Date: December 19, 2014

Snake Valley GC unveil new grass greens

It’s been 12 years in the making, but Snake Valley Golf Club is finally ready to unveil its new greens.

The nine raised Santa Anna Couch grass greens were officially opened by Pyrenees Shire Councilor Tanya Kehoe on Sunday. Councilor Tanya Kehoe, a self- proclaimed non golfer sank the first putt on the new greens.

Snake Valley members have spent the past 18 years playing on carpeted sand scrapes that were well past their use-by date.

Club president Kevin Murnane said a revamped business plan hatched more than a decade ago had allowed the club to find the necessary cash to fulfil its dream.

“We created a business plan that changed the way we operated and gave us a bank balance that was sufficient to start this greens project ” Murnane said.

“The Pyrenees Shire and the (Central Highlands) water board put sewerage in the Snake Valley township, and as a result of that we put our hand up to be the recipient of the long-term water they needed to get rid of.

“We gave up some of our crown land to get the sewerage, but there’s an enormous amount of infrastructure gone into it as well as a lot of volunteer work.”

Murnane said the project involved 110 truckloads of soil, 10 truckloads of road base, eight inches of sand covering each green and three semi-trailer loads of grass, rolled out by the club’s volunteers.

“It’s been enormous and if anything they’re actually over-engineered, but if you’re going to do something you do it properly,” he said.

“We received $115,000 for irrigation as part of the $2.7 million sewerage development plan from the Pyrenees Shire and we’ve put in $91,000 of our own money to make this happen. What the Club now has are 9 irrigated fairways and greens.

“For a small club of 100 members to almost go dollar for dollar is fantastic and our members will be able to play golf all year round now.”

Golf Victoria contributed $1,000 towards the project, while Snake Valley also enlisted the help of Creswick’s Novotel Forest Resort course superintendent Kel Oswin on a pro bono basis to oversee the project.

The Snake Valley Golf Club is a nine hole course with different pin positions on the back nine holes where par 4s become par 3’s and par 5’s become par 4’s. The par at Snake Valley is 70.

Full male membership is less than $200 and ladies full membership is less than $150.

Traditionally, members play on a Sunday afternoon with a 12pm shotgun start. In the future Saturday competitions may be introduced.

By: Michael Pollock