The courses are just about back to normal after the flooding and are now actually heading towards their winter dormancy with the growth rate on greens and fairways slowing noticeably. It would have been nice to get another weeks growth to aid the recovery on the fairways that were inundated and suffered a burn from the salt water but as I said last week we are very fortunate with the lack of damage in comparison to a lot of other SE Queensland and Northern Rivers courses.
The River greens probably received their last sanding for the year as the weather cools. The sand used is blended with some Humate and also some Gypsum to help counter the effects of the salts in the irrigation water.
With the Masters completed for another year it may be timely to look at a few of the facts about the course that set it aside from all other courses around the world.
- Apart from the greens the entire property is oversown with a Rye grass and that is one of the features that so many people comment on is that it is all one colour and so consistent.
- The regular course staff numbers around 55 and that is supplemented by 100 volunteers from around the world come tournament week. The logistics of managing a crew that size alone is a feat in itself. And the extra staff aren't just some "dads army", they are some of the most senior staff from some of the worlds best courses that volunteer for the week.
- The incumbent Super has been there 30 years and has been in charge for 20 but as the club forbids its employees to speak publicly unfortunately you don't get to hear anything from him.
- At Augusta, the rough is called the first cut (because Augusta had no rough when it opened and still doesn’t) and the huge galleries of spectators are called “patrons.”
- Augusta's design has been tinkered with over the years and have had an array of architects including Perry Maxwell, Robert Trent Jones, George W. Cobb, George Fazio, Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio.
- Hole 13 is called Azalea which is understandable considering there are over 1500 bushes planted there that due to the strange weather that was experienced this year didn't bloom.
- Members only play the course for 7 months of the year and there are no carts.
- The greens were converted from Couchgrass to Bentgrass in 1980 which is the opposite of the program at Cool Tweed. Augusta though closes for the summer so that the greens are not put under any undue heat stress. They also have the ability to cool and even heat up the soil profile of the greens.
- The course is exceedingly more challenging and difficult than it appears on TV and it is suggested that a true 15 handicapper would not be able to break 100 when in tournament condition.
- And this year is 20 years since Tiger became the youngest winner ever of the Masters.
Back to Australian golf and tour professionals Todd Sinnott and Ryan Ruffels had a game in a recent competition at Metropolitan GC in Melbourne where Todd had 39 points and Ryan 37. Pretty unremarkable until you consider that Todd was playing off +7 and Ryan +5 so there was some hot golf played that day with the DSR at 72!! A few weeks earlier Ryan reportedly had 42 points at Victoria which off converts to a 61 off the stick!!