Sunday, April 1, 2012

A very nice comment from Joe Long below the previous post about the condition of the courses and as I said in my reply it has been a very tough summer with the constant rainfall and humidity making my life quite difficult.  In the past 38 days rain has been recorded on 29 occasions with a total of only 282mm for the period which for our location at this time of year isn't a lot but the regularity has been the issue.  The constant rain has interupted many of our maintenance programs, particularly weed control and now the daylight hours are shortening and the heat in the sun diminishing, it is too late for some of our programs to continue.

I guess we can't really complain though when you look at the golf courses in Perth who have not had a drop of rain since February 2nd and then Cairns GC who have had in excess of 1.2 metres in the past 3 weeks....thats right metres!!!

The most noticeable aspect of the weather cooling is divot recovery and we will start seeing more and more divots evident in the coming weeks as recovery time slows.  The use of sand buckets is crucial during the winter in order to maintain a playing surface.  The tees in particular really suffer from the wear from now on and a combination of play and shade on many of them make growing grass nigh on impossible.  To assist maintaining a grass cover several of the worst tees will actually be oversown with a Ryegrass / Fescue mix so as to provide a winter playing surface.  Weather permitting this will take place on April 16th with River course tees 4,16, 18 and West course tees 7, 13 and 18 being oversown.  The photo below shows 15 West tee with about 4 rows of divots visible and some of the shade that the tee experiences.  Two weeks ago there would have only been one line of divots visible in the same area.
Divots on 15 West tee
Another weapon that we now have is the different rated courses.  As part of the new handicapping system we have 3 different mens courses rated for handicapping purposes and winter is the time that we will start using them all.  The forward course (for want of a different name) has a  course rating of 70 on both courses and will start to be used in the coming weeks.  Members will be advised of the days the "short" course will be used and it will be interesting to see the effect on scores.  The "short" course will generally be used on selected Monday and Friday Comps as well as some of the Thursday Veterans Comps and possibly the odd Sunday Comp.  The course is not that much shorter, indeed the location of the markers is no different from the normal "winter" marker positions so time will tell the effects on scoring.

The West greens will be needle tine aerated this week so that we can finally get some air exchange happening after the summer.  The greens can't be done until the weather cools to prevent them from drying out but it is a process that is essential for the greens and long overdue.  The  River greens will be lightly de-thatched and possibly have a sanding to help prepare them for the on coming winter in the next week.

And finally congratulations to our Division One Pennant team on their win in the Gold Coast Pennant competition today....the quality of golf was amazing to say the least. 

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