All hands on deck at Royal
With the overnight thunderstorms having passed, there is a dramatic irony that sunshine and a dry breeze now engulf the empty golf course at Royal Durban Golf Club, as play was abandoned for the second consecutive day in the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa on Friday.
The area has experienced unusual amounts of rain in recent months - the degree of which was revealed in an official press release sent out by the club earlier today.
“To put the conditions in perspective, Durban’s average annual rainfall is just over 1000mm, or 89mm per month. The wettest month is usually February at 128mm. In September, October and November, the course has had a total of 735mm which is two and a half times the average for those months,” the statement read.
It further went on to note “Another statistic which underlines the abnormal conditions is that Royal Durban has the most rounds of golf of any golf course in KZN, and is ranked ninth in South Africa on that basis. This is only possible given the normally good weather conditions experienced in Durban which has only 89 days per annum where the rainfall exceeds 0.1mm in a 24 hour period.”
The course offers a serene setting, and, despite the assortment of puddles, many have concurred that it is in terrific condition. It would be a travesty for the golf course to miss out on its right to host the event.
“A week before the tournament, and despite the heavy rain that had been experienced, the course was in pristine condition, and, according to many, the best condition that most could remember. The eThekwini Emergency Services will be assisting today, together with other municipal departments in pumping water off the course. Everything that can possibly be done is being undertaken by both course staff, members and outside assistance,” the statement said.
The club’s words certainly appear to be correct, as the view from the clubhouse is one of a golf course littered with volunteers and staff, all with buckets and pumps doing their utmost. One thing is for sure – if there is any chance of Mother Nature granting us the window for this event to take place, this dedicated team of workers will ensure that it does.