MIRBOO NORTH Golf Club reopened at the weekend for the first time since February’s devastating storm.

After a long redevelopment process following the historic thunderstorms, Mirboo North Golf Club held competition last Saturday.

Club members have been hard at work for the last two weeks getting the club back to something reminiscent of the course of the past.

“Like any small club, you can only get your six or eight (people). We’ve had people offer their assistance but it’s pretty hard for them,” club president, Robert Clarke said.

Before: Fallen trees scattered along Mirboo North Golf Club in February. Photograph: Liam Durkin

Emergency Recovery Victoria were responsible for supporting the clearance of areas too dangerous for local volunteers to concern themselves with. That mainly centred on the chopping of more than 800 fallen trees around the area by contracted loggers, which was then left for the club to handle.

The boundary along the far green once created an alluring barrier separating players from the town itself, even as far back at the tip where the clubhouse sits. Houses and town streets are now clear as day.

The Windera trees that once spread across the course, then laid waste along the surface and were assessed by an arborist.

Concluded that they needed to be pulled and burnt outside of the still standing trees dripline so not to damage the remaining root system.

The club has had to resort to simply burning the piles of the once green trees that mountains as big as the clubrooms itself, or leaving it along the treeline with the untreated stumps to be dealt with at a later date.

“In some places we burnt some firewood because what are we going to do with it?” Clarke said.

“It’s going to be piled up there until at least Christmas or New Year’s.”

Holding their first competition in four months, it will still be a slow start getting back into things, with 80 per cent of the course to be in use, but local golfers will be welcomed back onto the turf.

Restoration: It is starting to look like a golf course again at Mirboo North. Photograph: Blake Metcalf-Holt

Club members will still be knee deep in fixing all the issues that have arose, praying for good weather to allow time to clear and sort everything out, making the most of the drier weather.

Other neighbouring golf clubs have asked to join in on the action, but have been asked to wait a few more weeks to give Mirboo North players time to have a hit and test out if there is still spots that need to be additionally cared for and cleaned up for a return to normalcy.

“Until you’ve actually started hitting a couple of golf balls around and seeing ‘well that’s got to go and that’s got to go’, we’ve just got to soldier on,” Clarke said.

Local members have been offered into other courses during the time of Mirboo North’s closure to show comradery and togetherness between the Gippsland clubs.

In terms of navigation of the course as it currently stands, it’s holding up quite well besides some muddy and slippery tracks that come with the rising winter weather. The clubhouse has virtually remained in tact.

“Long fairways, no (things still in the way). There is more obstacles in the treeline where we’ve got piles of firewood,” Clarke said.

“We’ve still got some cluster to get out of the way, but it’s going to be a lot of local rules, it’ll take 12 months or more.

“I had a bloke have a hit the other day, he said ‘I thought the course would be easier, now I hit every tree that’s still there’, but that’s just the way it is.

“It’s just the new normal.”