Artificial surface may turn others green with envy

Te Anau Bowling Club members give the club’s new artificial green a test roll. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Te Anau Bowling Club members give the club’s new artificial green a test roll. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The Te Anau Bowling Club might just be the envy of every other small Southland bowling club now they can see what it’s got.

The 56 members of the club were able to have their first roll-up yesterday on the club’s brand new $400,000 artificial green at its official opening.

Club president Brian McCandless said the fact there were "just no professional greenkeepers anymore" had aided the decision to invest in a new artificial green.

"None of us are getting any younger and it takes a lot of manual labour to keep a green."

The new Tiger Turf green was perfectly true. It required almost no maintenance and could be played on year round.

It had been funded 50% by the club’s financial reserves, which had been accumulating since the club opened its clubrooms in Luxmore Dr 12 years ago, with the rest coming from grants, and donations from local companies and individuals over the past three years.

The local community had been fantastic, Mr McCandless said.

"When this community gets to know what you are trying to do, they support you. It’s what makes this such a great place."

While initially there had been scepticism from some members who professed to love grass more, he believed that, come winter, most would have come around to the joys of artificial green

They were certainly enjoying it yesterday, he said, with almost the whole club turning up to give it a go.

"Everybody’s out there bowling, the sun is shining and we are at peace with the world."

The artificial green is Southland’s third. There is another outdoor green in Gore, and an indoor green in Invercargill.

Mr McCandless said Te Anau usually hosted two tournaments a year and would probably add a winter tournament.

They would host an invitational tournament in the next few weeks so people from around Southland could come and try out the new green.

All in all, it had been a very exciting day for the club, he said.

"A lot of people have put a lot of work into it. I think it will be a legacy for the township for many years to come."