“A devastating blow”: floods wreak havoc at Kialla Golf Club

One of many sports arenas left reeling from the region’s ongoing flood crisis, residents of Kialla Golf Club could only sit and watch the rapidly rising waters engulf a large majority of the site.

But what makes this even more devastating for Kialla is the fact that wet weather has kept the public off the course since late July, with the valiant efforts of its greens keepers not enough to put the course back on track. at the level.

Initially hoping to welcome golfers back in early November for its much-anticipated ‘Festival of Golf’, the club will have to put those plans on hold, with the possibility of not seeing a return to play until the new year now a heartbreaking reality.

Chairman of course and Greens Brian Reiners said the damage impact would be quite significant.

“Our biggest problem is that no one has played golf at Kialla since July 30 because it was so wet,” Reiners said.

“We had planned to hold a golf festival in November, but that just fell through because no one will be able to access the course.

“The power of the water was just unreal, it made the grounds around the course almost completely destroyed, there are logs in the middle of the fairways, the greens were damaged, the impact was huge.

“And then the clubhouse itself was waterlogged, the floors, the kitchen, the walls, everything was soaked and made it a safety hazard – it will definitely be out of service for some time.

“For everyone at the club, it was a devastating blow.”

But while the damage was devastating, but for the work of four dedicated members, the fallout could have been much worse.

Not knowing what to expect on Friday afternoon, Reiners described what was an intense effort to salvage some of the club’s most valuable pieces of machinery.

“I was on the course at 3 p.m. on Friday and at first I thought everything was fine, but I put a marker in the line of security cameras just to check the water level,” said he declared.

“I then got a call around 6pm saying we might be in conflict, so myself and four other members ran to the club to salvage what we could.

“When they built the first tee, they deliberately built it high up so that in the event of a flood the machinery could be stored up there, and in the end it paid off.

“In the end, we saved about six pieces of very expensive machinery, which we are very grateful for.”

Helping hand: The machinery that the members of the Kialla Golf Club were able to save on Friday evening. Photo: Brian Reiners.

Once water levels dropped enough for people to enter the club, its members rallied again, with a party of 23 heading down on Wednesday to help with the cleanup effort.

“We issued an alert to our members on Tuesday evening and the response has been incredible,” he said.

“Twenty-three hat-tip people came out and helped out, which was wonderful to see and really helped us.

“But it’s not just Kialla, we’ve had offers from other clubs in the area, Numurkah, Shepparton and Hill Top, they’ve come up with offers to allow our members to play competitions without the green fees.

“The power of community has been wonderful.”

Community spirit: Kialla Golf Club secretary Barb Reiners helps with cleanup efforts.

But for people keen to get back on the course at Kialla, Reiners said there will be a long way to go as the cleanup continues.

“It’s a bit like the length of a piece of string – if this glorious sunshine were to continue, you could say two weeks, but they continue to forecast this rain so that it continues to be pushed back,” he said. -he declares.

“If the rain continues to fall, I could say early December or early New Year, we just don’t know how long it will take.”

Michael C. Ford