Shah Alam [SELANGOR]: Fears that course maintenance restrictions imposed during Kota Permai Golf & Country Club’s enforced closure would impact the speed of the renowned greens at one of country’s top golf facilities have been quickly allayed.
Prior to recommencing operations last week, Kota Permai, like all golf clubs in Malaysia, had been under lockdown for a total of 48 days, following the Government’s strict Movement Control Order (MCO), first issued on March 18.
“During that period we were only able to carry out basic golf course maintenance with a skeleton staff,” said Tang Meng Loon, Director – Club Operations and Townships at Gamuda Land, responsible for overseeing operations at Kota Permai and Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club.
“Only essential services were allowed to carry on operation and for that we needed to get prior approval from the Royal Malaysian Police. So, there were restrictions that prevented us carrying out the full range of course maintenance. Everything we did during the MCO was just basic maintenance like mowing, preventative pest control and some watering activities,” said Tang.
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In addition to having to cope with limited staffing levels, Tang, who himself has an agronomic background, had to reassure Kota Permai members, worried at how the greens might suffer.
“Before we re-opened, we had quite a few inquiries from members expressing concern at whether we were maintaining the condition of the course – and particularly the greens. A lot of our golfing members at Kota Permai are good players who are quite competitive – and they’re always concerned about the green speed,” said Tang, whose greenkeeping team frequently have the putting surfaces running at 12 on the stimpmeter.
When they stepped back onto the course, members were not only relieved to discover the Ross Watson-designed layout in playable condition, but also pleased that the greens were running true, if slightly slower than their usual pace.
“Our greens are always regarded as being at a good standard and running fast. Now we’re trying to keep that benchmark that we’ve set for the local industry and in the region.
“I believe we need around two weeks to fully get back on track. We’re executing a comprehensive maintenance programme so we can get back our pristine course condition. Now our focal point is tidying up the golf course, landscaping and keeping the course in neat and tidy condition,” he added.