Mike Walsh is the greenkeeper at Paritutu Bowling Club which will be the headquarters for the New Zealand championships for fours and mixed pairs from Thursday. LISA BURD/STUFF
Every morning 80-year-old Mike Walsh hops on his bike and cycles 100 metres down the road to his second home, Paritutu Bowling Club.
Walsh is the New Plymouth-based club’s greenkeeper, a role he takes seriously, arriving at 6.30am each day.
“I watch all the games, I watch the people, I don’t like people ripping our green up with their shoes.
“I’ve made people change their shoes.”
Keeping the greens in tip-top shape is a job Mike Walsh takes seriously. LISA BURD/STUFF
It’s been a busy month for Walsh as the club hosted the Taranaki Open Fours tournament in January and will be home to the National Fours and Mixed Pairs tournament starting Thursday.
It takes 2000 steps to mow the green and Walsh aims to have it at a speed of 17 seconds, which means it takes the ball 17 seconds to get from one side to the other.
Walsh, who won the Taranaki Open tournament with his team in 1993, waters the greens every night for 3 minutes, then the sprinklers are set for 12 minutes at 1am as that’s the coldest time of the night, and he fertilises them every three weeks.
“People see the green but don’t see the time that goes into it.”
The greens are normally mown three times a week, but come tournament time, they’re done every day.
Some days Mike Walsh is on the job until 10pm. LISA BURD/STUFF
“We take a lot of pride in our greens and I’ve got 180 members to answer to.”
Walsh, who has no lawn of his own at home, said Paritutu Bowling Club is considered one of the best greens in the country.
His first stint at the club was in the 1990s. He then came back upon returning from Australia twelve years ago.
“The greens were shocking. The chap that was doing them asked for a hand and I said ‘as long as you do it my way’.”
Walsh has stepped back somewhat this year after having open heart surgery, but he still oversees everything the other keepers do, calling himself the greens superintendent.
Mike Walsh is a bowler himself and his team won the Taranaki Open tournament in 1993. The time Walsh spends maintaining the green sees him there until 10pm some days.
When asked if he had a partner who may object to this kind of dedication away from home, Walsh proudly declared he’d been married for 61 years.
“She understands my commitment down here, she’s a bowler herself,” he said.
“The other greens she goes to aren’t up to the same standard, but not many are up to this standard.”
Article courtesy of www.stuff.co.nz – https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/350187241/paritutus-walsh-master-art-greenkeeping by Stephanie Ockhuysen, February 22, 2024
The February Field Day has been cancelled due to many greenkeepers wanting time for preparation of greens for the NZ Nationals.
Therefore, the next Greenkeepers Field Day will be held on Wednesday 12th March commencing 10am at Waitara (morning tea), Lepperton, Inglewood, Vogeltown, New Plymouth, West End (Lunch), Paritutu, Oakura.
We are expecting Andrew Mitchell (NZSTI), Paul Berry (Prebble Seeds), Trichel Stark (TS Hort), and Karin Crake (PGG Wrightson will hopefully be attending.
Discussion points during lunch:
Taranaki Open greens
Heat Stress on Greens
New Product (Prebbles)
Nematodes and treatment.
Please confirm your attendance with the Greenkeepers Association.
Congratulations to the following players who have been picked to represent Revital Fertilisers Taranaki in the upcoming fixtures at Whanganui and Wellington.
Senior Women: Briar Atkinson (Singles), Chris Commane (Pairs), Bridget Fletcher (skip) Alethea Rowlands (lead), Alesha Quay, Irene Taunt (skip triples) Amanda Crehan (lead ), Lesley Te-Awa, Tina Atkinson-Watt, Gale Fache (skip fours) Manager: Don Christensen
Junior Women: Angela De Bique (Singles) Jill Forbes (lead), Julie Hemahema (skip pairs) Shelley Clark ( lead), Judy Crawford, Linda Kape (skip triples) Sheryle Taylor (lead), Gloria Wolfe, Janet Ravji, Rita Davey (skip fours) Manager: Cindy Nicoll and John Sexton
Senior Men: SINGLES: Darren Goodin PAIRS: Hamish Kape Maurice Symes TRIPLES: Steve Temperton Kurt Smith Aidan Zittersteijn FOURS: Steve Sabine Bruce Colgan Steve Walker Craig DeFaria Manager: Bruce Hall Selector: John Garrud
SINGLES: Evan Jones PAIRS: Nathan Goodin Camron Horo TRIPLES: Simon Rowe Rob Clark Corey Brookes FOURS: Mark Hawken Craig Murray Luca Dobson Nigel Berry Manager: Jimmy Quay Selector: John Garrud/Graham Rieve
by Grant Hassall Sue Hodges’ Omokoroa quartet of Karen Pickering, Rachelle Morrison and Ruth Lynch have run out comfortable winners in the final of the 72nd Devon Hotel Taranaki women’s Open fours.
Hodges’ side defeated the Thames Coast team of Molly Galloway, Deborah Gainfort, Val Mathews and skip Kaye Bunn 30-15 in a rain-interrupted final.
The Omokoroa side settled into its work much quicker in the final, a four on the second end giving the side some confidence. That became even more pronounced on the 6th head when Hodges took a six when the Thames Valley quartet failed to get close and the Omokoroa side packed them in a perfect group down the centre line of the rink.
A three on the next to Hodges took the score to 15-4.
But Bunn replied with three successive singles, making it 15-7 after 10 ends at the morning tea adjournment. The margin could have been even greater, though.
Hodges held four shots on both the 9th and 10th ends, before superb Bunn bowls took the point.
A three on the 14th head to Bunn, as the drizzle became a little thicker, brought the score to 17-11. It was game on.
But the momentum movement went with Hodges. Her side took two fours in a row, plus a brace, to make it 27-11 after 17 ends.
It was at that junction, with the green starting to pool , that play was moved indoors.
Only singles were scored on the resumption, three to Hodges and two to Bunn, making it 30-13 after 22 ends.
Bunn then held a good five on the 23rd, before Hodges, with her last delivery, drew one just behind the jack. Bunn attacked, hitting a short bowl onto the counter, to give her side two. But with a differential of 15 and only two ends to make that up, Bunn conceded.
On the day there was no denying that the better side won. They placed more bowls around the head and that was ultimately reflected in the large counts which went their way. Three fours and a six were clearly the difference.
The victory for Hodges was even more sweeter given it contained Mother-and-daughter duo (Lynch and Morrison).
While there was natural disappointment for Bunn’s team, they took the defeat graciously. The gritty skip, who only returned to bowls four years ago, in fact won her 11th Thames Valley title in the open singles on the Sunday prior to the Taranaki tournament commencing. Bunn also won a Waikato champion-of-champions fours a generation ago.
Terry McAlary, of the Marlin Coast club just north of Carins, and Sue Brady, of the Pine Rivers club in Brisbane, have become the first holders of The Margaret Cole Trophy after they posted a nail-biting 22-18 victory in The Devon Hotel Taranaki women’s Open fours-pairs event at Paritutu yesterday.
There was much doubt in the result of the final, right up to the last bowl on the last end, after two junior players representing the Tower club in Hawera, Alethea Rowlands and Irene Taunt, staged a brilliant comeback in the final.
The Australian pair were in superb touch on Saturday and they continued that in the early stages of the final, despite the move back to the natural Maniototo surface.
They opened with a three and a five on the first two ends. Their domination continued to such an extent that after 13 ends, it had become 20-5.
That was when the run of Rowlands and Taunt commenced, just as the light drizzle began. Immediately, they took a three, followed by a four. Four successive singles were then added, before a two on the penultimate head, made the score 20-18. On the last end, Rowlands got handy with her first bowl. But McAlary bettered that. Brady added a second to secure the win.
Taranaki bowls legend, Margaret Cole, Black Jack number 20, was on hand to present the cup bearing her name, which was made possible through the generosity of Kevin Gray.