Otago Golf Club golf course manager Craig Parata takes a
break from smoothing the sand in a bunker on the 17th
fairway at the Otago Golf Club yesterday. Photo by Gerard
The fairways are looking good.
The greens are smooth and in good order.
Now all Craig Parata and his team want is some good weather.
Parata, the Otago Golf Club golf course manager, has been
working hard for the past few months to get the course in
ship-shape condition for next week's interprovincial
Now with the start just six days away, the finishing touches
are being applied.
"We are where we want to be.
"We started planning for this 12 months ago and although
October did not help us much in terms of the weather, we have
made the most of the past few sunny days," Parata said.
The course last held the championships in 1997 and Parata has
worked at the course since 2000.
He usually has a team of four, including himself, working on
the course but has a team of eight over the past few days.
Club members are also pitching in, with 18 club members each
adopting a hole for the past few weeks to get it in pristine
condition for the tournament.
The only brief the ground staff received from New Zealand
Golf was to bring in fairways by about 2m. They have done so
for some fairways while others have been left alone.
A new green has been constructed on the 17th hole while the
championship tee on the final hole has been put back 50m.
Parata said some golfers may still try to drive the green but
he doubted many would make it.
The fairways are being cut daily at the moment - they are
usually cut twice a week.
Parata and his team were likely to be on course by about
5.30am every day of the tournament with tee-off some days at
They will have to get the course ready for play the next day.
so will most probably be on course until darkness.
The rough on the fairways is between 7.5cm and 15cm long and
those golfers who did find the thick rough would have
obviously played a bad shot, Parata said.
"That is the way this course is set up. A smart player has
always done well around here. It is not a particularly long
course but you have to think. If you hit the fairway and
greens then you can't go too far wrong. But if you miss the
greens then you are liable to struggle a bit."
After the tournament finishes, the action will switch to St
Clair Golf Club where the ladies interprovincial competition
will start on December 11.