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Opotiki Golf Club Newsletter Summer 2019-20

Seemingly a warmer, and certainly drier summer than that experienced over the last few years, with the fairways drying up more than usual especially in late January and well into March. But comments were that the course was not as dry as some around the Bay of Plenty.    However, course management this year went smoothly in the absence any out of the ordinary events.  Dry patch and fungal activity not such a bit problem, and while some players would like to see the greens a little faster, given our workforce limitations and greens mowing at about 4 mm (with rolling for game days) this is a good compromise for the Opotiki course.   The Clubs twice yearly renovation programme (a Spring and Autumn coring) plus regular verticutting and sand dusting is paying dividends.  

Membership growth is keeping its head above water, (Juniors the big growth category) and good growth in visitors’ numbers (these were up about 30%) last year.  As a result, our juniors are performing well in various events.    

Major tournaments for the year: Robbie and Spike Peterson’s Waiotahi Contractors team managed to pull out another stunning day for the Waiotahi Hams Tournament held in early December with the course and greens in fabulous condition. The field was larger than expected with over 200 registered, competing in several Divisions for a huge Hams prize table. The Jan 2 holiday competition also went well (a field of just over a 100), but we would like to attract more to the Codlin Electrical and Opotiki Drainlayers Open tournament.  This year sees a change to Labour weekend. Organisation of the annual New World Competition is on hold until the prospective new buyer for that business takes over in April.  The very popular February Marae challenge was especially successful this year with 100+ entrants defending their Pa’s. The winner this year being Waioweka Pa.

The Men’s and Women’s Shoot Out continues to grow in popularity, and this summer thirty-two entrants vied for qualification in the men’s to find the top 19 to contest the final. As usual some big surprises! The bolter was Lew Kerr snatching a great win on 18 from Darrin Maxwell. In the process leaving more fancied horses in his wake. Nineteen qualifiers also competed in the women’s shoot out (won by Sarge; runner up Marilyn Harris).

Robbie, the Clubs Patron, launches the ceremonial drive down No 1 to mark the opening of the Clubs 2020 competition year in late February. This year the Club tried something a little different with sponsors invited to attend, with complimentary refreshments for all.  A good turnout enjoyed an Ambrose round. And as usual some astounding team net scores!

In early March the NZMCA Golf Safari arrived at the Course for a final round of golf, dinner and prizegiving at the club house. The tour started at Omokoroa, visited numerous BoP Clubs, prior to its finale at Opotiki. There were about 30 Motorhomes, Caravans and buses, parked on the practice fairway for two nights, and the comments were that this was the best park over of the whole trip.

Currently the Captains match play on handicap is underway, with semi-finals and finals to be held in mid and late June.

The Club’s active group of volunteers, the support of membership, and along with sponsors and grant money are the key drivers that keeps the Club viable, with lots of go forward. The Club is keen to do more for our sponsors, to bed in more firmly the concept of partnership and promote a more sustained win-win position.   Website exposure: Facebook and various other Club publications and notices are important vehicles for communication.  In December new Tee signs went up, with satellite imagery of each hole and supporting hole descriptions.  These were generously sponsored by a range of local businesses.

While there is no shortage of material from cleaning up old and falling trees, the generation and sale of firewood is behind previous years.   More volunteers are needed to keep this important fund-raising activity going, as the Club has no problem selling everything that can be produced.

We have applied for grant money to help us with the twice-yearly greens renovation,  and other projects being considered include:  changing rooms smarten up; reforming No 16 tee and a review of our irrigation system including what’s involved to get water to all our tee blocks.  The Club is also investigating the purchase of a Vertidrain machine.  

As always, the committee is looking at improving our various processes.  Most will know that the Clubhouse (bar and functions) are the number one income earner for the Club, followed by grants, sponsorship and tournament income, membership and green fees.  Of course, all leverage each other.

To our sponsors a big thank you, as always. The club appreciates your support both in prizes, funds, materials, time, and loan of equipment. Especially to our major sponsors: Waiotahi Contractors (Principal Sponsor), New World, Opotiki Drainlayers, Ocean Seafoods, Harcourts, and Codlins Electrical.  Also, to Dion Reeves and family for the generous support of the Jan 2, Half-a-Beast-at-Least Holiday Competition.  Thanks also to the Lion Foundation, Southern Trust, for enabling the purchase of vital course equipment and materials.  And as mentioned to Eastern Bay Energy Trust for the electrical components as part of the Kitchen re-fit and renovation. This support is crucial for the club’s survival.

Stop Press:  Just as this was about to be posted, COVID19 has impacted. All of NZ has shifted to COVID19 alert level 4. This means that we will be obliged to close our course for ALL golf (the Clubhouse had been closed a few days prior when under Alert Level 2. This will be in place until further notice, probably for at least 4 weeks until the level 4 position is lifted two weeks after Easter weekend. We have posted a notice at the Club to this effect, removed all flagsticks, drinking water access and on-course toilet facilities.  Alert level 4 restrictions mean people need to stay at home, apart from the exceptions that have been published. 'All actions must be solitary, and people should only spend time with those they are in self-isolation with and keep distance from all others at all times'.   The Club is still waiting as to what essential on-course maintenance can be done.  Especially regarding greens upkeep. 

Older reports

Winter 2019 Newsletter

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Jan-April 2018 Newsletter

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Winter 2017 newsletter

Summer 2017 newsletter

Spring 2016 newsletter

Winter 2016 newsletter