Date: June 06, 2016
Author: Dave Tease, Golf NSW

Clean up begins after wild weekend

Golf Clubs across New South Wales are beginning to clean up and count the cost of a weekend of wild weather.

A brutal sub-cyclonic East-Coast Low hammered the eastern part of the State and spared no-one as it tore a path down the coast with 70-80 km/h winds uprooting trees and dumping massive amounts of rain along the way.

In the North of the State, Yamba Golf Club copped 177mm of rain in about 12 hours. While to the South, Moruya Golf Club recorded about 160mm in almost the same time.

Ocean Shores Country Club on the North Coast copped more than 300mm of rain between Friday night and Saturday morning. The Course remains closed, but General Manager Andrew Spice is hopeful it will re-open tomorrow.

“The rain just didn’t ease, it was constant,” Mr Spice said. “From Friday night until the early hours of Sunday morning.”

“We were used as an evacuation centre on Saturday. We had around 100 evacuees here at one stage. Over 30 people ended up sleeping here for the night.”

“There’s still a lot of debris and water lying around, a few trees down. There’s a band of volunteers out there cleaning up now,” he said.

Mona Vale Golf Club was completely flooded by Sunday morning after 265mm fell in around 24 hours.

“I’ve been here for 14 years, and it’s the highest I’ve seen the water level,” Mona Vale Golf Club General Manager Andy Hugill said.” You could row a boat from the 17th to the 9th,"

“We had just done some work on the bunkers on the 2nd hole too, and it has washed away,”

“Every bunker is full of water; there’s debris everywhere. We’ll be closed for a few days,” he said.

Across Sydney, the story was the same, with the deluge causing flooding and evacuations.

Liverpool Golf Club in the South-West remains underwater and without power. A couple of the club’s officials have managed to get in to inspect the inundation.

“The 18th Green is still underwater, and you can barely see the 9th right now,” said Liverpool Golf Club Captain Peter Hale.

“We’ve had three big floods in my time here, last night the flooding was about half a metre below where it got to in 1988. It’s dropped since then, but it’s going to depend on tides.”

"The earliest we’ll get on the course will probably be Saturday,” he said.

Bankstown Golf Club also remains underwater after 270mm of rain fell on it in 24 hours. Worse still for the club, the Georges River broke its banks on Sunday night, forcing even more water on to the already inundated course.

“We’ll be out of action for days at least, and that’s being fairly optimistic,” Bankstown Golf Club General Manager Jason Kitchingham said. “We’ve just got to wait for the water to subside. It’s got nowhere to go because the Georges River is still so swollen.”

“The 12th 16th 17th are all under water, and the 2nd is pretty bad, we’re out there doing what we can now, the green staff are going to know they’re alive by the end of the week,”

“No-one I’ve talked to has seen an event like it, unbelievable,” Mr Kitchingham said

Wollongong Golf Club resembled a giant lake after more than 150mm of rain fell in 24 hours. The club's biggest concern is the huge surf whipped up by the storm that continues to pound the coast causing land erosion.

“It was a couple of full-on days of wind and rain, the course was pretty well under water,” Wollongong Golf Club Operations Manager Doug Sweeney said.

“It’s draining pretty well now, but the main concern for us is the sand dunes. A section close to the 17th tee has been eroded away due to the huge surf, there’s a 10-metre drop there now,”

Stuart Fraser CEO of Golf NSW urged storm affected clubs across the State to seek assistance if their needs qualify.

“We recognise that many clubs have suffered considerable damage as a result of the torrential rain and subsequent inundation that has occurred over the last weekend,”

“While they may have some insurance or could qualify for State grants to assist with rectification of damage, the NSW Golf Foundation may also be able to assist,”

The charter of the NSW Golf Foundation provides for these situations, and while the resources of the Foundation are limited, any club that feels they may qualify can go to the Golf NSW website for further information.”