Monday, June 20, 2011


Pitchmarks are a problem that just won't go away.  This morning I had 3 staff hand repair pitchmarks on the West greens for 3 hours.....that's 9 man hours!!  The problem seems to be getting worse at the moment and to ensure we can get the best putting surface possible this hand repair by the groundstaff will be an ongoing procedure.  The photo below shows 450 totally or poorly repaired pitchmarks on the front portion of the 8th West green alone.
8th West greens pitchmarks

To assist in levelling the greens back up I will be taking advantage of the beautiful weather we are having at the moment and sanding the West greens on Tuesday.  Disruption to play will be minimal.  I will also get some fertiliser on the tees to try and get some last minute growth before winter really sets in and River course Men's tees 5, 6 and 16 will also be oversown to get a grass cover for the rest of the winter.

The ground has dried out enough now and the Palm trees will be trimmed up this coming Thursday.  As mentioned previously there will be some selective removal of some of the Palms to assist in reducing the continually rising cost of their maintenance.

I attended the 27th Australain Turfgrass Conference last week in Adelaide and thought that some of our cool mornings would have me prepared.  How wrong could I be!  Our Championships were played on the Monday morning with an 8 am shotgun and I kept all the warm clothes on for the entire round.  We were fortunate enough to play Kooyonga and the course was in fantastic condition.  I will write some more about the US Open golf and the conditions later but suffice to say Kooyonga's greens were rock hard and running at at least 12 feet on a stimpmeter and looked great in comparison to the dis-coloured / pushed to the limit greens at Congressional.
The Conference was a great success and I was scheduled to deliver 2 presentations which meant for a nerve wracking build up in anticipation of presenting in front of my peers.  This turned to complete horror when the ash cloud prevented another speaker from Sydney making the trip and he kindly suggested that I could take his place which I did and therefore spoke 4 times.  A great experience all the same.

1 comment:

  1. I find that the pitch marks made on the West Greens are actually quite hard to repair compared to other courses I play on.

    Judging by the look at "repaired" marks, I'm not the only one who finds it difficult. A lot of marks that I see are like a ball "falling into water" with either side left and right raised up and a central "divot" displaced, as opposed to a compressed area of turf and dirt ahead of the ball with no "divot".

    The latter is easy to repair, but I find the only way to repair the former is to first knock the sides down hard into the central divot with a putter head then lift with a pitch fork repairer in an attempt to have a flat surface with grass coverage.

    With large "divots" displaced it is easy to get a flat surface but almost impossible to get full grass coverage.

    I assume that it is the wrong thing to do to replace any displaced turf? Do you have any suggestions or a repair technique that you can recommend?

    Also, as an observation, the West greens are the only greens that I have played on where you can make a pitch mark coming out of a greenside bucker or chipping close to the fringe. Not surprisingly, a lot of golfers don't realise they are making these unusual marks - could this be a reason why some are going unrepaired??

    Roy Gamma


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