arly April this year, Royal Perth Golf Club General Manager Brad Dawson received a phone call from his counterpart at Sea View Golf Club seeking some advice in relation to some challenges around their golf course.
Sea View, a links course on the coast in sea-side Cottesloe in Perth, was encountering some serious issues with some greens on their course, with the potential to lose hosting some significant events if the issues were not rectified.
“The story of the deteriorating quality of our greens probably commenced upon the retirement of a long serving course superintendent and when a new superintendent was appointed,” Sea View President Trevor Gallagher said.
“The greens – which are probably the most important part of a golf course – require very careful tendering. Sadly our greens gradually deteriorated to the extent that over a period of some 18 months they did not improve despite a variety of measures attempted.”
This year, a critical point was reached in the club's fixtures whereby the course needed to be in a satisfactory condition for an upcoming Pro-Am tournament and for the senior Golf WA pennants season.
The club sought expert advice from a variety of quarters and partly as a result of its Relationship Building policy, it opened conversations with Royal Perth Golf Club which offered assistance.
At that stage, after due process, the superintendent at Sea View left the club.
Seeing a nearby club in need of support, Royal Perth’s Brad Dawson got on the front foot.
“I took this on board and spoke to our superintendent Michael Dennis about his thoughts on the matter and one thing lead to another and resulted in the General Committee approving some help to Sea View. Royal Perth assisted by providing some turf and course labour to assist in replacing the surface on their fifth green and knowledge to address some other areas of concern around their course,” Dawson said.
“The assistance provided by Royal Perth proved to be immense and all at no cost to Sea View,” Gallagher said.
“For a period of six weeks the Royal Perth ground staff repaired the greens, re-laid one whole green which became playable at the end of the six weeks and in general improved the course condition such that the Pro-Am was not compromised and the pennant season is now in play. Royal Perth Superintendent Michael Dennis took charge of the project and did a wonderful job in turning around the course and especially the greens in a very short period of time,” Gallagher added.
Dawson said the experience was also beneficial for the ongoing development of the Royal Perth course staff.
“Tony McFadyean, our Assistant Superintendent spent 6 weeks at Sea View in making sure the new turf bedded in and other areas of the course were addressed as well. With our Course team working at Sea View, this provided an excellent training opportunity for the staff to work with the different grass types and environmental factors to those experienced at Royal Perth,” Dawson said.
The General Committee at Royal Perth Golf Club saw this assistance as a goodwill gesture and one that would assist one of Perth’s iconic golf courses in a time of need.
In return, Sea View has been most appreciative of the assistance provided and have offered use of their course to Royal Perth members should at any time, Royal Perth be unavailable for Member use over the next three months.
“What this interclub no-cost help clearly demonstrated was the inherent goodwill that exists between golf clubs and by extension between golfers of all clubs. Our two clubs now have a strengthened bond and we at Sea View will remain indebted to Royal Perth,” Gallagher said.
“This is a good news story which is probably replicated many times all over the country, but which does not always receive the coverage it deserves.”
“Relationship building ought to be a critical element of every golf club and of every sports club and organising entity. In Sea View’s experience, it paid off handsomely in a time of great need,” Gallagher added.
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