Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The rain has certainly had its effect with good levels of growth across the courses.  Unfortunately most of the growth is in the roughs and consists of a variety of weeds, particularly Kikuyu.  A letter came in from an interested member recently commenting on the number of weeds present on the courses and part of my reply is that we have to work within the course maintenance budget and quite strict laws under the Pesticide Act and also EPA regulations not to mention what the label of the product says.  As such it is not possible to treat every square metre of the property so areas are priotorised and are treated accordingly starting with greens and unfortunately roughs are last on the list and often don't get treated.  That changed a little this week when a herbicide was applied to quite widespread areas of the courses with two goals in mind.  Firstly to eradicate some weeds but also to "burn" off some of the grass to help players find their golf ball and also to reduce mowing requirements which are stretched at the moment.  So for the next couple of weeks there will be a "burned" appearance in some rough areas and also the greens surrounds.

Herbicide burn showing on 14R roughs
The writer also made comment about the amount of couchgrass in the West greens which is under constant surveillance I can assure you.  There is however only one product registered to remove couchgrass from bentgrass safely and its effect is negligible.  This encroachment is not a new problem as can be seen from the Board minutes from 1980 when the then Superintendent Les Neuhaus was recommending using the same product we try and use today! 
13R green with sprinklers in place!!
13R green continues to develop and this coming Friday will be 5 weeks since planting and I couldn't be happier with the greens progress.  Some things never cease to amaze you though and last Sunday I turned the sprinklers on the green remotely from the shed when I first arrived and as I have been doing went for a drive out to check the green to discover 2 of the small sprinklers on the green had been stolen overnight and the hose was causing a minor washout on the green!! 

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