TOO DRY: Emerald Golf Course Superintendent Jared Armitage.
TOO DRY: Emerald Golf Course Superintendent Jared Armitage. Kristen Booth

Critically dry: Club calls for new rules

FOR the first time in more than 25 years, Emerald Golf Club has implemented new playing rules in order to combat the dry conditions.

Emerald Golf Club Greens Director Barry Wills said it's now compulsory for all players to tee up on fairways throughout the 18-hole course.

"I have never seen tee up used on the fairways at the Emerald Golf Club in the 25 years I've been a member there,” he said.

"It's extremely dry, we've got next to no grass cover on the fairways.

"We're now doing a lot of hand watering on the greens to minimise the waste of water rather than an irrigation system. The idea of that is to preserve as much water as possible for the greens.”

With a drop in numbers over the last few months, Mr Wills is hoping the new rule will "encourage a few more people to come and play, because they don't have to hit off the dirt”.

On Wednesday, Emerald airport recorded 7.6mm rainfall, however Mr Wills said they will need a lot more to see improvements.

"We'll take anything we can get at the moment (rain),” he said.

"It will help if we get more of it over the coming weeks, but if we don't, we will be back to where we were yesterday (Tuesday).”

Mr Wills said the course is one of the major drawcards to Emerald, "but right now, when you drive over the bridge and look to your right, it's not particularly attractive”.

"We are the only 18-hole grass course west of Rockhampton. But it's certainly not a grass course right now.

"It's a vicious circle and it all comes down to one thing. We need rain and we need the dam to fill back up.”

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