Mark Davis 20 Years’ Service

The following was put together by Pete Lazarus in recognition of Mark’s 20 years service to Half Moon Bay Golf Club.

Mark Davis commenced the position of Course Superintendent , 4 October 1993, 20 years ago.

I joined the committee, as Greens’ Director not long after Mark’s appointment and, throughout the years, we have planned, designed, constructed and worked together. I am sure I am joined by the majority of our members in recognising the considerable contribution Mark has made to our Golf Course. He is extremely passionate and committed in regard to the presentation of our golf course.

The following is a summary of the development of our Golf Course over the past 20 years, during which time Mark has had either direct or indirect involvement.

We must also acknowledge previous committees and volunteer workers for their contribution to form the foundation on which an 18 hole golf course would be developed. One person who contributed to the layout was our late professional, Alex Kippen and his involvement should be duly recognised.

Going back 20 years, we had a 15 hole golf course and the irrigation of the course was carried out by manually turning various valves on/off and the water supply was via 2 storage ponds.

The automation of the irrigation system was the first project. A tendering process for the design and the installation was carried out by Mark and his team.

The Club had to have a direction for the development of the golf course from 15 to 18 holes and a golf course designer was engaged to design an 18 hole layout and consequently the 18 hole development plan was endorsed by the then members.

A course machinery maintenance and replacement plan was established by Mark and if you look at the depreciation value of our course machinery, you can appreciate the sizeable investment we have in course machinery.

Irrigation water supply of sufficient capacity to maintain a future 18 hole golf course needed to be sourced and, after considering the various options, treated effluent from the Marlin Coast Treatment Plant was the most reliable source and negotiations were commenced with the then Mulgrave Shire for the supply pipeline to be installed. After many years, the pipeline was installed at no cost to the golf club. However, before the water could be used, an irrigation management plan had to be established. Mark had direct involvement with the introduction of and ongoing compliance with such plan.

The first project towards the 18 holes was the construction of the current 5th hole whereby civil contractors were engaged to construct the green base and install the topsoil for the fairway.

Mark then managed the irrigation, turfing and green construction.

15 holes to 18 hole layout was commenced once the land became available. A lengthy negotiation process between the club and various local and state government agencies was necessary as the development of a reclaimed refuse site to a golf course had not been constructed to comply with current the requirements of all agencies.

After the negotiations were successfully completed, a civil contractor was engaged to top dress current holes 6 & 7. This involved excavating topsoil by lowering the level of the first section of the current 17th fairway, excavating to form a lake adjacent to the 17th fairway and 9th green and the transportation and leveling of the topsoil. Other storm water run off control works were also part of the contract.

Upon the completion of the civil contract, the site was handed over to the club for Mark and his team to install irrigation, construct greens (6th, 7th, 9th) and establish the fairways; all to be completed within an extremely tight time frame as the wet season was approaching. Unfortunately, we had a very early onset of the wet season that year (starting at the beginning of November) and the heavy rain caused severe erosion to the batter along the 6th fairway. This provided some challenging and frustrating periods.

After the wet season had finished the finishing touches were completed and the 18 hole layout was opened mid 2000.

With the completion of the 18 hole development, other course improvements were identified and the following list these improvements keeping in mind that the main objective is to continually improve our golf course in both the playing and visual presentation.

  • 14th hole: relocation and construction of new green to lengthen the hole
  • 8th hole: relocation and construction of new green to lengthen the hole
  • 3rd hole: development of new fairway and tee for relocation of current 3rd hole
  • Installation of various stormwater systems to improve drainage on the golf course
  • 1st hole: immediate tee area improvement, establishment of fairway bunkers on right hand side, reshape and reconstruction of green
  • 2nd hole: lengthening tee
  • 10th hole: lengthening tee and reshape, reconstruct green and surrounds
  • 11th hole: improvements to tee and reshape and reconstruct green and reshape fairway
  • 13th hole: reshape tee
  • 15th hole: lengthen tee, reshape green
  • 16th hole: lengthen tee, reshape green
  • 17th hole: lengthen tee
  • 18th hole: reshape and enlarge green
  • bridge construction, 12th green 13th tee
  • construction of gardens around the course to enhance visual presentation.

All of our greens’ turf has been replaced with “Novatec” turf and, when required, the irrigation has been replaced.

All of the above works have been completed under extremely tight budgets and we must commend Mark for working within the tight budget constraints.

As can be seen from the above scope of works, there is a considerable variety of skills involved to complete the works and I must acknowledge Mark for his ability to tackle the various tasks and complete them to an extremely high standard.

In closing, Mark, congratulations on your achievements and our club thanks you for your dedication, patience and efforts.

Peter Lazarus

Greens’ Director