storm, which was later declared a Natural Disaster by NSW, caused catastrophic damage to the Woodburn Evans Head Golf Club. When the Club’s President, Murray Cornelius, along with numerous club members investigated the damage at first light the following day, they faced a course awash with uprooted trees and massive debris littered across the Fairways and Greens.
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Their main concern was to get as many trees and branches off the greens and tees to start repairing the damage. Although insurance would have covered costs towards damage to the Club House and outer buildings, it would not cover the damaged irrigation on the course caused by uprooted trees which lifted piping.
Flag poles, signage, security protection fences had also been extensively damaged and required urgent repair. The strewn debris had to be cleared by hire machinery and by hand.
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The President closed the course immediately and went on local radio appealing for volunteers to help in the course clean-up. The response was overwhelming and clean-up began the next day. Volunteers pitched in hours of work for the next eleven days to make the course playable. As a result 13 days later on 1st December, the course was declared open for play.
Estimated costs of clean-up, repair and replacement of assets were about $50,000. Another $20,000 was estimated to be spent for removal of branches still hanging on numerous trees and the removal of debris that had been stacked into heaps along the side of the Fairways. A further Loss of Trading to be in the vicinity of around $11,500 was also incurred. The NSW Golf Foundation contributed by providing funds to assist in the Club’s clean-up and repair.
The NSW golfing community is no stranger to natural disasters over the last few years. The support of the volunteers and community who rally together are instrumental in sustaining and driving this great game forward.
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The New South Wales Golf Foundation considers all grant applications and encourages individuals and clubs to seek support; not just for financial hardships, but to help fund projects and services to develop golf in NSW.