Golfers are a hardy bunch.
They’ll go out and play in just about any conditions.
But nothing could really prepare them for the hurdles that Lynwood Golf and Country Club has had to endure over the past couple of years.
The experts say a storm such as that they were subjected to comes along about once in every 100 years.
If that’s the case, then Lynwood Golf and Country Club should be pretty safe for the next couple of hundred years – at least.
In February, 2020, 15 of their greens went under water during a horrendous storm.
So, when another one came in March this year, they expected the water to rise about nine and a half metres again. Instead, it got to 13.5 metres … and 21 greens went under water.
Indeed, the only parts of Lynwood NOT submerged were the clubhouse, the pro shop and the super’s shed.
At one stage, the only way to access the course was through neighbouring properties.
“We managed to move the golf carts before the cart shed went completely under water,” recalled Lynwood Golf and Country Club general manager Matt Bailey, who has been part of Lynwood in some capacity ever since it opened about 12 years ago.
“About 90 per cent was under water and it probably took about two-and-a-half weeks for the water to eventually subside.”
Then the hard work really began as the greens’ staff worked around the clock to get the greens re-seeded, using the knowledge gleaned from their 2020 flooding dramas.
Still, that is now just a part of the club’s short, but storied history as all the club’s greens and the course were back to full throttle on July 9, with the club staging a grand re-opening from July 9-11 to show off what must rank as one of north-western Sydney’s most impressive golf facilities.
The club is rightly proud of the fact it is also one of the most affordable courses in Australia’s biggest city.
And it is intent on staying that way – while also offering members of the public a welcome place to play and practice as well, with extensive facilities including 4000m2 couch practice tees, 21 flood-lit astro-turf hitting bays, a 320m practice fairway, 1200sqm putting green and 1000sqm chipping green.
“We’re no different to all the clubs in the area who were hit with the floods,” said Bailey.
“Our members were doing it tough there for a while.
“I’m happy to report that 25 clubs responded to our call for help and offered us members’ rates to play on their courses and some pretty exclusive clubs found blocks of tee times for Lynwood members at almost every time of the week, with the exception for Saturday mornings.
“Twin Creeks were a tremendous help and hosted our Mixed and Masters pennants matches, while Muirfield, Richmond, Dunheved, Ryde-Parramatta, Castle Hill, Glenmore Park and countless other clubs also helped us keep our members happy – ensuring they could get their games of golf.”
Bailey said the Lynwood membership, which comprises about 650 enthusiastic golfers, had been quite incredible during the trying times.
“Now that things are back to normal, we intend pushing on with hosting a two-day pro-am plus a sponsors’ day, which will include men’s and ladies playing alongside the pros – something similar to the event that Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson co-hosted on the European Tour earlier this season,” he said.
Bailey also paid tribute to CHRG (Castle Hill RSL Group), which took ownership of Lynwood Golf and Country Club several years ago and has helped develop the facility into a lot more than just a golf course, with their focus on hospitality, sport and community.
Designed by renowned Australian golf course architect Graham Papworth, Lynwood is a links-style golf course with a par of 72, measuring 6400 metres from the back tees and taking advantage of a host of natural features, including undulations, wetlands and natural rough.
It also boasts one of the best driving ranges in Sydney (with lights), a massive practice green and short-game range incorporating greens and bunker facilities.
There’s also a top-class restaurant and plans are afoot to add a putt-putt golf course to the club as well.
The 142m par-3 ninth is regarded as probably Lynwood’s signature hole.
You tee off back towards the clubhouse with a downhill water carry which means those with a wicked slice will be aiming well to the left to stay dry.
The 14th hole, a 155m downhill par-3 also has many fans as the westerly crosswinds invariably affect your shot selection … and those breezes usually make their presence felt from about 11am most days.
While Lynwood boasts more than its share of handy golfers and single-figure markers, one of the State’s leading senior amateurs Ken Brewer is also a proud member.
Brewer won the NSW Senior Amateur Order of Merit four years in a row from 2016-2019 and regularly posts impressive scratch scores at his home club.
Lynwood’s pennants team is also making quite an impression with their achievements and more recently was elevated into Division 1 for 2022 after beating the strong Castle Hill club in a classic local derby showdown.
Likewise, the women’s team is beginning to really make its mark and will be worth watching in the next few years as four or five of their players are under 14, which is a massive boost for the future of the women’s game at Lynwood.
In fact, Lynwood is making serious headway in supporting and promoting women and girls in golf – ensuring Lynwood is a destination where women and girls are welcome, inspired to participate, nurtured and developed to reach their full potential, which includes participating in all member competitions.
Their Encourage Shield and Eric Apperly teams are also progressing nicely.
One of those “graduates” is young Toby Farrar, whose progress has delighted club officials after he was selected for an Australian Academy scholarship.
“We pride ourselves on the establishment and success of our Junior Golf Academy development program, which is expanding in September to nurture novice golfers and provide pathways to professional success with elite athletes,” Bailey said.
“Lynwood’s course, practice facilities and clubhouse are open to the public 7 days a week, and membership is just $1565 a year with no joining fee, which makes our rate more than competitive with any other clubs in the district.
“And on top of that, we run women’s and group clinics, individual coaching sessions and holiday camps.
“We’ve endured droughts, floods, fires – just about everything except for famine – and after all that drama, we are finally returning to some sort of normality – and our members are thrilled.
“Our agronomy team is dedicated, passionate, hardworking and a little bit stubborn, so they were adamant that they weren’t going to let the floods get the better of Lynwood.
“They really did pull off a greenkeeping miracle.
“Whilst most of the hurdles have been unavoidable, the membership has been incredibly supportive and understanding. And they now deserve the very best course that we can give them.
“We had six months of a golf boom and were starting to really make our mark when the floods hit us.
“Thanks to the support of our members and the golfing community, we’re back and better than ever.
“And we couldn’t be more thrilled.”
LYNWOOD COUNTRY CLUB:
4 Pitt Town Bottoms Road,
Pitt Town NSW 2756
Phone: (02) 4580 8555