Saturday, November 5, 2011

Best laid plans

Well not everything finishes up the way you want it to and this week was an example of that.  The turf arrived for the tees on Monday but some of it had "cooked" on the way down here from Caboolture and had to be replaced.  This puts us a couple of days behind which although not sounding much delays the first mowing for the turf and therefore opening for play.  The photo of the 11th River tee shows the affected turf removed from the tee surface but with some of the "cooked" turf still in place on the rear bank of the tee.  These cooked areas sometimes recover but can take weeks which is a timeframe we can't afford on the playing surface.

The River greens are still in their recovery mode from their renovation and the method of hollow tining used this year has caused some severe wheelmarking on the greens that whilst unsightly, doesn't affect ball roll.  The greens are growing very fast and that has an obvious effect on the playing surface with the broader longer leaf evident.  The greens will have another sanding at some stage next week depending on the play and weather.  They are still at least two to three weeks away from settling back down again.  At the recent course information session I was asked about the speed of the greens and explained that due to the extensive shade issues, and severe movement in the greens that we can't afford to mow to low otherwise we will lose grass cover.  Everyone, myself included, likes fast greens but I would rather be putting on grass than dirt.

On the positive side you will notice a number of patches of yellow grass on the West greens which is where a new product for the control of Poa annua or wintergrass has been applied with quite outstanding results.  If you look closely you can see the bentgrass emerging through the patches.  The six to eight week conversion process is slow enough for the surface to not be affected which would normally happen with most other control products.  There is not enough time available to go in to the merits or otherwise of Poa annua in greens but most certainly in our situation the shallow rooted Poa is the last thing we want in the greens leading in to summer as it's the first grass type to die in the warmer weather.

11 River tee turf

16 River green wheel marking

Poa annua dying in 5 West green

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