Page 26 - Cemair Skynews October& November 2015
P. 26

DIAMONDS in the rough

                                   TURNING RUGGED,
                                   RAW LAND INTO
                                   SPECTACULAR
                                   GOLF EXPERIENCES

                                   CemAir Sports Correspondent
                                   Andy Sullivan picks the creative brain
                                   of Tyrone Yates for great golf course
                                   design tips.

                                   Ireally enjoy playing golf. I am pretty terrible
                                      at it but will always accept an invite to play
                                      when one is forthcoming. It usually stretches
                                      to just one invite, once the people in question
                                    have seen me play; my ability to make the ball
                                    go at right angles to the fairway is something
                                    to behold. However, when I do get out onto
                                    the course, and I have played on some beauties,
                                    and I wait my turn to tee off, my mind often
                                    wanders to just what a great feat of human en-
                                    gineering it is to actually create a golf course.
                                    That thought process is usually cut short when,
                                    after taking my tee shot, I trudge off into the
                                    fynbos once again to try and retrieve another
                                    ball.
                                    	 So when the team at CemAir asked me to
                                    write this month’s golf feature, I jumped at
                                    the opportunity. When it was suggested that
                                    we look at golf course design, the enthusiasm
                                    increased still further. To help me with this I
                                    have enrolled the help of an expert, someone
                                    who has worked on a number of important
                                    golf projects across Africa and whose company
                                    offers a full turnkey solution from concept to
                                    maintenance, and he lives in my hometown of
                                    Plettenberg Bay. His name is Tyrone Yates of
                                    Yates Landscaping and he makes golf courses!
                                    	 The first thing I wanted to know was; how
                                    does one end up being a nationally recognised
                                    and industry lauded golf course designer?
                                    Tyrone told me, “My career started in the military
                                    where I maintained the Drankensig Golf Course (Lim-
                                    popo) for the air force during the compulsory service
                                    era. After that I moved to The River Club (Sandton,
                                    Jo’burg) as the assistant course manager and later as
                                    head superintendent. During my years at River Club,
                                    I was lucky enough to be sent to Augusta National by
                                    Ivor Jones. I worked with Marsh Benson and learnt a
                                    lot in tournament preparation and the use of sub air
                                    in greens construction and maintenance. River Club
                                    was my first opportunity for design which piqued
                                    my interest in designing. We made changes to the

24 October / November 2015 CEMAIR
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