Sport

Golf club back on course

Ipswich Golf Club golf operations manager James Craperi checks out one of the repaired greens that was swamped by the January flood.
Ipswich Golf Club golf operations manager James Craperi checks out one of the repaired greens that was swamped by the January flood. Rob Williams

AFTER seeing what raging floodwaters did to the magnificent Ipswich Golf Club course, general manager Brett Holdway had little time to settle into his new job.

About $450,000 damage was inflicted on the revamped Leichhardt greens and fairways in January, with 17 of the 18 holes under water.

However, five months after joining the tradition-rich Ipswich club, Holdway is delighted what has been achieved.

An incredible financial and working commitment by the Ipswich Golf Club team, helped by $150,000 in grants, has seen the playing surface restored to a top standard.

“With all their work around the clock, we’re definitely heading the club back in the right direction,” Holdway said.

The club’s remarkable recovery will be tested on Sunday when Ipswich Golf Club hosts more than 125 players contesting the 2011 Men’s and Women’s Queensland Foursomes Championship.

Elite players like Ashley Ona and her playing partner Christine Mew are competing in the 36-hole, one-day competition.

“It gives us a chance to showcase the golf course again after the floods,” Holdway said.

“There’s quite a few top-ranked amateurs that will probably be the next generation of golfing superstars playing as well.”

Ona returns to Australia after recently spending a week at the US Women’s Open shadowing professional Karrie Webb.

Mew lines up after a successful year, being undefeated in her matches in the Australian Girls’ Interstate teams matches at Pacific Dunes Golf Club. She helped Queensland to its fourth win in six years.

Joining Ona and Mew in Ipswich will be the rest of the women’s state team and men’s state team representatives.

Both teams use the foursomes championship to prepare for Australian interstate team matches in Western Australia in September.

Among the Ipswich challengers on Sunday will be quality duo Adam Gemmell and Chris Fraser, who will team up in the men’s foursomes.

Gemmell is a previous foursomes champion after winning in 2006 and 2007. The Ipswich Golf Club member knows the Leichhardt layout well.

The Ipswich Golf Club, established in 1897, received a major overhaul before the floods.

In 2010, the club opened a new 18-hole championship course designed by Wayne Grady.

Holdway took over the general manager duties in March, replacing long-serving former secretary and manager Paul Fitzpatrick.

Holdway has 20 years experience in golf and tennis administration.

The former Redland Bay Golf Club assistant manager and project manager for the Pat Rafter Tennis Centre hopes to lift the club’s community involvement and attract more members.

“I sort of hit the ground running,” he said of arriving after the flood devastation.

“It’s all slowly starting to come together.

“People are coming back and hearing good reports about the course.

“We have turned the corner.”

Club officials are also preparing to host a PGA Queensland Order of Merit Pro-Am next month.

 

TOP EVENT

The Ipswich Golf Club is hosting the Queensland Foursomes Championships on Sunday. The 36-hole, one-day event at Leichhardt has attracted a quality field.

Topics:  flood damage, ipswich golf club



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