Horses for courses for this greenkeeper

HIS DOMAIN: Stanthorpe Golf Course greenkeeper of several years, Bill Pyne, is in his element when he's out on the course.
HIS DOMAIN: Stanthorpe Golf Course greenkeeper of several years, Bill Pyne, is in his element when he's out on the course. Matthew Purcell

STORMS, trees across the course, greens damaged, fairways littered by debris - it's all in a day's work for Stanthorpe Golf Course's greenkeeper Bill Pyne, who takes everything in his stride.

On Christmas Day the region was battered by storms, at 5am the next morning Bill was getting phone calls, with the big Boxing Day Classic to start a few hours later and plenty required to get the course back into shape.

"I got a call at quarter past five in the morning saying 'g'day Bill, how are you going? We've got trees down on the course'.

"So we come in and moved loads of rubbish off the fairways to make it playable. Two, two-and-a-half hours and then I cut the greens as well for an 8.30 tee-off,” Bill said.

Thankfully he's not alone in wanting to see the course thrive.

"I'm fortunate that I do have some members who are retired who give a hand. They can jump on a mower, tractor, some can change holes or turn on the pump at night. So if it gets too much there's always that outside help which is great.

"We have volunteers who have adopted a bunker each and they come in and rake a bunker on a Friday afternoon ready for the weekend. There's a myriad of people who do their share in the club or on the course.

"Without their assistance, small clubs like this, they don't survive.

"Another storm late last year, October or November, the storm took litter off one side of the course across to the eastern side of the course. The trees here are past their used by date, storms just twist them out and throw them. After that I sent out a mayday call, I had 11 guys here within an hour and a half,” he said.

Next up for Bill is prepping the course for three weeks of the Foundation Cup and then a memorial day competition in honour of David Townsend.

Bill and his partner moved to town from Bribie Island in 2008. Despite having a background in bowls greens and not 100-acre courses, and leaving aside the trials tossed his way, he loves the course and getting out on the fairways.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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