It seems like every week is described as huge but that just seems to be the way it has been over the past eight weeks while the West greens project has been rolling along. Throw the River greens renovations in this week as well and it really has been a huge week and a long one for the grounds staff. I can assure you that renovations aren't done for fun as they mean long tiring days getting as much done as possible whilst the course is closed and the added burden of new greens and planting 2 more greens this week topped it off.
Over the past two years when nine of the former West bentgrass greens weren't renovated as they were about to be dug up, it has really demonstrated the need for greens renovation. Both years as the temperatures rose the greens stressed earlier than they normally would have and this was most obvious last year when nine greens were renovated and nine weren't. To be honest it even surprised me just how much difference the renovation made to the greens and their health through early summer.
The River reno's this year were done on a particularly unfriendly day with constant scuds of rain lashing across the courses accompanied by an equally lashing wind. For reno's to be successful you need dry conditions which was certainly what we didn't get. The greens have come up very well though and actually received their first mow today so recovery should be rapid.
|A rainbow is the last thing you need on reno day!!|
As mentioned above the greens project continued along with 4 and 8W being planted and 9W having all the base sand installed. The top sand was supposed to go in today but at 2pm on Thursday I learned that the power was to be shut off to the pump station for six hours from 9am on Friday and so we wouldn't be able to water the new sand in. I also had the issue of two brand new greens that require constant water to keep them cool and alive so the worry levels were at extreme. Fortunately the two greens have dam water close by so two fire fighter pumps were sourced and readied for action. 9am passed and for whatever reason the power didn't go off which was a relief as the water in the dams is associated with the groundwater and salt levels can be high.
|First loads of sand in to 9W|
|River greens first cut after renovation.|
The long hours on the course meant I didn't get to see too much of day one or two of the Australian Open at The Australian in Sydney these last couple of days. I did get to see a few highlights on the TV last night and have read Jason Day's glowing comments about the condition of the course which rightly so is quite amazing. Over the past eight weeks while I have been organising the West greens project, River greens renovation and normal routine maintenance of the 36 holes I have never had more than 17 bodies in the lunchroom on any given day. Indeed there have been several occasions where there has only been 13 which was the case last Monday for the start of the River reno's when several staff were absent for a range of personal situations. What I would give for the number of bodies in the photo below to be in the lunchroom at the one time. Might be a bit crowded though??? It also demonstrates just how committed the Cool Tweed crew are when it comes to getting the job done.
|The crew at The Australian GC on Thursday morning|