Quarry offers golfers site swap

CHANGE OF SCENE: Fulton Hogan has agreed to replace the existing Templeton Golf Club course with a new one.
CHANGE OF SCENE: Fulton Hogan has agreed to replace the existing Templeton Golf Club course with a new one.

The Templeton Golf Club is poised to get a new course built by Fulton Hogan on an adjoining site, in what is believed to be a multimillion-dollar revamp of the course and adjoining quarry.

Fulton Hogan is awaiting consents that would allow the building and civil infrastructure company to develop the current course into a quarry.

In exchange, the company has offered to build the club new facilities and an 18-hole course on land directly north of the current Pound Rd course.

A source said Fulton Hogan's Pound Rd quarry was coming to the end of its lifespan, and it needed more of the shingle under the area for concrete and hard-fill.

Canterbury regional manager Craig Stewart said the company was interested in the golf course.

"The Templeton quarry concept is one of several aggregate proposals being investigated by Fulton Hogan as part of its long-term quarrying strategy in Canterbury," he said.

"While the project is still at a preliminary/conceptual stage, involving stakeholder consultation, it is viewed as a unique way of rehabilitating an old quarry to achieve positive outcomes for the golf club and the wider community."

The Press was told the consent process could take two to three years.

Course designer Turner-Macpherson, the company of former top New Zealand professional golfer Greg Turner, has been employed to provide preliminary designs for the new course.

Turner said that once the consents were sorted, it could take up to three years to build the course.

He said building a course from scratch was "not an inexpensive process".

"I understand things are still at the early stages in terms of consents et cetera, but it's an exciting opportunity," he said.

The 53.5-hectare site of the current course and clubhouse is worth $1.6 million according to its 2007 rateable value, with $1.2m of improvements having been made.

The club's members agreed to Fulton Hogan's concept at a special general meeting late last year.

It is understood the two parties agreed on trying to keep 18 holes playable at all times either by building the second course before taking over the old one, or by using nine holes at each site.

Club general manager Alister McCall would not comment on the proposal, but club president Shawn Fibbes wrote favourably of it in a club newsletter.

"This opportunity presented by Fulton Hogan will allow the club to continue to provide the enjoyment we have at present along with new benefits that we would be unable to provide with our own resources alone."

He said the new course would use the current quarry's topography.

"A quarry-designed course . . . provides a unique golfing experience for all players. [The club] could be promoted as a golfing destination and will lend itself to attracting new members," he said.

The Press