Friday, October 7, 2016

WOW!!  You here that a lot from the US commentators on the PGA Tour and it's a bit irritating  but it's about the only word to describe the combined efforts of staff and contractors this week.  The West greens Tifeagle conversion has started and in a 4 day week 13W green has been completed with only grassing to come and a significant start has been made on 16W.  This included the replacement of a 50 metre long irrigation main to the LHS of 13.
As expected the excavation unveiled some surprises as have the other 3 greens I have previously excavated in my time here.  None of the soil profiles or construction methods have been the same on any of the greens and some of the soil amendments that have been added have not been done very well and has certainly not made the task of growing Bentgrass here any easier.  Although our climate is the biggest factor against the Bentgrass.
13W was completely excavated out to an average depth of 450mm on Tuesday with irrigation going in on Wednesday then 450 tonne of sand was placed and shaped to the desired contours which are the same as the existing green with an extension to the left, right and rear which has enlarged the green considerably.  A "gravel layer" which is an option when building to USGA specifications was encountered and it was much deeper than would normally be found and the drainage was below this which is normal.  On 16W there was no gravel layer but a reasonably extensive and functional drainage system was found but at quite a shallow depth.
So the project continues next week when 16W will be completed and the next green will be selected subject to weather conditions.  11W is going to need very dry conditions as the trucks need to travel up the RHS of 11W fairway from the half way West.

 It was interesting to observe that we received 10mm of rain on Monday night and I also irrigated the West greens as the water was going to be off for up to 48 hours while the mainline at 13W was replaced.  On Thursday afternoon after two quite pleasant days there was significant stress on 11, 12 and 14 West greens.  It was also interesting that the recently renovated front nine West greens had only a small patch of stress at the back of 9W which demonstrates the benefits of greens renovation.  It was also interesting that the rainy Monday this week was enough to trigger an outbreak of disease on the West greens which is something that I certainly won't miss.
Dry patch stress at the front of 12W after 48 hours of no water.

Sod cutter starts on 13W. 

Bobcat ready to strip the turf off.

The "pinky" strip is not well placed amendments in 13W.

A happy face means this spot level is correct!!

First load of new sand in to 13W just after sunrise.
Starting 16W.

Disease outbreak on 13W just before the excavator arrived.


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