Newsletter - Cairns Golf Club

Cairns Golf Club - Phone (07) 4037 6700

Round The Traps - 13th May 2020
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G'day Members,

Firstly, I want to give a massive thanks to CGC member Gordon Perry and his business Stratford Painting Contractors. Gordon volunteered his team to come out recently and paint the exterior of the Clubhouse, Golf Shop and range toilets. An incredibly generous undertaking which has made the place beam again. It’s no secret the last few months have been a trying time for everybody, but the support the club has received from people like Gordon has been truly heart-warming. So if you need any paint jobs done, please consider supporting the people that support your club. Gordon and SPC can be contacted on 0408 062 483 or

The volunteer garden crew have also again been back out on course and the place is coming up a treat. A massive thanks to Sue Barnard and her gang numbering close to 20 people for getting involved even though all of the arching over may impact their golf swing!

Big news out this week with groups of 4 allowed back on course as part of the 3-stage roadmap to easing Queensland restrictions from this Saturday 16th of May. Clearly this is a game changer for all members and the Club as we can get significantly more players out on course, albeit still with some strict guidelines enforced for Stage 1.

In Summary:

Groups of 4 from Saturday 16th May. (No additional followers etc)
Timesheet to open for bookings from Midday Thursday 15th May and will allow 2 weeks of bookings in advance. (no need to set the early Friday alarm)
8-minute intervals, one tee starts off the 10th tee which assists with cart management and staying under the groups of 10 rule, around Golf Shop. Times available from 6:30am – 1:30pm which allows for 210 players in the competitions, most importantly for Saturday’s.
One person per cart only which will obviously put pressure on our fleet of 60 carts. Platinum & UCU members to have priority access to carts.
One golf bag only to be on motorised carts. Walkers must carry/push their own bag/buggy.
Saturday Comp to be CGC members only until further notice. Other competitions can have non CGC members playing with the appropriate fees.
Mens and Womens competitions to remain available from Wednesday – Sunday.
Saturday Monthly Medals to recommence as scheduled.
Pace of Play is key with all groups required to play in 4 hours and 15 minutes or less to assist in letting your fellow members complete their round.

Other Covid 19 changes: (reviewed/changed weekly as required)

Pins are in with padding in hole to make ball retrieval easier/cleaner.
Member social golf – must be booked in prior, no walk ins.
Competition fee is temporarily increased to $20 to cover additional staff, cleaning and Government requirements. When restrictions are lifted, comp fee returns to $15.
Course is to reopen to social play for non-members from Saturday 16th of May.
Players must still vacate the facility directly after their game.
No BYO alcohol and no alcohol for sale, (for consumption on site) – Yes, we’re not happy either.
Social distancing 1.5m across all areas of the facility.
Members will be asked to sign a document so they understand the full range of restrictions prior to each game.
No Cash. EFTPOS/Credit Card payment only.
Clubhouse to remain closed.
Golf Shop operating hours 6am – 7pm, open everyday.
Bunkers are in play, no rakes, preferred lies in bunkers, place ball (not drop)

If you have any specific questions around the Covid 19 restrictions, please email them to me on
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The Greens Crew have reintroduced the blue lines around greens back out on course as some members seem to be forgetting how far 10 metres is when driving carts. Please keep the carts outside this area to assist with keeping your course in tip top shape.

In closing, we don’t typically get too involved in preaching government requests, but if you haven’t already, please consider downloading the CovidSAFE App for your smartphone. The more people that download the App across the country, the quicker life is predicted to return to normal.
Hope to see you Round the Traps soon.

Matt Bolton
General Manager

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Ph 4037 6703
Mobile 0419 780 597
As promised in last fortnights Round the Traps, I have dedicated a special edition this month to the thought considerations behind the changes to the existing bunkers. Quite often, people are naturally opposed to change, however I believe the result of these bunker removals will help us to deliver considerably better playing standards in the long term here at Cairns Golf Club. Every bunker that was removed was carefully considered and all of the aspects listed below played a part in the decision process.

Amount of play
Working on the course for 40 hours a week gives us a great insight to see the amount of play each bunker receives. Many of the bunkers, especially the ones that were filled on 1, 4, 6, 13 and 17 were some of our least utilised bunkers. When we coupled this with some of the other criteria listed below, this often justified their removal. Using the right bunker on the 4th green as an example, the position of this bunker is generally only in play when the pin is at the back of the green. Due to the small size of the back tier, this is only approximately 20% of the time. Hence, the very small amount of play.

One of the most common misconceptions is that when a bunker is filled it makes the course easier. While this can be true in certain cases, on balance, the removal of the selected bunkers has done little to alter the difficulty of the course. Some may make the course marginally easier, but on holes such as the 8th, it has effectively made the hole slightly more difficult. For this particular hole, the bunker removal improves interest for the hole. As this is only a short par 3, it now means that tee shots need to be more carefully considered, as balls landing left of the green have an increased chance of bouncing into the water

Affecting the higher handicap golfer
Many of the bunkers we filled only target the higher handicap golfer and really only penalises their poor shots. The 18th fairway was one of the these. With the increase in distance from technology, this bunker really doesn’t come into play for the lower marker. Again, it only served to penalise the higher handicapper and retaining the second bunker still provides adequate protection for the green.

The purpose of a bunker
Bunkers should have either a strategic or aesthetic value and many of the ones we filled had neither. The bunker to the left of 1st green is one such example. The strategy of the hole hasn’t changed and if anything, its removal actually improved the aesthetics of the hole. This bunker in particular was a poor draining, compacted clay base that looked tired.

It is also interesting to note the overall number of bunkers, which now sits at 34. This number still provides a solid test of golf and proves that you don’t need 100+ bunkers for a course to present a reasonable challenge. To put this number in perspective, one of the most famous courses in the world, Augusta National, only has 44 bunkers. The course is designed in such a way that it does not need a ridiculous number of bunkers to defend it.

Without doubt, this was one of the biggest factors that we considered when filling these bunkers. While the bunkers at Cairns Golf Club form an integral part of the course, with our small team and weather conditions experienced during our wet seasons, we simply do not have the resources to maintain our bunkers to a reasonable standard. As mentioned in my previous newsletter, we spend a whopping 7% of our labour on bunker maintenance. This includes edging, raking, spraying, drainage repairs, pumping and repairing faces. Being honest, even with all this labour, the net result is often poorly conditioned bunkers. In my view, I would rather have a smaller number of bunkers that we can maintain to a good standard year-round. This is where our long-term strategy comes into play.

The long term
Our long-term strategy includes revisiting every bunker on course in one way or another. There is a great deal of information to consider, but two key factors that contribute to the poor quality of our bunkers is the poor drainage capability of the existing sand (too many fine particles do not allow water to percolate through the profile) and the steep sand faces on many of the bunkers that are prone to washouts. If we can rectify these two major issues, our maintenance will decrease significantly in terms of repairs. This will then allow us to focus more on conditioning requirements to ensure our bunkers are presented to a more consistent standard year-round.

Having said all this, it is not a one, or even a two-year project. However, now that we have rectified many other issues on the course, it is realistic that we will begin to make some progress in this area over the coming years. This will include the reshaping, drainage and sand replacement, starting with the worst bunkers on the course.

Also to note, is that there are several more underutilised bunkers that are earmarked to be filled in the future. But before you get excited (or upset, depending on your feelings toward bunkers) there are several more bunkers that are proposed to be constructed to help improve the strategic design of the course. A few key changes in this area will not only help streamline our maintenance significantly, but also vastly improve the strategic playability aspect of the golf course.

I hope this information that I have provided is of some use. As mentioned earlier, every major change that we make to the golf course is carefully considered and there is always long-term goal involved. Although we have come a long way in the preceding three years, I am excited about the years to come. I know we can really continue to lift our standards and become an absolutely fantastic golfing venue for both members and visitors.

Kind regards,

Tim Hoskinson
Course Superintendent

Thank you to all members who have been supporting the CGC junior golf containers for change program. Money raised so far
Pending Government regulations, these are the planned dates for our key events.

24th May
Sunday Stableford Superleague

2nd June
FNQVGA – tbc

6th June
Calanna Wholehealth Pharmacy Monthly Medal
4th – 5th July
Womens FNQ Championships

11th – 12th July
Mens FNQ Championships

25th – 26th July
Womens City of Cairns 2 day Event

31st July – 2nd August
Mens City of Cairns 3 day event

22nd – 23rd August
Club Championships

29th – 30th August
Club Championships

3rd – 4th October
Piccone’s Cairns Open
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Cairns Golf Club

Phone: (07) 4037 6700 | Fax: (07) 4054 4709 | Email:
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Links Drive Woree, QLD | PO Box 40E, Earlville, Qld 4870

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