The Kilkenny golf club Course Committee held an emergency meeting recently to review and update progress on the clearance of the course after the extensive damage caused by Storm Darwin.
All trees felled by the storm have been cut up and the debris mulched at this stage.
Some other trees that were leaning and liable to fall have also been removed. The updated figure of trees gone is a staggering 353, and rising, at this stage.
The course committee has prioritised the holes that need trees replaced and their proposal was approved at the monthly meeting of the Joint Management Committee on Monday night. It is hoped that approximately 100 new trees will be planted before the end of March on the holes most affected by the storm, namely the 2nd, 12th, 13th 14th and 16th.
The deadline for planting is the end of March, otherwise the trees would have to be left until the Autumn. All the trees that will be planted will be ball rooted and will be somewhere between 8/10 or 12/14 foot high. The course committee under Billy Burke is currently pricing these trees. The ideal scenario is that the person who supplies the trees will also plant them.
With the correct machinery to hand, it was reckoned that 30 to 50 trees could be planted in a day. It is intended that all the replacement trees will be deciduous rather than evergreen.
Despite the loss of trees due to the storm there is still in excess of 2,500 trees on the course. Billy Burke, on behalf of the Greens Committee, extended thanks to all the members, officers and committee for their great support during the clean up operation at the course.
The club may request members to get involved in sponsoring a tree or making a donation towards a tree, but no definite decision has been made yet.
The course will remain closed for the moment for health and safety reasons. There will be a review of things on Tuesday, March 4. There is still heavy machinery operating on the course and there is the issue of loose limbs hanging from trees and the safety net on the Ballyfoyle Road which became disengaged during the storm. The protective fence at the 9th tee box was damaged and this needs to be addressed.
Rathdowney and Castlecomer golf clubs have offered preferential green fee rates to Kilkenny golf club members while the course is closed. Anyone interested can ’phone either club to make a booking.
Any member who helped out with the removal of trees and the clean up and is interested in acquiring some timber should contact Sean or Aoife in the office with your name. The club hopes to allocate a trailer load of logs to those members who willingly volunteered their services, if they so wish to avail of the offer.
The diary is nearing completion and anyone who wishes to check fixtures dates to plan their holidays and so on can access the fixtures on the BRS competition booking system.
MEMBERSHIP: Members are reminded that February 28 is the final date for the payment of annual subscriptions.
WINTER SPECIAL: Golf Winter specials are available Monday to Friday until March 31, when the course reopens, of course. Green fee plus hot plate of the day and tea/coffee for €35.
SNOOKER: The second round of the snooker singles was due for completion by February 24. Any outstanding matches should be complete as soon as possible.
BRIDGE: Bridge will resume on Monday (7.45pm).
LADIES NEWS: There won’t be a competition on Tuesday March 4.
SENIOR MEN: There won’t be a competition on Thursday because the course is closed. Castlecomer golf club have invited seniors to join them on today (Wednesday) if they so wish. Check in by 10am in Castlecomer.
JUNIOR/JUVENILE: The juvenile section are looking for volunteers to help out with Saturday morning coaching which will start back in mid-Spring. Anyone who wishes to help out should give their name to any member of the Junior Committee or else drop details to email@example.com.
FIXTURES: The course will be closed until after Tuesday, March 4 at least.
Great rounds of golf saw Tom Tyler, Nigel Morrissey and Brian Power all earn places in the New Ross GC Pro Am in the final in the series of qualifying competitions last weekend.
Tom Tyler (16) had a superb score of 44pts to take first place in last weekend’s qualifier, four clear of Nigel Morrissey (11) and Brian Power (18). The trio join Tom Fenlon, Sean Murphy, Paul Cashin, Joe O’Farrell, Robert O’Dwyer and Jim Byrne in the Pro Am, which will be held on Friday, May 16.
There has been great interest in the Pro Am, the first to ever be held in the club. There are now approximately 40 teams confirmed, with a maximum of 52 places available. Entry fee for a team of three is €300, including a four-course meal with your designated professional in Tees Restaurant. Further information is available from James or Paul in the Pro Shop, tel 051-421433. Thanks went to sponsors Culcita, a local garden furniture and outdoor products company.
WEEKEND - In what promises to be a busy weekend at the club captains Paschal Bolger and Liz Bennett will open the golfing season at their drive-in on Saturday at 2.30pm.
A nine-hole mixed team event will be held that afternoon with all members, including juniors, welcome to participate. Following the golf there will be food and entertainment on offer in the clubhouse.
On Sunday there will be an 18-hole four-man champagne scramble. The scrambles proved to be a very enjoyable format last year, with golfers welcoming their return to the fixtures list.
The presentations of prizes for the Winter League (overall and rounds four and five), the Christmas Classic and club singles (January 19) will be made on Sunday at 6pm. The presentations will be followed by the tee-time draws for the Four Star Pizza Aggregate Fourball) and Dermot Kehoe St Patrick’s Fourball competitions, which will be held on March 9 and 16 respectively.
THANKS - The call for members to assist in the clean-up of the course after the recent storm received a great response. Some 40 members turned out last Tuesday morning to assist the greens staff to gather debris on the course. Thanks went to all who got involved.
Although 30 trees were toppled the damage and overall impact was minimal, with the course remaining in very good condition.