This year we hosted our 6th Australian PGA, and, whilst I would love to say it gets easier it doesn’t. The pressures that come with holding a major tournament affect not only yourself, but the people involved.

The pressure we put on ourselves is more than enough but with a televised event you just want everything to be perfect. Well I can definitely say, it’s never perfect, not even close!

This year I felt that the playing surfaces were in better condition now that they have settled in after construction. Being a public/resort course we cater for all walks of life when it comes to golf, sometimes trying to get the surface you want is harder than you expect. Some of the challenges we faced included that renovations took place on all 27 holes starting mid – September. This followed with a renovation of our football field as we secured the Chinese National women’s soccer team for a camp starting the week after the tournament. This had to be bought up to a reasonably high standard as they trained twice a day and were training here for a month.

From a golf perspective, we were averaging around 170+ golfers a day and a lot of corporate golf. The Saturday before the week of the tournament we put through 270, we certainly didn’t get much of a reprieve to condition the course leading up to the tournament. But like all businesses we all have expectations to meet, from conditioning to budgetary.

The mild spring did not help our cause with recovery especially as I made the decision to returf around our green edges due to encroachment issues. The turf seemed to ‘sit’ and by the last week before the tournament we were still plugging some areas out. In the end, the green edges weren’t in the condition I wanted, but certainly wasn’t a factor in the tournament. Apart from some issues with placement of stands & tee boards, this provided us with some irrigation difficulties. The PGA & RACV were happy with the presentation of the course.

We have had a challenging year with a few changes to staff, I lost some good personnel that are progressing in their career.  Training new staff to fill that void is no easy task, especially leading up to the tournament.

One of the most pleasing aspects of holding a tournament is the help that we received from our GCSAQ members with volunteers helping during the week of the tournament.

With this I would like to thank

  • Paul McLean (Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club) for sending over equipment and two of his staff members, Callum Richardson & Brady Palmer
  • Phil Soegaard (Lakelands Golf Course) staff members Ryan Murphy & Tyrone Toby
  • Luke Helm (Meadowbrook Golf Course) staff members Paul Duthie & Steve Galea
  • Mark Gahan (Redcliffe Golf Course) staff member Chris Walk
  • Glenn Gibson-Smith (Glades Golf Club) staff member Luke Jones
  • Matt Hose (RACV Cape Schanck) staff member Rhys Whitling
  • Steven Lewis from Chinderah Gold Coast
  • Wayne Ternerry, Superintendent at Emu Park Golf Club in central Queensland

I would also like to thank Ben Marshall (Toro Australia) for sending in much needed equipment to help with presentation. I appreciate the support we receive from Toro, not just around tournament time but throughout the year.

Lincoln Coombes
Golf Course Superintendent
RACV Royal Pines Resort