How fitting the sun made an appearance last Thursday, shining on the 12 men and women set to tee off and mark the much anticipated re-opening of the back nine at Fairwinds.
According to Fairwinds’ marketing and communication assistant manager Kyla Karakochuk, “Fairwinds Community and Resort have invested over one million dollars in the new irrigation system, and closed the back nine holes mid-October of 2011.”
Six months later and the mood was upbeat as the grounds crew prepared for the first tee off from hole 10 to take the fairways for a test drive.
“They put their heart and soul into it, so I just thought this would be a good way to thank them,” Fairwinds’ director of golf Ward Stouffer surmised as the group milled about in anticipation.
“They’ve been out here since October 1; rain, shine, everything… I’ve got pictures of them working in the snow,” he said, adding “nobody knows how much work this was, or how tough a job this irrigation project was, than the guys that were in the dirt. They worked through all weather conditions,” said Ward. “They made this project happen.”
Course superintendent Rod Siddons was all smiles as he had crew members sign their names on the commemorative gold coloured shovel, which will be given a permanent home somewhere on the back nine, and cut the ribbon to a smattering of applause and cheers.
“This has been a long process,” said Karakochuk, whose detailed blog on the process can be found at fairwindsgolf.wordpress.com.
The lay of the course, she said “should be the same… until the course is fully healed people may notice some rough patches, but that shouldn’t last too long. What they will notice over the summer is reduced wet spots, and one of the major benefits is that we will reduce our water consumption quite a bit because we can now control the areas in which we water and the amount of water.”