0 Substandard greens jeopardise champs

Dunedin bowling clubs will not be used to host next year's New Zealand championships if their greens are not up to standard.

President of the New Zealand Greenkeepers Association Maurice Symes was in Dunedin this week and told the Otago Daily Times he was not happy with the standard of Dunedin greens.

He inspected the city greens during the winter months and found that 50% of them did not meet the required standard for a New Zealand championships.

Bowls New Zealand has a points scale and if greens do not reach 55 points they cannot host national events.

"If the city greens are not up to standard, Bowls Dunedin needs to look at greens in South Otago and North Otago to play the nationals on," Symes said.

He liked the greens he saw in the South Otago Bowling Centre.

"With a little bit of help and support those greens could definitely be used," he said.

Bowls Dunedin will host next season's centennial national championships. The inaugural championships were held in the city.

Symes made it clear that half the clubs in Dunedin did not meet the Bowls New Zealand standard and have been put on notice that they will not be used as hosts if their greens do come up to scratch.

All centres have a copy of the evaluation form.

"I recommend that clubs get a copy and make sure that their greens reach that standard," Symes said. "I was disappointed by what I saw."

Symes said that the only greens up to standard during the winter inspection were Kaikorai and the No 1 green at the Taieri club.

"Half the greens need major work and other greens needed some minimal work," he said.

Symes highlighted the need for regular maintenance of greens, which must include groovings and corings on alternate years.

The next inspection by Symes and the Bowls Dunedin Greenkeepers Association will be made during the playing season "so that we can talk to the greenkeepers and tell them what they need to do," Symes said.

He emphasised the necessity for clubs to seek the advice of Dunedin-based agronomist for the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute David Howard.

"He is the best agronomist in the country and the clubs in Dunedin should be using him."

The significant problem for greenkeepers was not having any growth on the greens when they entered the winter months.

"They must not let this happen next year because if it gets to spring without any growth the greens won't be good enough to play nationals on them at Christmas time."

Article sourced from the Otago Daily Times

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