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2021 03 news 8th hole

 

After 8 years of playing our current 8th hole as a par 3, the Ashgrove GC board of directors are very pleased to formally advise members of the final design details of the return of this iconic hole to being a par 4 in 2021.

Following an extensive review and analysis period, the board moved to act upon the 2015 DA for the installation of a protective safety barrier for houses along the Waterworks Rd side of the course. After renewing this DA multiple times, our final window of opportunity to act upon the DA was scheduled to close in May 2021, with advice that a future application may be unsuccessful.

With strong member feedback on the desire to bring back our par 4, a trajectory study was carried out to confirm the viability of the project and costs associated.

 

2021 03 news 8th hole image 1

 

 

This trajectory study confirmed the DA design proposal of a 25m high safety barrier, 60m long, along the boundary to capture balls hit well left (not that any of our members would do that…). With this information confirmed, we looked further at the costs of what we now call Part A of our project, being all aspects of the safety barrier and its installation. We received updated quotes for this item, and as a board agreed to accept a quote of $152,000 for the installation of this safety barrier.

It should be noted that our advice as a club was that even if the hole was to remain as a par 3, a safety barrier should be installed to protect houses from balls from the par 3 tee. By installing this safety barrier, we are assured of long term security and safety along this boundary.

Having decided to install the safety barrier, thoughts moved to design and timeframe for works on restoring the hole to the par 4 so strongly desired by members. When looking at this, we had a number of key criteria:

  • The hole must be functionally playable for all skill levels
  • The hole should give multiple options for play
  • There should be significant risk and reward options for all handicap levels
  • Safety must be a priority
  • The hole must be a vision of the future of Ashgrove.

To achieve these goals, we knew that simply recutting a fairway and mowing the tee was not going to be the right answer. We spoke to a number of golf course architects, prior to making a board decision to appoint Graham Papworth of GnP Design to work on the redesign of this hole. When discussing this hole with Graham, we discussed the handicap ranges at the club, the style of golf that Ashgrove requires, and our long term goals for the club. We are pleased to present the concept drawing of the new hole for your information.

2021 03 news 8th hole map

The project in dot points….

  • New 500m2 tee blocks, lowered to reduce peak height of drives to work with the safety barrier height
  • Completely reshaped tee side fairway, encompassing 4000m2 of new turf, and around 1500m3 of moved dirt.
  • Completely reshaped clubhouse side fairway, encompassing 3500m2 of new turf, designed to allow players to play closer to the creek without bouncing in.
  • Strengthened hazard at current concrete drain position to further lower desirability for longer hitters to try to hit the green from the tee.

There is obviously a lot of work that goes into making those 4 dot points happen, and there will be impacts upon your golf experience over the coming months. Work has now commenced on the safety barrier installation programme, and we anticipate completion of this section of the works by late April 2021.

The safety barrier programme tentative dates are subject to change, but are based upon the following:

  • March 15 : Tree removal prior to levelling – COMPLETED
  • March 19 : Earthworks to level roadway and prepare surface for pole survey – COMPLETED
  • March 22-26 : Final Survey
  • March 29 : April 23 – Installation of poles and netting
  • April 26-30 : Final Inspection

Tree removal to the tee side fairway has also been completed ahead of commencement of fairway works in the second stage of the project. This second stage is planned to overlap with the completion of the safety barrier and will commence with the cutting of the new tee block and tee side fairway. Given the likelihood of rain in the coming weeks, we are prepared for some effect on the proposed programme, but the key dates proposed are as follows:

  • Early April: site preparation
  • Late April / early May: tee side renovations
  • May: clubhouse side renovations
  • June to September: grass growing and other tasks
  • 1 October: target official opening

What’s it going to cost?
The board of directors has reviewed this project carefully and has approved total expenditure of $150,000 for the completion of tee and fairway works in addition to costs of the safety barrier works. With the strong increase in both membership and social play over the last few years, the board feels strongly that this expenditure is responsible and in the best interests of the future of Ashgrove Golf Club.

Where can I get more info?
There are endless details about this project that we could share with you, and all board members have been briefed on the project and can share further details with interested members. Whilst not all members will be excited to hear details about grass types and fairway elevations, most will be interested in the impact that these works will have on their playing experience over the coming months.

What impact will this have on play?
The board is committed to maintaining 18 playable holes for the duration of this project, limiting days of total hole closure to the absolute minimum. The current par 3 tee will be retained throughout this project, with the intent for the majority of days to be that play occurs as normal. Obviously there will be a severe lack of fairway for a few months, so for those who need to lay up prior to the drain, we will create a compulsory free drop zone close to the drain to simplify your options and ensure the least disturbance to new works. We will be working closely with the construction team to assess daily needs, so there may be days where this hole is reduced to a 50m par 3 to limit risk to workers whilst maintaining 18 holes for play. We will clearly advise these changes ahead of time, and they will develop as the project moves through the various stages.

The board hopes that you share our excitement in the revival of one of Ashgrove’s most iconic holes. As the largest course project since the creation of the 3 new holes across the road, we see this as a landmark project as we continue to make Ashgrove golf club the best boutique golf club in Queensland.

Happy Golfing!
Simon Putral on behalf of the AGC Board of Directors