Page 27 - Cemair Skynews October& November 2015
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greens and surrounds with Rob O’Friel and I and contours.                                            more affordable to utilise. I have taken a lot of
                                                                                                     criticism for this concept as it shortens the game
introduced the first sub surface aeration units in Other factors that we will work out is the North  of golf but for those that have played the new
                                                                                                     designs find it way more challenging.”
greens outside of America. With passion now - South positioning of the driving range and             	 As I speak to Tyrone, the passion,

burning, I undertook studies on turf grass at   starting or finishing holes. You don’t want to be    pride and enthusiasm he exhumes is

Pretoria Technikon and Michigan University. I teeing off into the rising sun or finishing into       infectious. He continued, “Designing or
                                                                                                     consulting on any project is always a privilege.
decided to turn professional as a teaching golfer the setting sun. Predominant wind direction        I am fanatical about the outdoors, especially
                                                                                                     trees and birds. When routing a golf course in
to broaden my scope in the industry. Leopard plays a major factor as you cannot have long            the highlands of Kenya near Eldoret amongst
                                                                                                     hundreds of crested cranes or re-designing
Creek was my next stop before going into        par 5’s or 3’s into the predominant wind and         Kusumi Golf Course for the King of Ashante
                                                                                                     in Ghana between massive tropical trees, inspi-
business for myself to consult and design golf  often this determines how many tees there are        ration is not difficult to find. Although getting
                                                                                                     arrested by Ethiopian military while trying to
courses throughout Africa.”                     on a particular hole or the distances between        route a course in Addis Abba on an old Rus-
                                                                                                     sian air force base, dropping chalk bombs and
	 Tyrone gives off a reassuring aura as the tees. Your walking distance between green                de-markating the base still partially occupied,
                                                                                                     wasn’t my best. I did however see great vultures
I speak to him, and with that impressive and tee is also a big consideration and often               and huge flat top acacias that helped with tee
                                                                                                     positioning.
CV it’s not hard to understand why he is changes your positioning of certain green areas             	 I am currently rebuilding the 7th hole at
                                                                                                     Houghton where previously we changed the per-
so respected in this sector. In my mind I       that may have had potentially great natural          centage slopes on 12 of their greens - a project
                                                                                                     that many colleagues stated could not be done.
had already placed him in charge of my          features surrounding it."                            We only had six weeks in which to remove the
                                                                                                     putting surface, re-shape and level the subsur-
new golf course, which will never exist,        	 Of course, in this day and age, envi-              face, plant back the bent and have this all play-
                                                                                                     able. They opened for play five weeks later and
and wanted to know                                                         ronmental factors         I’m glad to say that the members are extremely
                                                                                                     happy. Besides many other courses I have built
where we get started.        Tyrone gives off a                            have to be consid-        and designed like Blair Atholl, Millvale, Roll-
                             reassuring aura as I                                                    ing Hills, I have had the privilege to work with
“Firstly we determine        speak to him, and with                        ered, and I don’t         Gary Player, design for Lee Westwood and
what the natural land-                                                     want my imagi-            currently still design with Retief Goosen. The
scape for your course                                                      nary course to be         most exciting project we are currently working
is and this of course                                                      the subject of a          on is the first organically and environmentally
                                                                                                     friendly constructed golf course. This is The
depends where you buy        that impressive CV it’s                       Greenpeace protest        Belmont GC in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape.
the land. From that          not hard to understand                        in years to come.         A world class practice facility at the Eye Of
we establish whether         why he is so respected                        Tyrone reassured          Africa for Dave Nagel and a 18 hole putting
the course should be                                                       me, “Environmental        course.”
                                                                                                     	 Right, I am convinced that you are the
a links, parkland,           in this sector. In my                         factors are fully taken
country or champi-           mind I had already                            into consideration        man for the job, I would like to appoint
onship golf course. I        placed him in charge                          and monitored on
                             of my new golf course,                                                  Yates Landscaping as the official design-
am dictated to by the        which will never exist,                       any new golf course
landscape and terrain                                                      build today including     er of Sully’s Canyon GC (it’s even got a
that a specific piece of                                                   the fauna, flora and
land offers.                                                               natural drainage          name now!). How much money do you

	 Then we start rout-        and wanted to know                            areas. With all my        reckon I will need? “Depending on the tract
ing the course; ’rout-       where we get started.                         new designs the           of land, the accessibility to materials and a
ing’ meaning the route                                                     environment deter-        standard golf club, you would be looking to
                                                                                                     outlay between R35 to R45 million. But if you
the golf course will                                                       mines the majority        want a ‘big name’ signature, like a Nicklaus
                                                                                                     or Norman, you can easily double that and
take from the first tee                                                    of the routing and        more!”
                                                                                                     	 Oh…that’s a bit pricey for me. Well
to the 18th green. This                                                    the impact the closely
                                                                                                     the fantasy was great while it lasted. But
process includes identi-                                                   mown areas will have
                                                                                                     I’m ok with that. The time I have spent
fying the right position                                                   on its surroundings.
                                                                                                     with Tyrone has been both enjoyable and
for the club house and                                                     These days I am
                                                                                                     insightful. This new found knowledge
whether the course                                                         trying to convince
                                                                                                     that I have acquired, means I’ll be a great
should be a complete                                                       my colleagues in the
                                                                                                     conversationalist the next time I meet up
loop or an inward and                                                      industry to design
                                                                                                     and play golf – that’s if I ever get invited
outward nine. Many                                                         courses that do not
                                                                                                     again!
hours, in fact, days are                                                   have to have mass

spent visiting the site.                                                   bulk earthworks but

Bush whacking, snake                                                       rather to incorporate

wrangling and hiking                                                       natural existing

through beautiful                                                          contours and endemic

pieces of land finding                                                     bush of the land-

features one would                                                         scape. This will create

utilise in the design or                                                   natural hazards and

layout and determin-                                                       be far more aestheti-

ing where certain                                                          cally pleasing - more

features could be used around greens, turning importantly, it will bring down the amount

points and tees. I then check aerial photographs of water used to maintain a golf course. It

and start plotting hole by hole. Once I have    will also decrease mowing areas and therefore

the basic route on paper, I fly over the site in a have a financial benefit when it comes to the

helicopter and drop chalk bags in areas I think maintenance of the course. It can be as signif-

greens and tees will be. Lastly before drawing icant as 12 hectare of closely mown area. By

the first hole I get back onto site and hand clear reducing the maintenance of water costs, golf

these areas marked with chalk surveying trees courses will be more sustainable and therefore

                                                                                                     25CEMAIR October / November 2015
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