Grant’s Prestigious Award
On Saturday night, October 26, members of the Oakbank Golf Club attended the SA Golf Industry Awards night at The Playford on North Terrace.
Grant Parker, a long-serving member who has worn many hats since his arrival at the club in 1993, including Club Captain, Vice-Captain, Pennant Co-Ordinator and Course Director, was aptly awarded Golf SA's Country Volunteer of the Year during the Awards event.
Parker spends many of his spare hours at the Smith Street venue in Oakbank tirelessly in pursuit of a better club and course for member and green fee players. From the initial course design, to the ongoing maintenance and development, Grant has led the way. After a decision in 2016 by the board to not pay a greenskeeper and have volunteer members split the responsibilities of course maintenance, the club and course has moved forward in leaps and bounds. State Manager for U-Blinds Australia, Grant has plenty on his plate but always finds time to head to the club and get involved in anything from mowing, to irrigation, course repair and maintenance. He even gets to enjoy the odd 18 Holes on a Saturday. As a club, we could not be prouder of Grant and consider ourselves lucky to have such a committed and driven man at the helm of our course.
Article written by Club Captain, Ben Birtles
Christian Puccini from Golf SA with Country Volunteer of the Year Grant Parker
Oakbank Golf Club Members with Grant Parker
Playing the 5th hole in the Wednesday comp on 16/10/19, Ray McVey holed out in one shot. This was Ray's third hole in one - he did it 2002 and 2004, also on the 5th. Well done Ray!
It is also the second ace this year following Andrew Basford's in May.
16 Oakbank players ventured down to Ashbourne to play an equal number from McLaren Vale club on Sunday November 3 in the annual Historical Day competition between the 2 clubs.
While Oakbank had to hand back the trophy they won last year, all enjoyed the golf and the wonderful hospitality provided by the McLaren Vale members, including a great lunch following the golf.
Ben Birtles, shown here making final adjustments to the new wireless controlled watering system, says it it all now fully automated.
The system allows for all watering to be controlled from the pump shed and with a possibility in future of being able to control watering remotely - via mobile phone. The new system will greatly reduce the time required of those who look after the watering on the course - mainly Ben and Grant Parker - and enable more efficient and timely watering. But, there will always be some maintenance and work for J & J Irrigation!
Ben hands over the trophy
(Pic courtesy of Josh Pym)
Juniors at Oakbank
On Sunday October 27, Oakbank Golf Club hosted a junior competition involving four clubs in the MY Golf League, Hills Division – Oakbank/Echunga, Mt Barker, Mt Osmond and Blackwood.
Oakbank Golf’s junior development director, Adrian Braddock (pictured below with Oakbank President Peter Murray) said the competition, part of the My Golf program organised by Golf Australia and Golf SA, involved 24 juniors.
Blackwood won over Aston Hills and Oakbank/Echunga won against Mt Osmond.
The competition runs over 4 weeks and next week the clubs play at Blackwood with the final being held at Mt Osmond.
Great Championship Series
The final round of the Oakbank Golf Club Championships was held on Sunday the 15th of September in beautiful spring conditions, captain Ben Birtles said.
"A 20 percent increase in championship player numbers was a delight to see with many tight contests over the four days.
"The course condition was superb with the fast greens and tough pin placements causing plenty of problems for players.
A post-presentation dinner was enjoyed by a large crowd who enjoyed the championship atmosphere into the evening Ben said.
Mens Club Champion - John McInnes
Runner Up - Scott Schultz
Women's Club Champion - Anne Hunter
Runner Up - Joy Page
B Grade Champion - Andrew Basford
Runner Up - David Schultz/Jim Knight
C Grade Champion - Phil Hendry
Runner Up - Jeff Knight
D Grade Champion - Rob Harris
Runner Up - David Jarrett
Women's Division Two Champion - Barb Hird
Runner Up - Mary Parkyn
Club Net Handicap Champion - James Smart
The question posed before the championships was will the Oakbank Golf Course Drive names change?
Well, yes, one change will be made - Anne Hunter Drive will remain but Darren Stirling Drive sign will be replaced by a new sign - John McInnes Drive.
2019 Club Champion, John McInnes (centre) with Club Captain Ben Birtles (left) and runner up Scott Schultz.
2019 Women's Champion, Anne Hunter (right) with Men's captain Ben Birtles (left) Women's captain Judy Thomson and runner up Joy Page.
2019 Club Champions from left, John McInnes, Anne Hunter, Andrew Basford (Bs), Phil Hendry (Cs), Barb Hird (Women's Grade) , Rob Harris (Ds)
One of the Best - Opinion
It’s not for a more recent member (11 years) to say that the recent championships competition was the best ever, but in my view, it has to be close. Certainly, in my time at the Club, it was the best.
As Captain Ben says, a 20% increase in numbers from last year in the comp is a significant result in itself and there is no doubt that the 4 days spread over two weekends has been well received.
Add in a course in excellent condition, perfect spring weather, at least for the second weekend, and a first-rate social function to conclude the final day, it was altogether a wonderful series.
And what about the fantastic competition and good camaraderie over the 4 days!?
While in the end, the new Club Champion, John McInnes won comfortably and Women’s Champion Anne Hunter finished well clear, the B grade finished in a 3-way tie that was played out on the 18th before an enthusiastic spectator group. Andrew Basford prevailed over Jim Knight and David Schultz.
Phil Hendry played consistently over the 4 days to win the C Grade by 2 strokes from Jeff Knight. Rob Harris, with a score that exceeded some in the C grade, won the D Grade from David Jarrett.
The Women’s Grade Champion, Barb Hird, won a closely fought battle with Mary Parkyn by 1 stroke.
James Smart won the Handicap Championship.
Added features of the competition this year was a long drive on the 6th hole and an eclectic competition, both sponsored by Trevor Porter.
Captain Ben Birtles and his match committee are to be congratulated on this terrific event which requires an amazing amount of organisation and management. The time and work involved by Ray McVey, David Schultz and Rob Harris in just recording scores, is immense. Take a bow everyone.
The magnificent course condition was due to an untiring effort from course director Grant Parker, his course committee and a band of enthusiastic helpers.
The evening meal, instigated and organised by Max Jenkins, who took on the role of house manager this year, was a great success with many players and wives/partners staying to enjoy the 3-course dinner and social event.
Many helpers, including tireless women members, set up tables, made soup and salads to go with the fantastic steaks, sourced through Greg Richter, and cooked by Greg Baschiera.
All in all, it was a great championship series with a lovely finish.
Of course, it must be said that without those who took part in the competition it would not be possible. And neither must we forget all those who helped in various ways to make it “one of the best”.
Afterwards, speaking with President Peter Murray, who unfortunately due to a health issue had to sit out the championship competition, it was easy to tell he was very pleased with how everything went. Furthermore, Peter, who adopts a low-key role as president, is clearly delighted with the way the Club is moving ahead.
Bring on next year!
WINTER SEASON PRESENTATIONS
The Oakbank women's golf group held their "End of Winter Presentations" with a lunch held in the club-rooms today (October 1) after their normal Tuesday golf round.
Winners of the various events held over the winter season were presented with their awards by Club President Peter Murray who attended the lunch at the invitation of Women's Captain, Judy Thomson.
The Shylie Rymill Foursomes Trophy - Anne Hunter and Val Pattison
The Silver International Bowl - Anne Hunter
The Bronze International Bowl - Barb Hird
Mary Parkyn’s Silver Spoon - Mary Parkyn
The Putting trophy - Anne Hunter
The Gobblers trophy - Val Pattison
The Birdies trophy - Anne Hunter
Thursday competition winner - Anne Smith
You will have noticed these posts (above) and wiring now in all parts of the course. The cabling runs to the watering valves and once fitted with their electronic receivers (see pic below), will allow for watering to be radio controlled via the pump shed where the transmitter is fitted.
There are over 30 of them around the course the installation of which was completed over Easter by Ben and his brother Sam, following trenching dug by Daryl Heading.
Fitting of the receivers will be a gradual process done as finances allow. at present about 5 receivers have been fitted allowing remote control of watering of several points on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd greens and fairways.
When all completed, we will no longer have the problems currently being experienced caused by the ageing underground wiring.
All completed now and in operation - see "Final Adjustments" article this page
For Oakbank Women's Open Gallery - click here
Oakbank Golf Club- A Water Wise success story.
The Oakbank Golf Club, located at Oakbank, is a lovely nine hole course, set in the rolling Adelaide Hills. A small club, of around 160 members, the club is run entirely by volunteers.
Given its location, the course tends to get very wet in winter, and then dry out in summer, to the extent that it needs regular and frequent watering for at least 7 months of the year.
Some 3 or 4 years ago, the Board decided on a strategy to waterproof the course.
First up, we decided to replace the old bayonet sprinklers, which had to be moved each day, with pop-up sprinklers. An appeal to members to pay $100 each for a pop-up, and some fund raising events, raised enough to replace all the sprinklers. It took a number of working bees, and a huge amount of work by Jim and Jeff Knight, and over 12 months, for all the new pop-ups to be installed.
Once they were in, it became apparent we needed a new pressure pump to drive the sprinklers. Again, fund raising events were held, and enough raised to replace the main pump. With that all working fine, it became apparent that our bore pump was not up to the task. Volunteer Ben Birtles, and a number of others then put together the application for a grant from the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing. The grant was to cover the cost of the new pump, and the associated wiring and electrics.
When the grant came through, Ben was able to source the pump and UHF controllers to replace many of the old solenoids which control the sprinklers.
The final result is that we have achieved our aim of making the course drought proof. Provided there is enough water in the bore, the entire course can be watered at night, without any manual intervention. Watering at night will itself be a significant saving of water with greatly reduced evaporation. Ben Birtles and Grant Parker (Chair of the Course Committee) estimate that we will not only save a huge amount of water, but we also save 3-4 hours of volunteer time each day during the summer.
The Oakbank Golf Club is very proud that we have achieved our goal of drought proofing the course.
Prepared by Club Secretary, Bruce Macky
Generous Donation by Sponsor
One of the Club's platinum sponsors, Marne Valley Turf has generously donated the turf for the new 8th/17th tee which has now been laid.
Course director, Grant Parker said the 300 square metres of turf was valued at $2100 but it had all been donated by Doug Fleet of Marne Valley Turf. Grant said the donation would not only help reduce expenditure associated with course redevelopment, but it would also allow the tee to be brought into play much earlier than otherwise.
Around The Tees
Quote of the Week:
A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck
If you're looking for someone with good genes (and I don't mean the Levi type) around the club, look no further than John Gillott. John's mother is 105 and she still lives on her own! How many people at that age Australia - wide would be doing that?
John told me that his mother recently visited her doctor for a checkup and came out all smiles because everything was fine and the doc told her she would live to 110!
As members will know, David Jarrett - Jarro to everyone - is a bit (that's probably and understatement) of a petrol head who in the past has raced cars at various circuits around Australia. Now a more sedate driver, he has a penchant for collecting special vehicles which include a couple of Ford Mustangs, one older, one new, a huge Ford Thunderbird and just recently, a 1970s Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in which he rolled up on Saturday.
Some of his mates wanted to sit up in the back seat and have Jarro chauffeur them around then district. This was acceptable until they said would grab a bottle of red and glasses to enjoy a drink on the journey. Jarro wasn't going to take any chances with the pristine upholstery!
If you didn't see the beast on Saturday, you may have missed out because it's not exactly an economical vehicle. With its 6.7 litre V8 burning fuel like it's going out of fashion, Jarro's unlikely to use it a a regular means of transport to golf. Besides, it takes up about two car-parks.
On Saturday October 19, Blu Burzoni's teeshot from the 3rd ended up on the women's 6th tee! Despite being on a third fairway from his tee shot, Blu scored a 6 for 2. Not bad for an estimated 750 metre hole!
New Book Out
Chapter 1 - How to Properly Line Up Your Fourth Putt
Chapter 2 - How to Hit a Nike from the Rough When You Hit a Titleist from the Tee
Chapter 3 - How to Avoid the Water When You Lie 8 in a Bunker
Chapter 4 - How to Get More Distance Off the Shank
Chapter 5 – How to improve your lie during and after the round
Chapter 6 - Using Your Shadow on the Greens to Maximize Earnings
Chapter 7 - When to Implement Handicap Management
Chapter 8 - Proper Excuses for Drinking Beer Before 9:00 a.m.
Chapter 9 - How to Rationalize a 6 Hour Round
Chapter 10 - How to Find That Ball That Everyone Else Saw Go in the Water
Chapter 11 - Why Your Spouse Doesn't Care That You Birdied the 5th...
Chapter 12 - How to Let a Foursome Play Through Your Twosome
Chapter 13 - How to Relax When You Are Hitting Three Off the Tee
Chapter 14 - When to Suggest Major Swing Corrections to Your Opponent
Chapter 15 - God and the Meaning of the Birdie-to-Bogey Three Putt
Chapter 16 - When to Re-grip Your Ball Retriever
Anyone wishing to purchase a copy, should contact the editor
Click above to see newsletters which will provide some Club history of this period
World Handicap System (WHS) Implementation in Australia:
A new world golf handicapping system will be introduced in Australia and will involve:
(1) Replacement of the existing Daily Scratch Rating (DSR) formulas with the new WHS daily rating formulas – this will happen on Tuesday 7 May 2019.
(2) Full implementation in Australia of the WHS – confirmed to take place in late-January or early-February 2020.
If you wish to read more, click here
Pictorial Development of the new green (scroll down)
Thursday September 13 2018 The gravel goes on
Tuesday September 18 - the sand goes on!
Above - Wednesday September 19 after hundreds of tonnes of sand (John McInnes who delivered it all, estimates 300 tonnes), the new green looks fantastic!
Friday October 5 Seeding the new green
Di Percy, Reg and Colleen Dobay with some of the goods for sale
Melbourne Cup Day
A field of 29 played an Ambrose competition on Melbourne Cup Day. Winners were Jarro, Marj and Steve Russell - for full results see results page.
Jarro is apparently annoyed with Judy T who accidentally deleted the only photo taken of the winners.
After the game some 36 players and partners enjoyed a great lunch organised by Max Jenkins.
A good day had by all!
Intro to Golf (see above) started well on the first day (Nov 14) with 12 women attending. Women's captain Judy Thomson said new players are more than welcome to join in for the second day next Thursday (Nov 21).
If you have a bit of gossip for "Around the Tees" please send to or whisper in his ear when you see him at golf. Any such info will be treated discretely!
A lot Achieved at Working Bee
Course manager Grant Parker and Club Captain Ben Birtles were very pleased with the outcome of Sunday’s (August 4) working bee both in terms of numbers attending (over 30) and jobs completed.
Some of the jobs done included top dressing the new green and also improving its drainage system (3 new drainage lines were dug and back-filled with gravel) to allow it to more easily cope with wet winters.
A multitude of other jobs included spreading loam on the 18th fairway to cover ruts, further work on widening the 5th tee, cleaning out all sheds, picking up branches on various parts of the course, filling behind the 7th bunker and seeding, leveling and widening 6th tee, cleaning up around the club-rooms and sheds, including gutters, removal of bushes around practice green, hedge trimming and many other tasks such as weed spraying and repainting 150 metre markers.
Volunteers were treated to refreshments and lunch during the day.
In thanking volunteers for their time Grant and Ben said it showed how much could be achieved in relatively little time when our members pitch in and help. “Great work” they echoed. And they offered a special thanks to those who also provided equipment such as utility and trailer and tractor with FEL and backhoe.
Members are reminded of the policy related to cold frosty mornings as it appears on page 5 of the Club Program:
"If the minimum forecast temperature for Mt Barker is 2 degrees or below, early hit off will not be permitted. This action is necessary to prevent damage to the greens".
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible”.
After 23 months without, we have another hole in one - achieved by Andrew Basford on the 10th on Saturday May 4 2019. Congratulations Andrew!
Twilight golf started Thursday October 10 and will continue every Thursday throughout daylight saving. Starts at 5.00 pm and finishes after 9 holes with a meal. A very social and relaxed game for all. Non members are most welcome. Golf cost is $3 for members and $10 for non members. Meal afterwards is optional and normally costs $10.
The Golf Ball
In My Hand I Hold A Ball,
White And Dimpled...Rather Small.
Oh, How Bland It Does Appear,
This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.
By Its Size I Could Not Guess
The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell,
I've Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.
My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End;
A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.
It’s Made Me Curse And Made Me Cry,
And Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises Me A Thing Called Par,
If I Hit It Straight And Far.
To Master Such A Tiny Ball,
Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses,
And Does Exactly As It Chooses.
It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies,
And Disappears Before My Eyes.
Often It Will Have A Whim,
To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.
With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,
If Only It Would Find The Hole.
It's Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows ... I'll Be Back Tomorrow.
Thursday 18/10/18 A Green Tinge!
Wednesday 31/10/18 Greener!
Thursday 29/11/18 Almost ready for its first haircut!
Monday 3/12/18 New green after its first haircut!
Eagles in golf are a pretty rare bird. 90% are achieved on par 5 holes. It is estimated that the pro golfers hit one, on average, every 144 holes. The odds in the amateur world are likely to be much higher. But what are the odds of hitting two in one round?
Well, whatever those odds are, Darren Sterling did on Saturday on the 6th and 15th. No one could recall it being done before at Oakbank and it’s likely to be a long time before it happens again.
The odds of two eagles in one round by one player must be approaching those of a hole in one, which incidentally, is an eagle on a par 3. The odds of a hole in one by pros are estimated at around 2500:1 while the odds for an amateur are 12000:1.
Captain Ben congratulating Darren on his two eagles
The Second Annual Pym/Birtles Trophy has been run and won with Jeff DeBoer and Perc McElwaine winning with a combined score of 76 points!
A big thank you to the event sponsors:
Mylkappa Cellar and Kitchen, Charleston Hotel,
Caltex Woodside, Blackbird Golf
Pym/Birtles Trophy winners Jeff De Boer and Perc McElwaine with event organisers Josh Pym (left) and Ben Birtles (right)
2019-2020 Program - click here
Uniforms and Golf Merchandise
Bronwyn Arnold (pictured below) is the person to see for your OGC uniforms including shirts, jackets, caps, hats etc. Bronwyn is usually in the club-rooms on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday golf days but can otherwise be contacted on:
0457 604 435 or
See her soon for some specials!
January 1 2019 saw the introduction of a number of new rules which all golfers need to know. Click on the links below to read the rules and watch a video which clearly shows how they apply
Previous items or articles, which may be of interest but no longer published on this page in full, can be accessed by clicking on the links below.
Captains Report November 2019
Twilight Golf is off to a great start will fantastic numbers enjoying the longer spring evenings. Thanks to Scotty for the Golf and Jeff and Max for doing dinners.
The Ross and Betty Prosser Trophy is being played as we speak with David Jarrett in the box seat to win.
Greg Baschiera re-takes the lead in the Wenzel Cup Standings after James Smart missed a round due to prior commitments.
16 Members ventured down to the Ashbourne Golf club for the Annual Historical day against McLaren Vale. It was a brilliant day in good conditions with great hospitality. Unfortunately we went down 499 to 459 and gave the cup back for a year.
The Par series is nearing an end with the lead yet to be finalised due to the ability to drop your two worst rounds. It has been a great initiative with numbers increasing for Par rounds drastically.
The O’Leary day has been moved to November 30th, and Jacko's Day into February.
Please note – Pub day Ambrose coming up on the 8th of December which is a Sunday.