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Waterpan Golf Club
SpikesSoft spikes only
The area selected for the golf course presented a huge challenge. Sections were marked off for the fairways, bunkers, mounds and greens. This was followed by the “big clean-up”. The fairways were ploughed with equipment borrowed from the hostels. The greens were constructed according to specifications and advice given by various professional green keepers. In between this project and my responsibilities at work, I still managed to find the time to attend a number of seminars pertaining to the needs and equipment needed for the building of the golf course. Having only R2 000, an seeing the costs involved to acquire the equipment, I realized that I would have to put my photographic mind to work and store all the information – to build the necessary machinery needed. This was then put to paper and shared with skilled artisans in the mining workshop.
The design of the course was complete, the necessary equipment and machinery was built on site and the Waterpan Golf Course was starting to happen.
The fairways were cleaned and treated with fertilizer. Lawn was carted across from the mine dam and was planted with hand after been chopped up – I was known for my saying “it’s a piece of cake” but this was a challenge! What a job. Then, there were also trees that needed to be planted.
During this time, the necessary water pipes, needed for irrigation, was installed. Initially we completed 4 holes, i.e. Fairways, greens, bunkers etc. These were no’s 1,2,3 and 4. In total, the construction of these took approximately 2 years.
We used to play the 4 holes 4 times, from different tees. Due to the area being a dolomite area, the water hole had to be concreted out. Today, if my memory serves me right, these are no’s 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. No 5 fairway is a new one. As a result of sink holes, no 6 has taken the place of the no 2 hole.
A large steel reservoir was built, installed with pumps on top of the well known “koppie” to supply water for irrigation. I recall mowing the fairways with 6 small lawn mowers – it took a week to do. It was rather amusing to watch workers pushing the mowers and cutting the grass. The greens was cut with machines borrowed from the Randfontein and Venterpost golf clubs. Eventually, we bought a second-hand fairway gang mower which was reconditioned in the workshop. The machine used to cut the rough, a trailer, a sifting machine, a compost shredder and a fertilizer machine were built on site.
Approximately 1000 different variations of trees were bought and planted around the golf course. Those planted around the greens were evergreen with-shallow root systems needed to prevent them from growing under the greens. The rest were planted alongside the fairways and some in the rough. Much later, a new machine to cut the greens, a new tractor, and a good second-hand grass cutter were bought.
Various inter-mine and standard competitions took place at this golf course. Once-a-year competitions were played and players were awarded with various trophies.
During 1986 sink holes resulted in having to close down no 2,3 and 4. These were filled up with waste. The existing no 2 hole and no 5 an 6 was constructed to complete the 9 hole again. The cost for these 3 amounted to approximately R7 000.
Whilst on the premises and employed by the mine, this course was always kept in an immaculate condition. I retired 15 years ago and lost touch with the golf course. Changes have taken place and I believe all is well.
Thank you to those who afforded me the opportunity to be a part of this project.