Friday, January 22, 2021

Well the forecast rain was unfortunately right and we had a very interrupted renovation of the West greens.  We got a great start on Sunday afternoon in very hot and dry conditions but Monday and Tuesday were a different story.  Due to the rain we were unable to hollow tine the greens which is when you remove a core which was one of the main goals of the operation.  Even though the greens are very young the opportunity to remove some organic matter by coring doesn't come around very often on such a busy course so that was disappointing.  So we could only solid tine them with a 9mm diameter tine which at least allows them to breathe as well as a 4 direction scarify.

The torrential rain on Tuesday night didn't help much as it washed away quite a bit of sand and fertiliser meaning the evenness of those two operations was compromised.  The greens need some more sand but the sand plant hasn't been able to mix our amendments in due to the rain so they will need to wait till late next week with the public holiday on Tuesday. 

The radar on Monday morning.


We are under there somewhere!!



 Fertiliser and sand wash on 15W.

1 River green is progressing very slowly which is hard to explain given the perfect growing conditions of late.  The constant surface moisture from the rain in December allowed a film of algae to form which we finally got to spray and it was then literally scraped off once it had dried out and the green was heavily sanded this week.

About the only thing that did go right this week was that the weather cleared for just enough time on Monday for us to get the growth regulator applied to the fairways which given the growing conditions and moisture levels was a good thing.  I have been asked before why the rough doesn't get sprayed with growth regulator and its because of the ''shielding'' effect the longer grass has by not allowing the spray to contact all the leaves which is needed.  

Friday, January 15, 2021

One piece of data that I did miss in the 2020 rainfall summation was that December was the wettest ever which made it two months in 2020 creating a record with February also the wettest on record.  The previous wettest December was in 1955 when 488mm was recorded compared to 2020's total of 558mm and February's 953mm eclipsed the previous wettest which was in 1956 with 897mm.  It must have been a heck of a time on the Tweed from 1954 thru 1956 with two of the biggest floods on record affecting the area in those years and they were only eclipsed by the 2017 flood.

We got the greens collars on the West course renovated this week which is a great head start for next weeks greens renovation.  Here's hoping the forecast rain for Monday and Tuesday is wrong as dry conditions are highly desirable. The collars were scarified and cored then mown low to ''scalp'' the turf which helps prevent the formation of an ''edge or well'' effect on the perimeter of the green.  By doing the collars early we lessen the risk of contamination from the collar turf getting into the greens as well.

Scarify and core aerated.

After scalp mow.

I wonder what this Tawny Frog Mouth Owl had in its sights this morning as it looked set to pounce whilst perched on the NTP post at 15W but maybe it was just resting after a big night feasting on the plethora of insects available.

Waiting or resting?


Friday, January 8, 2021

Well the bureau had been predicting rain all week and it finally arrived today, albeit a day after it was supposed to get here.  Dare I say it, but the courses were drying out again after December's torrent of rain and what we have had this week has been reasonably good soaking rain which is just what we want.  A very nice 30mm for the week.

We were able to get some de-thatching done on the West greens and the actual putting surface is excellent and it was nice to hear the same comment from a few of the Vets on Thursday and some other players as well.  What we did miss was an application of fertiliser to even the greens colour up a little.  The heavy rains had all but leached out the available nutrient in the greens leaving them a little blotchy in places.  The same thing used to happen to the River greens when they were new and is caused by the free draining nature of the soil profile.  The greens are due to be renovated on Monday and Tuesday January 18 and 19 following the postponement late last year.  The greens will be scarified to remove thatch then hollow tine aerated so a core will be removed to help further reduce thatch.  We don't need to go very deep due to the greens age and it will be an 8mm size hole.  Some soil amendments will be added and the greens sanded.  The West course greens collars will be done next week as we don't have enough time to get them done within the allocated two days. 

The threat of some bad weather reduced the fields on Thursday and Friday and we were able to get all the main playing surfaces double cut over those days.  Such a difference when we can get a good run at the courses with no hold ups waiting for players. Very disappointing to have the Twin Towns Open cancelled as the courses are in great shape and ready to challenge.  

Saturday, January 2, 2021

We finished the year with 2,735mm of rain which made it the third wettest behind 1999 with 2875mm and 1906 with 3,193mm.  It was certainly a year of contrasts though with extreme dry at the start of January and extreme wet in February again turning to extreme dry by November and then finishing off again with extreme wet in December.  The rainfall chart below tells the story of the year.

I was contemplating doing a "year that was" montage but then realised that the year was dominated by the weather events and of course Covid19.  Weather is certainly a dominant topic for the course at Cool Tweed and 2020 provided it all....and then some.

Perhaps in future when the seagulls congregate in numbers on 4W we know we are in for some rain.


Seagulls on 4W January 15 - nearly 250mm followed.

Seagulls on 4W December 12 - over 500mm followed!!

But in amongst all the wet we also had some dry.  It gets to a point where many 'non play' areas have the irrigation turned off to conserve water and this was the result on 15W below prior to the rains in December.

15W parched.

13W flooded in February.

1R flooded in December.

And don't be alarmed as it has all happened before and will happen again. 

1R 1996.

And it doesn't seem to matter what time of year we get the rain as in 2020 it was February and December and in 1996 it was May.

But no doubt the story of 2020 was Covid19 and its impact on society and the game of golf.  Golf has seen a boom in player numbers around the world with unprecedented numbers joining clubs and playing, many for the first time.  We have certainly seen a huge increase in play and it doesn't seem as though it is going to wane anytime soon.  Who knows what 2021 and beyond holds in store for us but below is an image I would like to forget.  Oh and if you have a pool use blue noodles as they don't fade as much as the pink ones do!!


Happy New Year and good golfing to all....

Saturday, December 26, 2020

We finished the rainfall event with just shy of 550mm for the 12 days (or 22 inches in the old scale) which is a crazy amount of rain for any sporting playing surface anywhere.  The moisture in the ground and the heat and humidity is now combining to give us grass growth levels that we haven't been seen for quite a while.  Even the normally slow growing TifEagle greens have put on a growth spurt and the 328 greens have done what 328 is notorious for and become very puffy.

It's time like this that makes you wonder if we will ever catch up with the grass with short working weeks and lots of play making it difficult to get the work done.  On Thursday the first player on the West course was walking off 18W @ 8am and the first group in the comp finished @ 9am on the River which is pretty hard to stay in front of. One of the main challenges we have to get the work done is the amount of repair work still required in the recovery from the rain.  Just blowing leaves and debris out of bunkers is a mammoth task let alone getting to rake them all.  But we have been here before and will battle through it as usual.


Leaves out of 8W bunker.


And an early Christmas present of sorts with a hydraulic oil leak on 1W green.  Fortunately it was a hose connected to the power steering so was only leaking when the steering wheel was being turned so damage is confined to the edges of the green.

Oil leak rear 1W green.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Well I am certainly glad that seems to be over for now anyway, with 413mm falling since last Saturday.  The forecast for summer doesn't sound good so we may well be in for a wet one. I was planning to be sitting back having a beer tonight and relaxing after the successful hosting of the Tweed Coast Open but now it's just to be glad we got all the fallen trees and limbs off the courses today and the clean up continues.  The consistent inundation by tidal water is frustrating and I don't recall seeing it happen this often.  There is still a lot of water to come down the river so we may have it happening for a few days yet especially with the tides at 1.8m for the next few days and more rain forecast.

A couple more photos of today's inundation below which are both worse than yesterday.

Looking across 1R fairway today.

9R tee - worse than Monday.

And now I am off on a weeks leave so the courses will be in the very capable hands of Assistant Simon and the crew.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Very disappointing to have to cancel this weeks tournament especially when the course was in such good condition last Friday, which now seems a lifetime ago.  The courses have handled the rainfall particularly well and we were mowing debris off the fairways this morning without any worries.  The problem we have now is tidal inundation which is rendering both courses unplayable as there are several holes on each course that are un-walkable.  See the photos below of a selection of areas just on this mornings high tide.

1 & 9R fairways from 10R green.

Front 18W tee.

17W from the tee full water carry!

9R tee.

9W fairway dry enough to mow though!?

All the water in the photos above is from tidal inundation.  We have received 338mm since it started raining on Saturday.  In the same time the airport has received just 236mm. 

And this is the seagulls last Saturday morning just after it started raining on 4W dam.  Maybe a sign to look out for in future??