$1m vote for water boost

MEMBERS of the Coffs Harbour Golf Club are being asked to approve expenditure of nearly $1 million tonight.

The club is holding an extraordinary general meeting tonight hoping a ‘yes’ vote is given to the installation of a new irrigation system for the 27-hole course.

In a letter to club members, course superintendent Justin Sheehan outlined that the irrigation system currently being used is more than 40 years old and is only good for the greens and tees.

“This will be one of the biggest investments the club has undertaken but will ensure that Coffs Harbour Golf Club will move forward into the future with plenty of improvement to what is Coffs’ best-kept secret,” Sheehan said.

Sheehan is adamant that a ‘yes’ vote tonight will make Coffs Harbour one of the best golf courses going around.

“Me having all the tools to do my job will only improve and enhance what we already have,” he said.

Naturally pushing for an affirmative vote, Sheehan said that rejecting the motion at tonight’s meeting would be a massive risk.

“It would be like building a high rise without a fire hydrant, it’s not a problem until you have a fire,” he explained.

“This is the same for fairway watering – there are numerous times when we need to apply an insecticide like now for billbug and black beetle larvae.

“Last year we had extensive damage from these larvae and we will again this year because we can’t apply pesticide against the label conditions and all of these pesticides require 8mm to 12mm of rainfall to wash into the thatch layer and away from golfers.”

When the motion to improve the irrigation on the course was first made, members’ first reaction was to query what effect such expenditure would have on their membership fees.

Club treasurer Richard Hennessey has issued correspondence to all members with a detailed business plan explaining how the project will be paid for to allay any fears.

“Contrary to rumours, membership fees will not need to be increased to fund this expenditure,” Hennessey said.

Hennessey has shown plans that prove installing such a system will actually save the club approximately $10,000 a year despite the large outlay of $960,000 to pay for the new irrigation system.

“The current costs related to the existing irrigation system will only increase significantly as it deteriorates further,” he said.

“The cost alone of a new filter for the pump shed is $30,000 and the man-hours in watering greens are prime examples.”

Club captain Rob McComas made an impassioned plea to members during Saturday night’s presentations to ensure they attend tonight’s meeting at the Coffs Harbour Golf Club which starts at 7.30pm.

“If you want to vote yes and don’t attend the meeting, that’s as good as a no vote,” McComas said.

“Conversely, if you want to vote no and don’t attend the meeting, it may as well be a yes vote.”

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