WHEN Camperdown golfers rocked up to the course on Saturday, they would’ve been second guessing themselves after what they saw.
The course had been transformed by outgoing greenkeeper, Mick Hassett, into a variety of fun challenges, all designed to break up the regular traditional weekly events the club runs.
Hassett placed immovable obstacles on putting greens, flags were positioned off greens and ropes were placed around holes that required chipping over to putt.
There were also holes that required the players to tee off opposite hand and hit over a board.
Hassett said Saturday presented a good opportunity for him to run a day, with the left-hander sponsoring the event as part of his final tasks at the club as greenkeeper.
He said that he also changed some local rules, with scores from the day not officially affecting a player’s handicap.
“Because it was my last day, I decided to do something a bit different and something that we hadn’t done ever before,” Hassett said.
“We had some flags in some funny spots and there was no out of bounds rule, so if someone’s ball went over the fence they had to go and hit it.
“It was just a fun day, hopefully they didn’t take it too seriously which I don’t think they did.”
Match committee member Bernie Sinnott said that Hassett’s idea was well received amongst the day’s golfers.
He said that the 12th hole created some confusion for players, leaving a few red-faced after they discovered what Hassett had done.
“We had a novelty day for him, he set the course up with a few novelty holes and it was very well received,” he said.
“One flag he put out of bounds and some of the golfers decided to go for the flag and not the green, where the hole remained.
“It was very entertaining.”
Hassett officially finished up his role last week, completing a 12 year stint maintaining the course.
Sinnott said he was amongst the committee that decided to give Hassett the opportunity as greenkeeper, despite his inexperience in the role.
“When we first put him on, I was president at the time I think, and we decided we would give him a chance” he said.
“He didn’t have any qualifications as such as a greenkeeper but his work ethic couldn’t be questioned.
“He was self taught basically.”
Sinnott said that as Hassett grew in both confidence and capability, the club increased its support for his work.
“We gave him a lot of support, we bought him a lot of new equipment and that, like fairway mowers and greens mowers,” Sinnott said.
“As he grew, so did the support, so yeah he did a good job.”
Hassett admitted that the last week of working at the club had been tough, but said after it was time to explore new opportunities.
“It was a bit sad, I’ve been there for 12 years or so, but we all have to move on I suppose,” Hassett said.
He’s proud of the work he has put in to the course over that time, helping the club transition to more modernised machinery, a decision which made Hassett’s job ‘heaps easier’.
“I think the biggest thing was we improved the greens a fair bit, that’s probably the main thing,” he said.
“When we first started we didn’t have very good machinery, but gradually we changed with the times and got some new stuff which was good.”
Club captain Rick Bailey was quick to commend Hassett for his dedication over the past 12 years, saying that members are more than appreciative of the work he has done.
“Basically from myself as present captain, I just want to thank him for the job he has done over the last 12 years,” Bailey said.
“We thank him tremendously on behalf of both the match committee and the club for the effort he put into the course over that time.”
Hassett said he wouldn’t have been able to do his job without the effort and support of the club, thanking members whilst reserving further thanks for Col Keane.
“I would like to thank all the members for their support over the years,” he said.
“Col Keane is probably one person I’d like to thank most, he was a lot of support over the last 12 years.”
Meanwhile, the golf club is hosting its annual Crowe Howarth three-man Ambrose day tomorrow, with all club members required to have a guest play in their trio.
The day has been well supported previously and Sinnott said that there was no reason why this year’s event would be no different.
“It’s been pretty successful over the past years, so hopefully it will be the same this year,” Sinnott said.
“Members are encouraged to go out and bring a guest along.”
Sinnott said that anyone from outside the golf club can also be a part of the day, regardless of whether they had a team.
Official handicaps are not required by those wanting to participate, but the match committee will be giving them a daily handicap instead.
“If anyone wants to play on Saturday that isn’t a member, they’re more than welcome to come and play,” Sinnott said.
“If they come up to the course at 11:45 to play, we’ll put them into a team if they aren’t already in one.”
The three-man Ambrose will be held tomorrow, costing $25 per team which also includes supper. Tee-off will be 12.30pm for a shotgun start.