Saturday, July 4, 2015

Apologies for the 2 week absence but a combination of little to report and my attendance at the Australian Turf Conference last week kept me away from the typewriter!  

Well I don't think anyone could imagine the fallout that came with the US Open @ Chambers Bay as mentioned in my last post with the golfing world seemingly divided on the condition of the course.  Four weeks out the course was almost verdant green but an unusually warm and dry period obviously really baked the layout.  The USGA had adopted a policy that they wanted firm and fast which is what they got and they had the experience of the US Amateur in 2010 in their mind where conditions did get away from them.  There were a couple of Australians on the support crew and their comments were that it looked a lot better on the ground than on TV.  Having said all that the best player in the world at the moment won which is what they are after.

Back home and the rain is finally taking a break.  Rain was recorded on 17 days in June which must be some sort of record as it is normally a reliably dry month.  I don't think I have seen the course as soggy as it was this week and motorised buggies had to be kept off to protect the turf which has no real growth / recovery potential at this time of year.  The conditions of humidity and cloud cover doesn't favour Couch greens so any of the stressed areas are even further stressed.  The rear of 13R green is really struggling with the shade which when you consider that the seven month old turf was growing in full sunlight and being mown at 10mm in a paddock in Caboolture and is now being mown at 5mm in heavy shade by a salt water river is not really surprising.  One only has to look at the condition of 15R green now that it has almost full sunlight following the removal of the trees at the rear. The positive news regarding Couch greens is the continued progress of the Tifeagle on 17W green in its predominantly sunny position.

All other areas on the courses are over wintering quite well thus far and that will hopefully continue.  Following the problems with the West greens over summer there has been an increase in the amount of Winter Grass in the greens and this will be addressed in the coming weeks to ensure the health of the greens heading in to next summer.  I took the opportunity this week to give the West greens another solid tine and the River greens will be done next week.  This operation does not overly interfere with the playing surface but virtually gives the greens a breath of fresh air.  All the River course tees and some of the West were verti-drain aerated this week which is the deep tining machine and again something that was desperately needed for the health of the tees.

Solid tining West greens

Verti drain aeration (deep) on tees

And just when I thought I had seen everything, one of the cows that are agisted on the other side of the entry road escaped yesterday and was heading towards Minjungbal Drive where all hell could have broken loose.  Then he turned around and headed up towards the clubhouse and then on to the course once the security fence finished.  Fortunately he only strayed over a couple of fairways so damage was minimal.  I would hate to see the damage that could occur on a green!!

Unwanted visitor RHS 1W.

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