Golfers are the type of bunch that will do generally whatever they can within — and sometimes outside — the rule book to lower their scores.
A golfer, who frequents the Innisfail Golf Club finally had enough of Hole 6 on the Hazelwood Nine and decided he was going to lower his score through engineering and architecture.
“One of members had been frustrated with the way he had been playing the golf hole and he thought about donating some money at some point,” Club Manager Darrin Black said. “He mentioned to one of his playing partners one day that, ‘I hate this hole and can’t wait until they do something with it.’ His playing partner asked, ‘Why don’t you do something about it?’ So he did.”
The anonymous member, who did not want to come forward to the media, donated $400,000 of his own money to redesign the hole and fix the many problems it had.
“Drainage was the major issue,” Black said. “In the spring, it was still wet and never opened until two to three weeks after the rest of our golf course. It is in a low area. Playability was also a factor. It was narrow and the green was surrounded by complicated bunkers. Maintenance of the hole was not easy.”
The redesign came after a planning process, which took the better part of two years.
“The process started a couple years ago when he approached our superintendent about seeing the chances of changing the hole,” Black said. “They talked about it briefly and over the year, they went through the pricing and figured out ball park what it was going to cost. They then approached the board of directors about doing it and the rest is history.”
Black noted the course did intend to fix the hole, however it would be financially much more difficult without the large donation.
“The money to do a hole like that is a long process of saving up. It is not a quick thing,” he said. “It was substantial for us as a staff, for our members, for our green fee players and even for the town. It has been remarkable.”
The hole finally opened on July 14th, much to the appreciation of the donor.
“The donor thinks that we have exceeded expectations, as well as the majority of our members,” Black said. “Any feedback I have got has been thoroughly positive. They love the different design — it is not revolutionary different but it is different enough that you can see the change and everyone is extremely pleased.”