal Golf Experience

p:  03 5989 0583
f:  03 5989 0940
a:  Bass Street, (P.O. Box 11) FLINDERS VIC 3929
w:  www.flindersgolfclub.com.au
e:  manager@flindersgolfclub.com.au

Yarra Yarra fitness centre opens its doors to members

The Yarra Yarra Golf Club is proud to announce the opening of the first Fitness Centre to be opened by a Sandbelt Club.

“The strategic vision of the Yarra Yarra Committee to create such a unique space for our members’ health and wellbeing is outstanding. Yarra Yarra members now have access to an industry leading Fitness Centre 7-days a week, all within the surrounds of our stunning heritage listed clubhouse. In a time where clubs are looking to value-add, the addition of the Fitness Centre is hard to argue with!” Peter Vlahandreas – General Manager.

The Yarra Yarra Golf Club has partnered with FitGolf® to establish a unique space which allows members to enhance their golfing fitness and general wellbeing. The room has been set up as a free space area where members can focus on core strength, balance, mobility and stability, as well as pre-golf exercise. The equipment that has been installed has been sourced from NOHrD® and TechnoGym®. Both of which are renowned globally for their industry leading fitness equipment.

Within the Fitness Centre members, have access to an upright cable tower, WaterRower®, free form slat wall, TechnoGym Spin Bike, Kettlebells and a range of medicine balls, bands and swiss balls. Members also have access to Oliver Yourn from FitGolf® who creates bespoke training schedules for members at all levels of ability and age.

“The Fitness Centre is a wonderful value-add to the membership of Yarra Yarra Golf Club. We are actively looking at ways to increase value across all areas of our Club and the opening of our Fitness Centre is the start of many good things to come at Yarra Yarra. Additionally, the Fitness Centre compliments our excellent golf practice facilities to allow our high-performance golfers with a full training experience.” David Blake – President

Kooindah Waters Golf Club greens restoration reaping the rewards

One of New South Wales’ premier golf courses, Kooindah Waters, has undergone an extensive course restoration over the past few months and is relaunching some great new greens for members and public to play on.

The club management is excited to launch the course’s new Bent grass putting surface after the old greens were severely damaged during the hot summer months.

Using groundwater to irrigate, which is high in iron and salt, made it difficult to meet irrigation requirements and the club suffered significant turf loss to all greens, ranging from 10 to 50+ per cent, during the high temperature days in early February.

After seeking expert opinion, the club decided to over sow the existing G2 bent grass with a blend of A1/A4 bent grass seed with a much more superior tolerance to salt and heat. With a similar colouration to the previous G2 grass, the new greens blend seamlessly into the existing turf.

The initial process completed late February was to verticut, solid tyne, seed and top dress.

Switching to fresh water during the repairs, using fire fighting tanks and pumps, made the grow-in phase a balancing act with the most affected areas having to be replaced with temporary greens for the wetter months of March and April.

However, under the management of Troon’s Director of Agronomy – David Lunardelli and General Manager Andrew Porter, the club successfully managed to allow the course to be open during the entire process.

Golf Professional and Kooindah Waters’ ambassador Andre Stolz said: “I’m amazed at how quick the recovery has been. Playing today you’d never know anything happened.”

Over the three months of turf maintenance the course standards have been lifted significantly, with not only better presented turf surfaces and bunkers, but playability has been improved along with landscape upgrades.

Kooindah Waters general manager Andrew Porter said: “Adversity was staring the club in the face, being a Top 100 golf course and known previously for having some of the best greens in Australia, a comprehensive recovery plan was required to overcome this calamity,”

“The club has implemented Troon International policies and procedures to provide best water management practices and a heat policy over summer months to ensure the best possible playing surfaces in all conditions. The club has also recruited a new Superintendent – Justin Rankin, who comes with extensive experience working at high end golf courses including Pinehurst, Kauri Cliffs, Moonah Links and Torquay Sands.”

The launch of the new greens solidifies the course’s new higher standards, with owner Harman Global having made significant capital improvements over the past two years with more cart paths built, new golf carts with Visage GPS, the installation of new irrigation pumps, drainage improvements and the rebuild of the bunkers on the 6th hole.

Rugby league legend and club ambassador Jamie Lyon said: “Kooindah’s greens were always pure and they’re getting back to the good old days,”

“You feel like you’re escaping it all when you’re up here. I love the short par 3s in particular because while they may look tame enough from the tee, they force you to play great short-iron shots to avoid trouble. Such challenges are why I keep coming back.”

Public play, groups, golf days, membership and resort accommodation are all available at this residential golf facility just north of Sydney.

Come and play to see how well this club has recovered just months after a major setback of turf loss. Visit Kooindah Waters’ website for more information about golf and membership options.