Friday, July 8, 2011

The River greens

With the Club Championships on the River course this week end I have had a number of Members ask if the greens will be fast.  Unfortunately at this time of year with Couch greens the answer is no.  The River greens are under a lot of stress at this time of year from overuse in a low growth time and more importantly shade.  Shade is probably the most critical factor and there are seven River greens with substantial shade problems.  This means that the maintenance of all the River greens at this time of year is predominantly based around the needs of those shaded greens.  Greens such as 7,8 and 10 for example have no shade issues and could be mown much lower and pushed to the limit with not to many problems.  Greens such as 5, 12 and 13 on the other hand would literally fall over if their mowing height was dropped at this time of year.  My main goal at this time of year is attempting to maintain a healthy cover of grass over all the greens and a consistent speed.  If I could be guaranteed that the weather would continue fine and sunny as it has been this week then I may take a chance and push them but it would only take a few dull cloudy days for that to backfire.  I would much rather have Members playing on fully grassed greens in 6 weeks time rather than dirt or temporary greens.
On the West course on the other hand, this is the time of year that I can push the greens and allow them to dry out and mow quite low.  Their time of stress is obviously summer time when the heat is on.

I took some photos of the 12th River green on Tuesday this week to demonstrate just how much shade it has.  Indeed the back 4 to 5 metres of the green received virtually no sunlight at all during the day.

12 River @ 10.00am
12 River @ midday

12 River @ 2.00pm

They say a picture paints a thousand words and although they are not great pictures they clearly demonstrate the shade issues the 12th has to deal with.
The course however will play very well after the staff had a big day of blowing and mulching debris on the River course today.  Hopefully there will be no wind overnight or tomorrow and the players will be greeted with very clean conditions on both courses tomorrow.

And the sight that no Superintendent wants to see.....a dreaded hydraulic oil spill on the 17th West green.  It happened on Thursday morning and hopefully we may not lose too much turf.  The area to the right of the main spill (which is the darkest colour) was only sprayed and the machine was only mowing its first green for the morning and it was very cold so hopefully the oil wasn't too hot.

Hydraulic oil spill on 17 West green.


  1. Thanks Peter
    It's good to get the background information on the River greens.
    I find your blog most informative.

  2. Thank you for the feedback Joe. As I often say at the Course Information Session, I have nothing to hide and want the best playing surface possible for the long as I can give you grass to play on!


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