Keperra Country Golf Club welcomed golfers back on course on March 19 after suffering unprecedented damage in the February floods.
Ongoing rain after the major flooding event hampered efforts to clear mountains of mud, gravel, rocks, vegetation and other debris from tees, fairways and greens before work could begin to restore the 27-hole course to playing condition.
More than 160 Club members volunteered to help with the clean-up, rolling up with rakes and shovels for three days of working bees while the Club’s management and maintenance teams handled the heavy lifting with bobcats and other machinery.
‘We would like to thank all our volunteers who assisted,’ said Club General Manager Gavin Lawrence. ‘It was a massive effort in hot and humid conditions and a big factor in helping us to get the course reopened as quickly as possible.
‘The scale of the damage was quite overwhelming at first inspection and substantially greater than what we experienced in the 2011 floods, with fairways gouged and bunkers destroyed. Several greens were left with layers of silt that had to be carefully removed by hand. Fortunately, though, all the course bridges and the majority of the concrete paths remained intact.
‘The 8th hole suffered the most significant damage after a brick retaining wall washed away. The bunker face gave way under the speed and volume of water, ripping the green in two. The hole remains out of play but we hope to have it open soon.
‘Ongoing work is required to get the whole course back to where it was prior to the flooding.’
Mr Lawrence said the Club was disappointed to find, on the eve of reopening, that course safety signs and fencing had been vandalised and discarded.
‘We have done extensive health and safety inspections and the signs and fences marking ‘no-go’ areas are there for a reason. It was not only a senseless act, we were concerned that the trespassers put themselves at risk of serious injury.