Irrigation upgrade under way

Pump it up . . . Otematata Golf Club volunteers (from left) Peter Johnston, Ian Rae, Richard Watson are under taking a $238,000 upgrade of the club’s irrigation system. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Otematata Golf Club volunteers are ensuring the longevity of the greens.

The club is giving its irrigation system an upgrade for the first time in nearly 30 years, moving to a Rain Bird irrigation system to keep its grounds in top condition.

Vice-president Richard Watson said club volunteers began fundraising for the $238,000 required in June last year. After receiving grants from the Otago Community Trust, Meridian Energy, Bendigo Valley Sports and Charity Foundation, Otematata community-led development programme, selling the tee blocks for advertising, community donations and club contributions, the club reached its target.

‘‘It’s been a major job but we’ve managed to raise it in 12 months. I think it’s been a pretty good effort by everybody, actually,’’ Mr Watson said.

‘‘The project will be finished and we’ll have no debt and we’re pretty proud of that.’’
The club closed on October 10 as volunteers and contractors began laying the 5km of pipe to water the greens, tees and fairways. The system can also be used to help water nearby ‘‘beautification areas’’. 

A core team of six volunteers had been hard at work to ensure the work would be completed within a month.

‘‘We’re lucky we’ve got a group here that are happy to put the time in, otherwise it wouldn’t happen.

‘‘That’s Otematata, you know. That’s what happens with the community support.’’

It was a ‘‘massive job’’ including the final touches of sowing the grass seed but it would be great for the club’s 150 members once finished, he said.

The previous system was ‘‘worn out and leaking’’ and was in dire need of replacing.

‘‘We need a reliable system that several people could operate easily.’’
The golf course will remain closed until the work was completed.