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Warren Hills Golf Club: Revival tale continues

golf_clubWARREN Hills Golf Club, probably the country’s oldest golfing ensemble, continues with its fairy revival tale. Recently, the golf club — situated in the western part of the capital, next to the giant National Sports Stadium — got delivery of a brand new tractor, complete with accessories, to help maintain the greenery. This was courtesy of the Nyaradzo Group.

Since last year, a new executive at the helm of the club has been burning the midnight oil, determined to bring the smiles back on their members’ faces after the pendulum had swung the other way. This is a club with a rich history.  It has been home to some of the world’s greatest. On top of the list of its alumni is none other than Nick Price, a man who dominated the world’s golf rankings more than 25 years ago.  The list also includes Tim Price and David Leadbetter, a renowned instructor of the sport.

But because of the economic meltdown which ravaged the country between 2000 and 2009, the club was left desolate. During that hyperinflationary era, the number of playable golf courses went down from 78 in 1980 to just about 20. Having inherited the golf course needing a major overhaul, not many would have given Aaron Nhepera and his team a chance. But somehow, and against all odds, the heavens are smiling on them.

The club has since become a proud recipient of a tractor, fitted with a mower, donated by Zimbabwe’s fastest growing life assurer. Nhepera, the club president, said the equipment will help in trimming the golf course greens, aprons and tees as part of the club’s maintenance regimen. He was speaking at a prize giving ceremony for the fifth edition of the Nyatsimba Mutota Golf Tournament held to fundraise for the maintenance of the golf course.

One hundred and nineteen golfers participated in the tournament, named after the ruler of the Mutapa state. “This year’s tournament was not just a simple one. It coincided with some monumental achievement by the club. We managed to strike a deal with Nyaradzo Group where we managed to get from them a tractor that you saw outside there for the whole day. The tractor is having a mower behind it. But it’s not just that – sooner or later you will also be seeing two new greens machines. All that was courtesy of the Nyaradzo Group,” said Nhepera.

“This was an effort by a lot of us — an idea in our quest to change our situation. We felt we needed to approach corporate entities to come to our assistance and one of those that we identified was Nyaradzo Group. I want to report that in July, after so many efforts, we managed to bring Philip Mataranyika (Nyaradzo Group chief executive officer) at this club on a Sunday and we shared with him our concerns and he told us that he was going to discuss with his team and he will be coming back to us. Just this month we saw (Tendai) Kanjanda and Francis Tamburai at this club again and we met them as the management committee, not the full committee, but the three of us and we hammered this deal. In return, we are also giving them (Nyaradzo Group) free membership for this club for 10 people for five years and that is subject to review…even themselves they didn’t say this is the end — I think they are going to do a lot more things as we move into the future.”

Tamburai who was standing in for Mataranyika delivered a special message from the Nyaradzo Group boss, who was unable to attend. It read in part: “We are the sahwira mukuru of Warren Hills Golf Club, of Nyatsimba Mutota Golf Tournament. This tournament has been running over the years and we have been part of it as Nyaradzo Group. Our wish is that our relations continue to grow from strength to strength. Starting today, you may have seen in a small way what we, Nyaradzo, can do for you, our customers. We will be here again next year. My congratulations to the winners of the game today. Most importantly, we are all winners for with better fairways and smoother greens we will all, in future, be able to play better golf. May your paths sink and your fairway play get better”.

Tamburai said after listening to the concerns from Warren Hills Golf Club, they saw it fit, as an organisation, to come to their rescue. “Because we listen, we listened to what Warren Hills Golf club wanted; we understood it — we understood that without the tractor and the necessary machinery there would be no golf course and therefore we provided the solution,” he said, harping on the group’s adopted LUPS concept, which stands for Listen, Understand and Provide Solutions.

Mowing is necessary to keep the turf grass attractive and healthy.  For many clubs, the golf course ranks among the members’ top concerns.  The course may be the reason that they joined the club and maintain their membership. A golf course must be properly maintained, or else the members become agitated. The golf course maintenance budget is often one of the higher expenses at a club. The equipment that the grounds crew has will often determine how well the course is kept up. — Own Correspondent