Date: September 13, 2016
Author: Dave Tease

Big wet hammers western NSW clubs

Golf Clubs across NSW’s west are reeling from one of the wettest winters in years.

With roads cut in many directions, the simple act of getting from one town to another is too tough, let alone being able to get to the golf course.

Wellington Golf Club has been submerged three times in the last six weeks, while Nyngan Golf Club, west of Dubbo, is all but submerged under about a metre of water.

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“We’re an aquatic club at the moment,” Nyngan Club President Peter Murphy said.

The course has now flooded four times in the last three months and it will be weeks before any sort of golf will be played.

“It’s very frustrating. It’s not helping the club’s bar sales at all,” Mr Murphy said.” It hurts. We’re only a small place and it puts us under a lot of pressure to keep the doors open.”

“We were supposed to hold our Open title in two weeks,” he said.” There’s no way that will happen.”

With rain expected over the next few days the chances of getting out on the course to begin the cleanup any time soon is very slim.

“There's more water coming down the (Bogan) river and rain coming tonight. Even when it does dry up there's a fair bit of work to do. The sand greens will have to be re-done, and part of the river levee has washed away. It’s disappointing. Before the rains came the course was looking like a million bucks,” a disheartened Murphy said.

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Paul Thomas, President of the Lachlan Valley District Golf Association, believes it’s the wettest winter he has seen.

“The road between Parkes and Dubbo is closed, Parkes to Wellington is also closed."

“In 60 years I can’t remember this much rain. It’s the wettest winter I’ve ever experienced by a long way."

Forbes Golf Club is closed with at least eight fairways underwater and little likelihood of play any time soon.

“It’ll take at least a week to get away,” he said.

Almost 60 cm of rain has fallen across the area since the beginning of July, with more predicted in the next few days. Compounding the problem for the district is water being released from the Wyangala Dam which is at almost 98% capacity.

“When they release the water from the dam there’s only one place for it to go.”

Parkes Golf Club hasn’t fared any better with the course unplayable now for over two weeks. The big wet has severely hampered the greens staff’s efforts to get the layout ready for this Sunday’s Parkes Open.

“They are trying to mow the fairways now. It’s just a battle,” he said.

”We were expecting a field of 160 this weekend, and we’re predicted to get even more rain tonight or tomorrow.”

“If there is one bright spot in all of this it’s that the farmers can get something in the ground to grow. You can grow something in mud, but you can’t when its bone dry,” Thomas said.