The current natural greens at Coota Ex-Services club. Photo: Tim Warren.

The Cootamundra Ex-Servicemen’s and Citizen’s Memorial Club is getting ready to have their new synthetic greens installed next month, with works well underway.

 

The Ex-Services Club received a $409,250 grant from the NSW Government and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke in December last year to upgrade their lawn bowls green, under the Stronger Country Communities Round Four program.

Megan Sawyer, Manager at the Ex-Services Club, spoke to The Times about the upgrades and timeline for the project.

“The synthetic green has been ordered. We’ve also had geo-testing done and that’s all come back,” Sawyer said. “We’ve also just approached a local company who will do a quote for the removal of the under surface, they’re going to take out a little more than what they had first anticipated. “We’re also upgrading under the pavilion for the bowls locker room. We’re hoping to put in solar lights as well, on the green. “We’ve got all our plans in place; we’re just waiting on it to start.

Once we receive that grant money, we are good to go.”

The upgrades are required to be within two years of the grant being announced, but Megan is hopeful work will commence at the beginning of June.

“There are about four or five things that have to happen all in quick succession. Our plan is to take the green out, which will be out of action for a couple of months. Of course, the weather in the winter will come into it. If it pours all winter, it could delay timelines,” Megan continued.

“We’re replacing the entire green and all concreting around the perimeter. We’ll also which will help save electricity.

“We’ll also be re-doing our barbecue area and adding additional seating.” Megan is optimistic that the new synthetic green will bring in new patrons and be better environmentally.

“From an environmental point of view, we don’t water it. There are no chemicals involved, so, there’s no spraying of chemicals or anything like that. We just maintain our grounds,” she said.

“With the lights going in, that will be cost effective for the club because they’ll be solar powered lights. We will retain our groundsman, so nobody’s lost any jobs either.

“We have a lot of travelling bowlers and we can run more competitions here because the surface is like state of the art for competition. We aimed for the top product when we put in the grant application and we’re lucky to get the grant, so we will get the best surface.

“Also, with the Christmas parties at the end of the year, because there’s no downtime for the greens we can have visiting bowlers, Christmas parties and with the lights it’ll allow members to play at night.”

The Ex-Services Club will be donating the first layer of grass off the greens to the Country Club, which they will take to do maintenance on the golf course.

“Once the top layer of grass is taken off, the builders will dig out 50 centimetres of compacting soil underneath, which they will replace with a high-grade road base. They will then put a cover over the top of that, another layer of underlay, then finally the synthetic greens carpet over the top of it all,” Sawyer explained.

The Ex-Services Club is ready to start work on the greens upgrades but are currently still coordinating all the different crews to align with times. Coota local John Lennie will be undertaking the concreting and pavilion work, whilst Tiger Turf from Melbourne will be installing the greens.

The synthetic green itself was manufactured in Europe, before being shipped out to Australia. “We’ve got to line everybody up. We’re hoping to get works going by June 1st,” Sawyer explained. “We’re trying to use as many local trades as we can. Ben Roberts has put in a quote to do the excavation, and we’re hoping that the local quarry will be able to supply a quality road base.”

Tim Warren