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Doon Despatch

Friday 1 February 2019


Course Update
Cameron Smith - Superintendent 

I hope everyone enjoyed their break. The maintenance team haven't stopped over the last month with a lot of progress in Stage 4 and keeping on top of the 16 holes in play.

Summer is well and truly upon us with some unseasonable humidity hanging around for the past six weeks or so which we generally see ramp up around this time leading into February.

As many of you are aware we have been embarked on a diligent hand watering schedule on the greens over the last two years. This practice is the most underestimated practice in Greenkeeping. The drier you can keep a plant without it severely depleting all storages the firmer the greens surface and the less amount of chemical you need to apply to the greens. By keeping water to a minimum throughout the day leading into the night we remove the environment in which fungal pathogens thrive on. The wetter the leaf surface the far greater probability you have of a fungal attack. 

By doing this over the last two years we have been able to reduce our fungicide applications by 40%. This is not just better for our overall margin but most importantly better for our environment. By reducing the amount of chemical applied to our greens we reduce the risk of developing resistant strains of pathogens as well as making our turf healthier. 

It's like a human body that is constantly dependent on antibiotics and over time these antibiotics either stop working or reduce the efficacy in which they are supposed to work. By having a healthy diet and adequate hydration your immune system is stronger and therefore the attack by pathogens is less frequent. Therefore, when you do become sick your antibiotics actually do what they are supposed to do. This is the exact same philosophy with any other living organism. We hand water between all competitions except for major events (Club Championships, Pennants, Bonnie Doon Amateur etc.) I would like to thank the membership for understanding the importance of this

Stage 4 Update

As you all can look across the course the new holes are shaping up well. Select areas for turf remain with fairway bunkers and wasteland bunkers being final shaped next week and turf immediately after. 

The fairways are showing extremely positive signs of growth and coverage. It has been 7 weeks since the stolons hit the ground and we are well past 60% coverage with the 17th fairway nearing 80%. The best months are yet upon us with high heat and humidity continuing. 

Fertilizer is applied twice a week on fairways with multiple products covering all aspects of the vast web in which we need to create the best growing medium for the couch to be successful. Tees and Surrounds are all in a very good condition and minor spot fertiliser applications will see these in very good condition for the opening. The new greens are all being mowed at 4mm and will be further dropped over the coming weeks ready for opening.

I completely understand the urge to want a look at the developing holes however the area is still a construction zone and I insist that members please look from the outside in. There are numerous holes and hazards around the site that are still dangerous to a person that doesn't know where they are. Also, numerous carts have been caught driving on the new fairways. Please stay out of the site because any damage caused will effectively delay opening.

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Before and After - Adjacent to the Clubhouse

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Before and After the new 1st fairway

Golf Operations
Blake Ballinger - Director of Golf

Coring Date Change

Due to conflict with the Major Pennant season, the dates for the first green coring this year have been changed. Coring will now take place from the 10th to 12th of March, with coring beginning following the Sunday Competition.

Driving Range News

Members will be glad to know that new balls have been added to the Driving Range machine, with new parts coming for the machine early in the month. We would like to take the opportunity to thank members for their patience over the past month regarding the driving range.

Junior Golf Clinics

Tom Robinson's Junior Golf Clinics will be starting tomorrow, 2 February. Grass Roots from 2pm to 3pm, Advanced Group from 3pm to 4pm. Spots are filling fast but there are still some positions at each level.

Cost is $140 for the term. Contact Tom Robinson in the golf shop or at tom@bdgc.com.au for more information

Major Pennant Season
Andrew Day - Golf Operations & Communications Assistant

Major Pennant Season is kicking off again! This time of the year brings great excitement to the club, being able to field a Division One team in both Men's and Women's categories is always a testament to the strong competitive spirit which is at the heart of the Bonnie Doon ethos.

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Pictured: 2018 Men's Pennant Team Back: Kurt Burns, Jack McLeod, Jeremy Fuchs, James Grierson Front: Ethan Keane, Josh Bell, AJ Cinelli

This year, the Men will be aiming to go one better than last year, where they went down in the final. The team has been getting in plenty of practice over the past few months and we are confident that, as always they will be a force to be reckoned with over the season.

The Ladies will be fielding a new-look team this year, with a number of new members joining over the past twelve months. We are all looking forward to seeing their skill on the Golf Course over the season. 

The first matches will be taking place on Sunday 10 February, with Bonnie Doon hosting both the Men's and Women's teams 

From The Pro
Dennise Hutton - Teaching Professional

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and you are now ready to continue or begin your improvement plan for golf!

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Have you been having too many three putts? are you finding it a challenge to read greens?

Try this proven green reading system. Aimpoint Express Green Reading has produced over 95 tournament wins around the world. There are only two certified Aimpoint Green Reading coaches in Sydney.

Aimpoint Green Reading will cut the guesswork from your putting and will give you clarity on your aim, speed and read. As the world #1 Green Reading System, Aimpoint is trusted by tour players, amateurs and juniors in over 40 countries around the world and now here at Bonnie Doon! It can be learned by anyone, is incredibly accurate and does not require a chart. Simplify your putting today by attending a two hour clinic.

Aimpoint Express Level One & Two

Sunday 17 February - 9am to 11am

Only 4 spots available in this clinic

Two Hour Purposeful Practice & Skills

Tuesday 12 February - 2pm to 4pm
Sunday 24 February - 2pm to 4pm

Only 4 spots available in this clinic

Click the button below for more information!

Three Hour On Course Sessions

Tuesday 5 February - 3pm to 6pm
Sunday 17 February - 3pm to 6pm

Only 4 spots available in these clinics
Usually $195 - currently $165 Get Back Into The Game!

Game Improvement Coaching Programs

6 Sessions - $720

Together we will decide the best program for you, small group on course sessions, small group purposeful practice and skill development or one on one private lessons. All sessions are of equal value and six sessions must be taken within 6 months.

Video Tip One: Releasing Fear From Your Game

Video Tip Two: Correct Posture

Book online through the Bonnie Doon website or call Dennise on 0410 611 792

I look forward to seeing you this month, please stop and say hello and let me work out a program to give you better results and more fun.

From The General Manager's Desk
Richard Hogg - General Manager

Happy New Year to all members and I hope your festive season was an enjoyable one.

There is certainly a lot happening around the club and I am pleased to share some of these activities with you in this edition of the Doon Despatch.

Course/Golfing Matters

As usual Cameron has covered most things in his report. I do note Cameron's request for members to stay out of this area until opening and I urge you all to respect that request.

We are starting to plan around an opening day which is largely dependent on many factors including weather. Talking to Cameron this morning, members can expect the opportunity to play the new holes on Friday 5 April, but more than likely Friday 12 April. The latter date provides us essentially with all-day access to the course on the Thursday prior (which is currently free) to prepare the final touches. We will keep you posted on the opening date and what is planned for our members that day as we get closer to the time.

The architect is back on site on Monday 4 February for a few days to do some final touches to Stage 4 and hopefully some remedial work on other parts of the course around the 9th green (bunkering etc).

The club has lodged a formal submission to Bayside Council through its planning processes to access funds from the local developer's monetary contribution to be applied to an underpass of Heffron Road. In the meantime, we are continuing to complete on the ground survey and soil testing as part of our underpass design phase for costing and development application purposes.

I must remind all members to use the pedestrian crossing where provided and that motorised golf carts are only permitted to use the pedestrian crossing at the traffic lights. Failure to do so places the golfer and our club at serious risk (both health and compliance with the RMS). Staying on the subject of motorised golf vehicles, we have had to act regarding the improper use of motorised golf carts as the behaviour of some members not obeying the policy around the use of these vehicles has been unacceptable. The policy is published in the fixtures book and I have also placed copies on the screens of the vehicles. The course is well sign posted and cart paths must be used where provided. Any members found not to be following policy and/or instructions can expect consequences. There should be no excuses. The policy exists to protect the course and for the welfare of the member and the vehicle.

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The Board have supported my recommendation to replace our cart fleet prior to the opening of Stage 4. The new carts are designed to be more efficient, comfortable and economical for the club. More importantly, the carts will be better for the course with a lighter design and wheel weight spread etc. The new GPS system on the new carts will also prevent the cart from going where it is not permitted.

For those of you who are wondering what has happened to our trainee professional Tom Wilson, Tom has decided to take a break from being trainee professional. Tom will be missed, and we wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.

Just a quick note from the Golf Operations Committee to remind members that players in a Mixed Fourball event (or any team event for that matter) will not be handicapped.


Members should expect their subscription renewal notices late February with payment by 1 April. This year the Board has approved providing an incentive for those who pay before the due date with the chance to go into a draw for a prize worth approx. $600. All members aged 18 years and over who renew their subscription by the due date will be eligible to be included in a draw for that member and up to three guests with carts to play 18 holes. The prize also includes a corporate gift for each guest and food and beverage for the group pre or post-game.

Regarding membership generally, we are currently putting the final touches to summarising the policies and rules around membership at our club to the extent that the final document will be available for members. For example, what is the policy for a member seeking leave of absence for medical reasons or, what can the club do for a previous member returning to the club after a period of absence etc?

Membership enquiries remain strong with 19 new members approved at the January Board meeting. The majority are around the 35-year-old age and are joining as a result of word of mouth of the current quality of our golf course, and the imminent opening the remaining holes. So, thank you to all those members promoting our golfing facility out there.

The Board at its January meeting agreed to amend By-Law 4(f) relating to 3 Day Playing membership.  The 3 days of this membership category has changed from Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, to Monday, Tuesday and Friday. This membership category allows unrestricted access to the golf course Monday, Tuesday and Friday, subject to tee time availability for the relevant gender, unrestricted access to the practice facilities Monday, Tuesday and Friday, unrestricted entitlement to all the social privileges of the Club Monday to Sunday, no access to the golf course or practice facilities on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday, no voting rights, and the right to upgrade to a higher class of membership upon payment of the difference between the joining fee paid and the joining fee applicable to the higher class of membership which would have been applicable to them at the date they joined the Club. This category is open to new Members only to a maximum of 20, and existing Members are not permitted to transfer to it. It is hoped that this membership category can attract new members to our club at generally quieter times of the week, particularly increasing female participation which will be a one of our key objectives for 2019/20. The current cost of this membership is $2,500 joining fee and $2,240 annual fee.

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Bayside Women's Shelter

Thanks to all our members and staff who contributed Christmas gifts for the children and Mums at the local women's shelter. The club has also donated an air conditioner for the property and I wish to thank Glen Macris from Aquilo Air for installing the unit at no cost to the club or the shelter. The relationship that has formed between the shelter and Bonnie Doon is getting traction and I will keep you posted with the next initiatives driven by the need of the shelter. For example, I have asked the shelter manager to provide a list of things that they may need that I can ask from our members, rather than passing them the burden of receiving unwanted items. (Attached is a certificate of appreciation to Bonnie Doon Golf Club).

Member Volunteers

We are most fortunate to have some great volunteers at our club. Every club needs them, and I know it is also rewarding for those members who can volunteer their time. I have attached a note from past President Allan Coles highlighting the need to act on invasive weeds that have plagued our course. The article speaks for itself and to ensure all volunteers are used effectively and in a safe and coordinated manner, can I ask that you contact myself via email to get things started.

Blitz on Bidens!
Allan Coles - Member & Past President

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Pictured: An Example of the Bidens Pilosa weed

Our Bonnie Doon course is always improving. We all look forward to the beginning of April when we will have 18 holes plus a good spare with the completion of work on the first, second and seventeeth holes and excellent extension of the practice facilities.  Of course, there is more to do to ensure that Bonnie Doon is the best member's course in Sydney.

BUT!! our course has been besieged by the widespread weed Bidens pilosa, sometimes known as cobbler's peg and farmer's friend.  Its weapon is the black half centimetre long barbed spears or seeds. Anyone entering the rough will emerge with them sticking to socks, pants, shoes or gloves. Golfers are the main spreading mechanism for this seed.

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Bidens is not the only invasive weed we have to deal with at Bonnie Doon.  With the new 13th, 14th and 15th holes and pitching practice area, we had an assault from fleabane (or stinking roger), over the entire course, for example the left of the path leading from the 13th tee to green.  This we have failed to eradicate before the fluffy seed heads dispersed widely.

This is the time to mount a defence to the eradication of bidens before it continues its rampage across the course.  At present it is flourishing, for example on the right side of the path leading to the water fountain from the 15th tee and on the right side of the path from the 12th tee.

How to combat it?  We are spending a lot of money on renovations. Cameron, our Course Superintendent and his crew, need to devote their time to their completion, as well as maintaining the 16 existing holes.  Tackling weeds means less time on course completion and maintenance.

The task of the small member's bush care group is preservation and regeneration of Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub - our lovely native plants.  The group only weeds within those areas.

An urgent, concerted attack is necessary to control weeds.  Spraying is too late, given that weeds are in full seed. Fleabane is glyphosate resistant. 

It is up to members themselves to tackle this job, unless we can afford to hire professional bush regenerators with knowledge of what to pull out. Members, under supervision, can achieve the task. The Club can provide the necessary equipment.  All that is needed is volunteers.I call on members to contribute two hours of their time for 4 weeks.  We can then evaluate progress and consider further action.  Please contact the GM at richard@bdgc.com.au to enrol.


Bonnie Doon Golf Club
38 Banks Avenue, Pagewood NSW 2035

Telephone: (02) 9349 2101
Email: info@bdgc.com.au


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