Thursday, June 21, 2018

Very sad news with the passing of the legend Peter Thomson this week.  Peter was a Life Member at Victoria GC in Melbourne where I spent 15 years and I had many dealings with him on and about the golf course.  One of nature's finest gentlemen who never had a bad word about anyone.  Vale Peter.

Peter supervising construction of 17 green @ Victoria GC.

This will be the last blog post for a little while as I am heading to the first Australasian Turf Conference in Wellington next week and will then be taking 4 weeks annual leave.  One of the highlights of the Conference will be to get to hear arguably the worlds most authoritative voice on herbicide resistance.  Herbicide resistance is when an individual plant is able to survive an application that would normally (and does) control other plants of the species.  It has been a major problem in the southern States of Australia now for quite a few years and once it has developed there is no way back other than a change of chemistry and that can take a long time to happen and sometimes there is no alternative.  Poa annua is the plant that has been one of the hardest plants to control in fine turf situations and is the one that is causing concern down south.  At Cool Tweed we are now experiencing some resistance with a "crop" of Poa at the rear of 6R green that is now unable to be controlled either pre or post emergence with our current chemistry.  The first time I noticed it I thought it had just been missed by the sprayer but it is now unable to be controlled by any turf registered herbicides but we will keep trying!!  At this stage this is the only area that we have resistance in.


Resistant Poa at rear 6R.


And speaking of Poa, not everyone considers it a weed as evidenced by the greens at Shinnecock Hills last week and arguably some of the best greens in the world at courses such as Oakmont, Pebble Beach and The Olympic Club.  But that's another story for another day.  And just a final word on Shinnecock, it just shows what can happen to a course when people start overriding the knowledge of the Superintendent without really knowing what they are talking about.  As I mentioned last week the Supers I know who were there couldn't believe the quality of the turf and surface in the previous week and even though the greens didn't look very good on TV they still putted exceptionally well.  It wasn't the fault of the turf managers but moreso those that chose the hole locations.  Oh and one more word - I can guarantee that Peter Thomson would have never ever contemplated doing what Phil Mickelson did!!
 
The Shinny course maintenance crew last week.




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