Cootamundra can look forward to hosting more major golf events following a $1.3 million upgrade of the Cootamundra Country Club Golf Course opened yesterday by member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke.
Ms Cooke pressed a button on a tablet to set several sprinklers going, marking the beginning of regular irrigation using a new system which will operate overnight, progressively covering the entire 6-acre course in only two nights.
This compares with three weeks using the old irrigation system, installed in 1949.
Both systems use treated water recycled and piped from the council's sewage treatment works in Turners Lane, as do all of the town's public parks and sports fields.
Project manager Simon Bragg said it was fantastic to see the dream come true.
"The process was started around six years ago when a group of us got together to try to get a 'decent' system of getting water onto the golf course," Mr Bragg said.
"We had a whole lot of failures to start with and then things fell into place. There was the State election coming up and I happened to make contact with Steph Cooke and she said 'you get a submission together and we'll see what we can do'.
The club applied for a State government sports and recreation grant unsuccessfully for three years in a row before it successfully obtained a grant of $1.3 million, announced last year.
Ms Cooke said coming into the 2017 she was only allowed to make one promise to any community for any project in the whole of the electorate, and $1.3 for the upgrade of this course was it.
"At the end of the day this is a fantastic venue, it always was, but now it's going to be even better, great for all of the members of the club to play on and we're going to be able to attract new tournaments here, thanks to the behind-the-scenes work of Golf NSW and Simon Bragg and Gwen Norman in particular."
The 60 or so guests were welcomed by Aboriginal past member of the board Bob Granville.
Mr Granville said one of his first memories of the course was coming down the 17th fairway and the mayor didn't look where he was going and hit a rabbit trap and cut off the heel of his shoe.
"That didn't make him any happier I tell you."
Mr Granville welcomed guests in the Wiradjuri language, succeeding in getting those present to pronounce the word "guudhamangeray" (at least that's what it sounded like), from which he said the name Cootamundra was developed by the first European settlers.
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