Friday, January 21, 2011

Its hard to fathom the damage and loss of life caused by the floods in south east Queensland.  When I was an apprentice I worked at Latrobe GC in Melbourne on the Yarra River and experienced several floods there including once on Good Friday when I had to go out and bring in the tee markers, flags and anything else I could salvage.  I actually saw where the water first broke the levee bank and within 2 hours the whole course was flooded.  The speed and power of that water is something that still lives with me today, so I have great sympathy for the poor people affected by the recent events.

Golf clubs in Brisbane have certainly not been immune from the carnage and as I mentioned last week, courses are so often built in flood plains and/or low lying areas and this is certainly the case in Brisbane.  Some Clubs have been without power until as recently as today and the entire clubhouse and golf course is shut down which will have a terrible impact on these Clubs.  On the positive side, in amongst all the volunteers helping out has been literally hundreds of Members helping out their stricken Clubs with well co-ordinated working bees.  The Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association have been following the floods and the effects on golf courses closely and these are a couple of links to articles with some of the grim news;

At Coolie Tweed, the courses are still holding water in some areas which is absolutely amazing.  Another 19 mm last night had many of the pools of water re-form on the fairways and roughs although the majority of the playing surfaces are fine.  The major downside to all this rain and associated cloud cover is the lack of light intensity for the Couchgrass to grow in.  The River greens are currently really struggling to maintain a cover.  Areas where we lose turf from shade in winter (rear 4, 12 and 13) have still not recovered and will probably require re-turfing.  The general health of the greens for this time of year is poor and although they might be putting well now, my concern is having enough grass to sustain us through winter.  If the weather doesn't improve I may need to give them a minor renovation in early February to kick them on.

The tees are also not as healthy as they should be for this time of year and a minor renovation might be needed to help stimulate some growth on them as well.  Once again the surface right at the moment is OK but it is about having enough grass to get through winter that is my main priority.

16 West fairway waterlogged area

Some areas on the fairways have now been waterlogged for some time and several small depressions and hollows have been holding water as well.  This has resulted in what is known in turf management as a "scald" injury.  At this stage it is hoped that we will get recovery and most of the areas are to the edge of fairways.  The main exception is the 16th West fairway which has damage in the middle of the fairway and may require re-turfing.

Elsewhere on the course and the West greens have had encroaching Couchgrass treated and will be subject to some dis-coloration in the next few weeks as will the greens surrounds on both courses.  The tees are being handweeded to avoid any more undue stress on the plant from spray applications.

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