Friday, November 15, 2019

A weird sort of week with the smoke haze blowing in one day and out the other with gusty southerly winds followed by equally gusty northerlies.  At least Thursday gave us some easterlies which sometimes brings some rain and Friday changed it up a bit with a gusty north easterly.  Which all adds up to lots of leaf debris.  We did manage to get the River course tees scarified and cleaned up but no aeration as it is too hot and dry.
Monday mornings sun @ 6.30 am with smoke haze.
Everything is set for the greens renovation on the River course that will commence on late Sunday afternoon.  We have had some light rain the last couple of years just to annoy us and also impact on the tidiness of the tasks performed.  And lo and behold there is rain forecast for Sunday!!  But we will certainly take anything we can as far as rainfall is concerned in the current conditions.
At this stage it is planned to scarify the greens in at least four directions up and back on the same line so at least eight passes over the green @ 5mm depth.  That will then be followed up with the de-thatchers set @ 3mm depth in two directions up and back.  The scarifiers and de-thatchers we use are mounted on the greensmowers and are pictured below.

The top photo is the scarifiers and you can see brushes in between the blades that help throw the material in to the grass catchers.  Golfers often refer to scarifying as ""tramlines"".  The de-thatchers below are what is used on a regular basis on the greens but in this instance will be set at 3mm depth whereas for routine operations they are set to ground level height with the weight of the unit allowing the unit to contact the surface.

Scarifying heads with brushes evident.

De-thatching heads with a narrower spacing.

After that operation the greens will be hollow tyne aerated using tungsten tipped tynes to a depth of 50 - 75mm.  The photo below shows the tynes which are classified as 9.7mm or 3/8 inch which isn't quite right when you look at how the taper of the carbide tip reduces the opening.  Following the hollow tyne the greens will have some amendments / fertiliser added and then finally sanded.  Due to the high sodium levels and therefore stressed growing conditions recovery may be a little slower however given the soil test results the greens are in fairly good health.

Even though the renovation is on Monday it isn't until you get a start that you can figure out exactly what will be done as the weather and soil conditions dictate just what can be done.  A light shower of rain can cause havoc with dirt sticking to rollers and clogging up the mower heads. Sometimes depending on the soil conditions it is hard to pull a plug out, especially with the carbide tips which last a lot longer but tend to lose their sharpness and therefore clean penetration through the surface.  So despite the best laid plans you sometimes have to fly by the seat of your pants as the saying goes.

Tynes mounted and ready to go.

Taper very evident.



Friday, November 8, 2019

It was hard to believe we were on the same planet in the calm conditions on Wednesday afternoon after what happened on Tuesday.  I can't remember being on course in such high winds as we got on Tuesday and fortunately not much tree debris hit the ground.  Except of course leaves!!  A few times the leaves looked like a tidal wave as they swirled around and basically rendered the course unplayable.  In such conditions the bunkers virtually become leaf collectors and the amount of debris in them required hand raking out which is a very time consuming task.  The greens had a lot of debris on them too so much so that it took four staff two hours each to get them clear for mowing on Wednesday morning whereas most normal windy days takes 2 staff 1 hour each.  Then along comes Friday with a howling northerly so at least the debris is coming from a different direction.

2R green - good luck putting through that!

15R leaf collector!

The need for rain gathers momentum every day now especially with the increasing temperatures.  The turf is under a lot more stress as the heat exacerbates the drying out of the rootzone.  The pond on the dogleg of 5W has dried up again which is the third time in eighteen months and I think it has only happened on three other occasions since I have been here.

Another leaf collector.

The River greens soil tests came back pretty much as expected after such a prolonged dry period and subsequent high usage of the treated water.  Salt levels are in the extreme range on all greens so the renovation and hopefully some rainfall will do them wonders.  Most other elements are within the expected parameters.  We will kickstart the renovation period with the tees to be scarified next week and they may also be aerated but that depends a lot on the rainfall outlook as the aeration really dries them out.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Well at least it tried to rain today!!  Hopefully this might start a trend with the cloud cover and we start to get some decent falls in the coming weeks.  On course and it was a routine maintenance kind of week with the River greens being de-thatched and sanded and all fairways having some growth regulator applied.

I might have spoken too soon last week about niggly problems occurring on machinery once they get to 2000 hours with a hydraulic oil leak happening on the oldest greens mower on Monday morning on 5R green.  The hydraulic hoses are the most likely to fail on the machine and it is almost impossible to avoid and / or predict.  A lot of the time the leak is hard to see on the greend at first which is hard to believe when you see the photo below but at least the operator caught it before he started the next pass.  To his credit the mowing line is nice and straight though!!  It's never what you want to see but if it has to happen then just prior to renovation is the best time for it so we get a good chance for some re-growth.

The mow line was straight!!

The root pruner that has been used down the sides of fairways is really showing some benefits now.  In the photo below the cool season wintergrass is still hanging around on the RHS of the photo where it can still get some moisture out of the soil.  The fairways have never been this good in such a prolonged dry spell as the irrigation water actually gets used up by the turf itself instead of the tree roots.  Now to try and find something to stop the overnight wind?

Arrow indicating cool season grass still going.

The Corellas have started digging on the greens again which happens at this time of year for some reason.  They only attack 5 and 7W greens as a rule and normally don't if the flag has been removed.  We are fortunate though as our local Corellas only nest here and feed elsewhere during the day whereas at many clubs they attack greens continually all day.  There have been a number of ideas floated to try and prevent them by using fake snakes and birds of prey for example but a couple of clubs have used a wire cut out that looks a bit like a person.  So meet our new staff member below who has been stationed at the rear of 5W green in a bid to deter the pests!!  Night one went without any damage after five consecutive nights so here's hoping.

En garde!

Friday, October 25, 2019

A couple of windless mornings this week allowed for the opportunity to catch up with some spray applications and we were able to get greens on both courses fertilised as well as all West fairways.  We also got the chance to spray weeds in bunkers which was badly needed.  We had actually started to hand weed some of the bunkers which is quite laborious but the constant wind had hampered our efforts to get them sprayed.

And speaking of bunkers we have transferred the trial rakes across to 18 West greenside to continue assessment.  The only feedback so far has been that "exhibit B" pictured below leaves a very nice finish and is light and easy to use.

Most popular so far.

We had two additions to the course maintenance fleet this week with the delivery of two new greens mowers.  We have been using the same type of mower over the years and not much has changed on them, save for some refinements in the mowing head itself.  We run four of these mowers on greens, two for each course and after they have served a useful life on the greens they are "retired" to be used on tees and greens collars.  That normally happens around 2000 hours worked which is pretty much the equivalent of 100,000 kilometres on a car and is generally when little niggly problems start appearing.  They generally stay on course until they are traded in at around 3,500 hours.   

Ready to mow.

And soil samples were taken from the River greens this week for a complete nutrient analysis to be performed.  Only six greens are sampled which gives a pretty good indication / average to work on. This gives us a guide on just what to add to our sand mix and the type and amount of fertiliser that will be used in the renovation in November.  It was done prior to the greens being fertilised this week for obvious reasons and about 750 grams of material is collected from about thirty core holes such as the one in the photo below.

Size of the core that is pulled. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Just a measly 27mm last weekend which certainly won't be sniffed at but gee it would have been nice to get some more.  The 2mm in the front that passed through on Thursday evening was also disappointing but at least we have had some rain now.  The wind over the past weeks has played havoc with planning with the spray jobs literally banking up which is normal for this time of year but very frustrating as we keep dropping behind.  On the days we can spray greens are prioritised and then it's down the chain from there.

This is the filter that operates in the pump shed for the irrigation water and it is a crucial piece of machinery in the maintenance of the courses.  It is an automatic self cleaning unit that back flushes to clear debris when it senses that pressure starts to drop and no actual electric power is required as it operates solely on inline water pressure.  It has been in the irrigation shed since the pump station was installed in 2000 and was upgraded to some new technology in 2018.  It has barely missed a beat over the years which is of great assistance to the even application of irrigation across the courses.  We pulled it down this week for its 6 monthly service and it was back humming again within 3 hours.  It is a pretty laborious task to undertake but at least we only need to do it 6 monthly whereas I know of courses with dirty water supplies that need to do it every week in some instances. 

The filter in the pump shed.

Whilst we serviced the filter the pumps obviously have to be down so we take the opportunity to replace / service the many other smaller filters and fittings that help make the irrigation system tick over.  This includes the town water line that feeds our supply to the in field satellites that utilise water to control the sprinklers.  Below is a photo of the in line filter on this supply after 6 months in service compared to a new one.  No wonder people like to filter their water supply at home!!

Pretty easy to see the one on the left is the new one!!

On Wednesday night we had some intruders on the courses and they fortunately didn't cause too much damage.  The worst of it was at the bridge on 8W tee where they pushed the railing over and perhaps somewhat disappointingly didn't finish up on the rocks below themselves.  Just another unplanned 4 hour job for 3 men to replace the railing support amongst the other ongoing works that we undertake.

New railing support installed.


Friday, October 4, 2019

Not really much to report on the courses with a pretty much routine maintenance week.  The West course closure on Tuesday after the ladies did afford us the chance to get the West greens solid tine aerated which allowed for some much needed gas exchange after such a prolonged dry period by allowing some fresh air to enter the soil profile.  This type of aeration has little effect on the putting surface and I would like to do it more often which should be able to happen now with the extra time.

We are still very dry with just 4mm falling on Monday night when parts of Murwillumbah got 30+mm and Headland GC on the Sunshine Coast in excess of 100mm.  A lot of that would have run off and not penetrated the surface but they put in a big dam a few years ago and that was filled to capacity.  So at least someone is smiling!

I noticed this week that some of the Gum trees are starting to lose their bark so a messy time is on the way.  I have never looked into timing of this phenomenon and the reason for it other than its a pain to clean up and generally happens around greens renovation time in November. 

And in some ways its hard to believe that this week marks three years since the back 9 West greens conversion to TifEagle stared on 13W green.  In some ways it seems a lifetime ago and in others just like yesterday.

Bobcat about to start stripping 13W off.

The layered soil profile we found on 13W.

And I just noticed recently the return of the Honey bee eater birds.  They burrow into some of the bunker faces and elsewhere and are here for around three to four months.  A few years ago we had a keen photographer on the courses and he snapped these amazing shots of  them in full flight.


Dinner time.

Friday, September 27, 2019

As mentioned last week a letter was tabled at the information night and it was agreed to publish it and the responses here so here you go with my answers in red.

The Secretary/Manager

Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club Ltd.

Dear Madam,

Our questions are directed at the Greens Superintendent regarding the current condition and management of the West 18 Holes which have been re-grassed with Tifeagle and other issues.
1.    Can you explain why you do not regularly verticut and dust these greens?  Verticutting is the American term for what we in Australia call de-thatching.  The West greens have been de-thatched 33 times in the 38 weeks since January 1, 2019.  See the answer to no. 3 regarding dusting.

2.    The Greens in the opinion of many members do not meet with the desired standard expected, which is, of course, softer and more responsive greens. At present these greens are far too hard and appear unhealthy, and very patchy in colour.  Golfers are not getting the benefit of playing good shots to the greens, and good shots subsequently result in the ball going over the back and making scoring impossible.  The greens were not designed in our opinion for run up shots, that is, landing short and hoping for them to run up to the flag, so softer responsive greens would be more suitable! It is noted that on many of the new greens the holes are cut at the front of the green making target shots impossible and when you land on the green the ball is then miles away from where it should be. It would be fairer if you placed the holes mid green to alleviate this problem.  Three players the other day hit gap wedges onto the 9W green only to finish over the cart path behind the 4 R.  The 17 W is still not holding balls.  As the greens mature they will soften naturally.  The difference between 17 (4 yo) back 9 (3 yo) and front 9 (2 yo) is distinct.  TifEagle is a grass that can thatch up very quickly and this is a major consideration of the maintenance regime to prevent such build up which will lead to soft disease prone turf. 

3.    Tifeagle greens in our opinion should be managed in accordance with the Suggested Management Practices as outlined by the developers at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton, GA. We understand you travel overseas to America and make a study of greens.  Can you explain why you do not use their guidelines for proper greens management and implement what you learn?  The suggested management practices on the web have probably not been updated since the early 2000’s by the look of them.  They make mention of methyl bromide which was phased out in the early 2000’s.  They also state that only curative fungicide applications are required whereas I have learned that every superintendent with Tif that I have met makes preventative applications as you will lose turf if you dont.  Also if you read those guidelines they indicate that using Tif will require huge inputs from staff and cultural practices.  This from the list;  Therefore, each superintendent considering TifEagle is encouraged to review these suggested management practices to determine if their personnel and budget will support the required management inputs. Of the first two clubs in Australia to plant Tif (around 2000), one removed it after just eighteen months and the other wished they hadn’t planted it as they didn’t have the resources to manage it as per the original guidelines.  I first planted Tif here in 2005 and even by then the guidelines had eased somewhat with regards to the intensive maintenance and it has certainly been found that you don’t need the high inputs originally suggested to achieve a result.  At a seminar I attended in the USA in 2015 the researcher opened with the comment “we got the maintenance practices for the ultradwarfs wrong at the start.”   Much has changed since 2000 with regards to maintenance practices as more and more courses have converted their greens to Tif and other ultradwarf couchgrasses as they are known.  I have travelled to the USA (largely at my own expense) to further study Tif maintenance and on each occasion I have gone looking for answers and come back with more questions.  What I most definitely have learned is that almost everyone maintains their Tif differently and almost all succeed with achieving a good putting surface.  Essentially there is no recipe or cookbook of maintenance practices and that is true for all turf types.  The main area of difference is in the de-thatching and dusting programs.  Essentially you are either a de-thatcher or a duster.  I have only met a very small number who do both on a regular basis and they are generally at very high end courses.  If you dust the greens with sand the de-thatcher will come through and pull a lot of the sand out as it passes over the green.  A google search for “verticutting” will show a good photo and video of how the process works and makes it obvious that any sand in the top profile will be pulled out.  So I have lent towards de-thatching for thatch control as I feel it results in the best putting surface at CTHGC.   When I have travelled to the USA I have mainly visited Florida, particularly the Naples and West Palm areas as they have very similar climatic conditions to CTHGC.  The difficulty comparing with them is that they actually mostly close for summer (yes that’s right) due to the lack of play so they can be super aggressive in their maintenance practices.  They also close for a week at a time during their playing season at least twice and almost all close every Monday for what they call “maintenance Monday” as do courses throughout SE Asia.  We don’t have that luxury so need to adjust our maintenance practices to suit our player numbers and available time.  Thus the recent policy of closing one of the courses at CTHGC on a Tuesday following the ladies has been a huge benefit for us.  There are about six courses in Australia with Tif over their entire course and we all maintain it differently and all achieve an excellent putting surface. I am in constant contact with most of these superintendents and our conversations revolve around Tif which may sound boring but it’s what we do.   Research laboratories / stations are very important in the development of new methodologies and product.  However there is a huge difference between the lab and the real world.  Take for example the bentgrass variety Penn G2.  We planted that on the nursery green as a trial grass and it was virtually bullet proof as the research and product literature stated.  We planted it on 17W two hundred metres away and it fell over under the stress of two hundred players tramping over it every day.  

4.    Can you tell the membership when you will eventually rectify the subsidence (GUR) in the front of the 8 R fairway?  This area is under discussion at the moment as it has been previously.  The subsidence has been caused by a failure in the pipe that connects 6R dam with the Tweed River.  The difficulty is that due to the high water table in the area you can only work at very low tides and it makes the job a lot longer as you really only have three to four hours a day that you can work on it at low tide.  If funds are made available we are targeting our River course renovation days to do it this year as the course is closed which is another consideration as due to operator safety, and being located right in front of a green, the hole needs to be closed to play.

5.    And further, when will the GUR area on left fairway on 1 R be fixed given it has been in this condition for some 30 years?  This is also under discussion at the moment and would be done in conjunction with proposed works on the creek rockwall and 9R tee area.  It is not simply a case of dumping a couple of loads of sand there as it is a critical drainage area on the course and again the water table is very high and ensuring we maintain drainage off the property is critical.  The area is subject to regular tidal inundation and this is a major consideration and problem and the reason it is so difficult to maintain quality turf there.  It will be an expensive job and needs to be very carefully planned and executed.

           Some years ago the Club engaged a company to conduct a Golf Course
           Management  Plan.   I am aware that this cost the Club some $34,000.00 in 
           consultative fees for a 10 year plan.  

6.    Can you explain to the members what steps you have taken to implement these plans or are they now superseded by other plans?  In 2014 a course designer was employed by the club to look at reducing the number of bunkers on the courses and to look at the tree lines with respect to playability.  For want of a better name it was called a “Course Improvement Plan”.  The plan identified thirty bunkers for removal and eleven for a significant reduction in size.  The works were implemented in 2015.  For various reasons the Golf Management Committee decided that five of the proposed bunker removals not take place and another two were added to the removal list on 7W.   Four of the other five still remain on 7W, 12W, 18W and 14R and were to be included in other proposed works that never eventuated and are not considered a priority at this stage.  The plan was only for those works and was essentially a one year plan.  There has not been a ten year plan in place at the club to my knowledge and there has never been a sum of $34K drawn from the course maintenance budget for consultative fees.  The 2014 plan cost $7,500 in consultative fees.

7.    One such implementation was to remove the walk down areas in bunkers, and on the 14th River the rear left hand bunker was to be removed completely.  Why has this not been done?  The walk down areas that remain have a bunker lining fabric underneath them and would need the bunker to be almost totally rebuilt to remove them which has not been considered due to cost as was the decision when the plan was implemented in 2015. 
8.    If substantially more bunkers were removed from both course would it decrease significantly the labour?  If so what steps have you taken to remove or consult with Course Management with a view of removing the more labour intensive bunkers? Removal would perhaps might make our games more pleasant for all members and less maintenance costs.  This has been discussed at Golf Management but no further removals have been suggested.  It seems that as many members are in favour of more bunker removal and just as many are against it as it will make the courses “too easy”.  As I mentioned at the information night I spend more money on bunker maintenance than greens maintenance.  And they are a hazard!!  Somewhere along the line golf has lost its way with the level of bunker maintenance expected by players.

9.    It has been noted that rogue grasses have been growing on the River greens for a number of years during your watch!  Do you have a plan to fix this problem?  Encroachment and its solution is a very difficult subject and at the outset it should be noted that you won’t beat it. We are not doing too badly on the West greens at the moment but rhizomes are starting to shoot on these greens now.  In the early 2000’s there was very little concern shown toward encroachment at any clubs apart from at a couple of high profile high budget resort courses.  In the mid 2000’s we started a program of poisoning the encroaching grasses and re-turfing which was done on holes 6, 7, 11, 16 and 17.  The encroaching grasses re-infested the areas within twelve months as the root zone wasn’t fully removed and the couchgrass re-shot.  To do the job properly would require a temporary green to be in play and for the rootzone to be completely removed so as to remove all the roots to prevent regrowth.    The area would need to be filled with a new growing profile and turfed or stolonised. This was the method employed on the West greens rebuild and to date no couchgrass has regrown from within the greens. It has been discussed at Golf Management but never implemented.  Significant funding would be needed outside of the course maintenance budget.  Please note that River greens 4, 7, 8 and 9 were not re-constructed and the 328 turf was just laid after the bentgrass was removed as the plan was for those greens to be completely rebuilt but that never eventuated.  This means that the couchgrass contamination on these greens is just regrowth of the grass that was there previously.  

10.  Can you tell the membership why fairways are sometimes cut from side to side rather than up and down the fairway? Surely this is a more labour intensive exercise.  It is actually the fastest most productive way to mow fairways when you are doing it in amongst play as you only have to let the group pass you once and you can continue mowing rather than driving towards them and stopping to watch them hit or following them down the fairway and stopping to wait for them to hit.  It also helps give an alternate line of mowing which produces a better cut and finished product.  When there is no play in the mornings for example cross cutting as we call it is not done.

11.  If this (Q10) is a workplace health and safety concerns, why is the staff not wearing (a) reflective clothing, (b) helmets, (c) safety glasses and (d) caged equipment?  It has nothing to do with WHS but only with productivity as mentioned in no. 10.

12.  It has been noted that you sent two workers out to blow leaves out of bunkers during high winds, surely this is not the best work practices, particularly when you sometimes infer on your blog that you do not have sufficient staff. One day a staff member of yours was seen to spend many hours weeding the nursery, perhaps his time could have been better spent weeding grasses on the River Course! Do you have a work plan for all staff performing duties on the courses?  The work plan for both courses is to produce the best playing surface across both courses given the resources available, the prevailing weather and the amount of play expected.  The mornings are very similar with normal course preparations in front of play where we are most productive.  The day’s program is then adjusted to cater for number and type of players and the weather conditions.  Re blowing; on a windy site as CTHGC it is sometimes necessary to blow during the wind as we need to get the bunkers in particular free of leaf debris in order to rake them.  The same goes with the mowers or blowers used to clear the fairways as we need them as debris free as possible to allow for mowing and we also need to allow whatever light is available to get to the surface.  Not to mention playability.  Re hand weeding the nursery green; the nursery is hand weeded so that when we do patching out of foreign couchgrass in the greens, as was done last year and will be done again this year, we are doing it with weed free turf.  The nursery is also weeded on days where there is so much play that we are better out of the way for our own safety and to give the players a free run without us.  For example days such as Vets week of golf, Vets or ladies open days, senior match or strokeplay, junior girls events etc.  One of our employees who was on quite restrictive duties under workcover was also deployed to the weeding of the nursery.

13.  With the above question in mind do you know exactly how many staff you need to perform day to day, week to week maintenance and general duties?  The formula at the club since it went to 36 holes was for eighteen permanent staff and four summer casuals and that is about right.  In March 2017 the club commissioned a “course audit” that was compiled by an independent observer and the then Secretary Manager informed me that he advised these numbers as well.  As mentioned below more staff relates to better conditioning but obviously relates directly to increased costs.

14.  Have you in the past made a request to Board Members for additional staff?  The last such report was tabled in January 2018 and contained comparisons to two other thirty six hole golf clubs who have significantly more resources available than CTHGC.  This report also gave options for various levels of staffing to produce varying levels of course quality.  As mentioned in no.13 I was informed that the course audit also recommended additional staff. 

15.  Last summer you cored the green in December, when most Queensland greens are cored in spring.  Coring in November/December during the busiest time of the year for visitors and members is costing the Club financially.  Can you rectify this issue by coring straight after the Twin Towns Open?  We do the greens renovation in November / December as that is after almost all of the major club events have finished and the Ladies and Vets have completed their AGM”s.  It is also not as busy a time as many people think compared to after Christmas.  The weather is also more conducive to recovery at that time compared to now.  Courses that renovate early normally do another renovation in February / March.  Another 36 hole course in SE Queensland renovates in December and their Tifs are done in January and only do one renovation a year for example.

16.  Since the blue line has been reduced towards the greens it has been noted that the areas are suffering as a result. The grass is flat, bare, and not conducive to playing successful chip shots.  We are not that unfit that we cannot walk a short distance to the greens.  This was a board instruction. 

17.  You mention in your blog that some areas suffer from lack of sunlight! Is it a fact that you are permitted to reduce the canopy by some 20 % and have you consider doing this to help alleviate this problem?  Just trimming trees does not help.  I have been a superintendent on heavily treed golf courses for well over thirty years and have never seen trimming improve turf health unless that trimming is done at ground level.  Turf needs direct sunlight to allow it to grow successfully.  For example on the RHS of 2R green the trees were lopped at about four metres from the ground many years ago.  They re-shot within twelve months and this process had no positive effect on turf health.  When the trees at 2R were removed completely turf health then improved.  As I have put on my blog before there is a quote from a USGA agronomist who says that ”if your turf isn’t getting eight hours sunshine a day…. Why isn’t it?”

18.   The short practise areas in front of the car park.  These greens are very poor and at some stage will require work.  In the meantime perhaps consider shutting them down to allow renovation and then recovery or make a large green in the middle of this practise area which would then reduce it to just a chipping area.  The benefit is a safer environment for all to practise.  At present the chipping areas are pitted with ball marks and useless as far as serious chipping practise is concerned.  The condition of the short range green has been discussed previously on many occasions.  The amount of play that it gets means that it will only ever be a target green.  It is impossible to maintain a quality surface on a green that is so heavily used.  Even getting to mow it is an effort for us due to the play there as players hit at it even if we are mowing with the flags out and it is in constant use throughout the day.   There was discussion about a new green in the middle of the short range area and one of the reasons that it was not proceeded with was that players want to play longer shots than just chips as evidenced by all the divots and wear occurring up against the southern fence.  Cost was also a consideration when there are many other areas requiring attention and this area is at least functional.  It is also one of the few areas that we have that will allow for marquees, scoreboards and the like to be erected for tournaments and functions. 

We look forward to your responses.  I trust the responses answer your questions?