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Relationships: Leap of faith - Australian Golf Digest Relationships: Leap of faith - Australian Golf Digest

A partnership struck between Avondale Golf Club, Korn Ferry Tour star Harrison Endycott and environmental tech company Nano Bubble Technologies has delivered unimaginable growth for all concerned

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, penned English poet Lewis Carroll.

As chance would have it, being a member at the golf wonderland of Avondale Golf Club in Sydney’s north has paid handsome dividends for all and sundry.

A few years ago, when club member Gary Stone approached then course superintendent David Warwick about his theory on why the club’s turf was struggling, nobody could have imagined what was to follow. Stone, with a background in wholesale meat and distribution, had become a specialist in fighting bacteria with his Nano Bubble Technologies business. The company was the end result of a 13-year journey to devise a way to clean up the meat industry. Understanding that ozone is 3,500 times quicker and 70 times more effective than chlorine, Stone decided to explore how to effectively and cost-efficiently use it in the cleaning process to ensure pathogens were destroyed. 

After seeing similar problems arise in his club’s turf, most notably the destruction of greens via pythium invasion, Stone convinced the club to try his ‘nanobubble’ filtration system [above], which transformed the club’s stale dam water storages into a clean, oxygen-rich solution that would quickly eliminate disease, accelerate growth and ultimately breathe new life into Avondale. As Stone predicted, the pythium already in the soil – looking for weakness and decay to live and breed – was driven away from the healthier root system created by the NBT-treated irrigation water.

Stone’s invention captivated the local turfgrass industry, with several clubs across the country – and indeed around the world – installing their own NBT system within their irrigation infrastructure, including Magenta Shores, which is using NBT to purify its sewer water for use on the course. 

While all of this was unfolding, Stone was also keeping an eye on one of Avondale’s brightest young stars. Harrison Endycott [below] was showing real promise, winning events with ease and clearly appreciating the new and improved playing conditions on offer at Avondale.

“When it became apparent Harrison wanted to make something of his ability, we decided to sponsor him and help him do it,” Stone says. “Harrison is a tremendous young kid, a wonderful ambassador of Avondale, and I wanted to give something back to the club after it took a punt on me. Call it a leap of faith or whatever, but we think it’s going to be a very successful partnership moving forward.”

If the early signs are anything to go by, Stone could be right on the money, like he was about Avondale’s pythium problem. Competing on America’s secondary Korn Ferry Tour, Endycott won the Huntsville Championship by five shots in May, earning him a cool $US135,000 ($190,000) but more importantly, boosting his chances for a season-ending top-25 finish and promotion to the rich PGA Tour. 

While American media were impressed with his Korn Ferry win, it was a logo on his bag that really piqued their interest. When asked what it was, Endycott didn’t hesitate to share the story.

“It’s Nano Bubble Technologies… Gary Stone,” he said with a grin. “Gary has been a huge supporter of mine. He’s been there for my family, particularly when I lost my mum to ovarian cancer in 2012. ‘Stoney’ was the first person to put his hand up and offer help to Dad and I. I love wearing his company logo and I’m so proud of what he’s achieveing in an industry that’s crying out for solutions to agricultural sustainability.

“Young golfers need more people like Stoney and golf clubs certainly need more companies like NBT.” 

Indeed, Endycott has come a long way from playing club rounds with fellow Avondale member and former prime minister of Australia, John Howard. With a bit of luck, we’ll be seeing the 25-year-old teeing it up on our TV screens next year on the PGA Tour, and nobody will be happier than Stone.

“It will cap off an already amazing story,” says Stone. “Avondale is thriving. Harrison is winning on the world stage. And Nano Bubble Technologies is saving more and more courses from the brink of disaster. “All because, collectively, we weren’t afraid to take a punt.”