NZ club refuses to
fall through CRACKS
By David Newbery
The club endured three earthquakes in less
than 12 months, which destroyed the clubhouse and rendered nine holes unplayable.
Despite the setback, the club’s management
and members refused to let Mother Nature
They are getting on with the job of rebuilding
the clubhouse and work has already started on
a remodelled golf course.
General manager John Herdman said the club
would spend $2.5m on a new clubhouse and
$1.5m on the golf course redesign.
“After three quakes, we had to rebuild the
damaged areas three times and finally got to
a stage where it was so badly damaged we decided enough was enough,” he said.
“So we said ‘let’s have a major revamp of the
golf course while it is out of action’.”
The members voted unanimously to approve
the new plans at a special general meeting.
One long-time member, an 86-year-old club
stalwart, said it was the most exciting thing to
happen to the club in 50 years and “something
worth living for”.
The club commissioned Kristine Kerr of Kura
Golf Course Design and Adam Jones of Golf
Renovations and Shaping Specialists (GRASS)
to start work on the new-look course.
Kerr – whose design philosophy is strategy,
playability, aesthetics and maintainability –
had a brief to design a course for the members
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and not a difficult championship course.
Kerr said the remodelled course would incorporate earthquake remediation-type measures.
it was the most exciting
thing to happen to the
club in 50 years and
In some sports, it’s three strikes and you’re
out, but New Zealand’s Waimairi Beach Golf
Club in Christchurch has had three strikes
(read earthquakes) and they are still in there
fighting the good fight.
“We are trying to make it earthquake proof
because most of the damage was caused by
liquefaction that rendered the course unplayable,” said Kerr, who previously worked with
Gary Player’s design company.
“We’ve had a report commissioned by hydrologists, who suggested lowering some areas
in between golf holes, creating some sandy
waste areas and using some of that fill to build
up the fairways.
“It’s been quite straightforward because the
site is so sandy it’s beautiful to work with.”