Friday, December 7, 2012

A very unexpected but overwhelmingly welcome 50mm of rain this morning that will do the courses the world of good after another prolonged dry spell.  The fairways in particular were in desperate need of the rain as once again the fairway irrigation system couldn’t compete with the wind over the past couple of weeks and with the main priority being the greens the water supply levels were starting to be stretched.

I was lucky enough to be at The Lakes GC yesterday and caught up with Cool Tweeds own Scott Gardiner.  I have known a lot of touring pros over the years and none could be as down to earth and courteous as Scott.  I watched him until the 11th and must have been some sort of curse as his game improved on the back nine to card a 76 which he followed with a 71 today.  The Lakes itself has had many major revamps over the years but the latest is no doubt the most severe and one that has polarised opinion amongst the players.  I will sit on the fence for this one and offer the following course information courtesy of Australian Superintendents Association journalist Brett Robinson;

THE SUPERINTENDENT  Anthony Mills aged 35.
THE CREW Assistant superintendent: Stephen Mallyon (recently joined The Lakes from Roseville GC).  Normal staff numbers (non-tournament): 17. Tournament staff numbers: 51 total (average of 40 per shift). 
Configuration: 18 holes, 6290m par 72 (playing approx 150m shorter).
Maintained fine turf area: 32 hectares (greens total 2ha).
Bunkers: 81 + significant sandy waste areas.
Irrigation system: Toro 850 Series sprinklers controlled by a Toro SitePro Decoder system.
Greens: Penn A4 creeping bentgrass (3mm height of cut, double cut mornings)
Projected tournament stimpmeter readings: 10’5”-11’ (10’8” before second round)
Surrounds: Kikuyu and fescue (10mm, morning cut)
Tees: Santa ana couchgrass (10mm, morning cut)
Fairways: Kikuyu (10mm, morning cut)
Roughs: Kikuyu and Fescue (100mm)

Scott honing his putting just prior to the first round.

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