Relief might be in sight soon for recreational and nine-hole golfers looking for places to play with the imminent closure of Brookfields Park Golf Course. Plans have been made to construct a new nine-hole course on the old Golf City site on Railway Rd at the end of the Palmerston North Airport runway.
The land is still owned by the Uruguayan-owned Valor Ideal Ltd, run by director Paul Barris. He and former leading Manawatu-Wanganui golfer Sloane Morpeth, the company's development manager, would do the development. "There would be some serious money spent on the place," Barris said. "It is happening; it will get back into play."
It would include a driving range in a wide area in the middle of the course, which would see five holes from the old course brought back into play. They were built by the previous owners of Golf City, Warren and Jill Vining.
Before any work can start, Barris said a $6 million stormwater retention dam, being excavated to cope with 100,000 cubic metres of water in case of a 100-year flood through the North East Industrial area and neighbouring farms, had to be completed. The dam was a condition of the industrial zoning and development in the area, and for most of its life it will be a massive grassed indentation.
"When it's completed, we can use part of it for the golf course," Morpeth said. Much of the former Golf City land was sold and now has industrial buildings on it. However, the land behind the airport is subject to airport height restrictions, and that will also count against erecting big nets for the new driving range. That land is still zoned recreational.
A new pro shop will also be built not far from the site of the old Golf City shop, which would have sufficed. But it fell into disrepair and was demolished. The current driving range adjacent to Leisureplex in the Manawatu Business Park will be closed on January 31. The new range will be near the new Carters building.
Morpeth said restoring the holes on the old course, now overgrown, and building four new holes could be done in four to five months. Watering systems would also have to be installed to tees and greens. There will be three par fours and six par threes, and a greenkeeper will have to be employed.
Brookfields Park, which opened in 1976, will close on March 31.
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