A strange sort of week weather wise with some seemingly unexpected rain and then some almost balmy days to finish off the week. We were able to get the River greens sanded again on Monday which helps to even up the surface and dilute some thatch. The greens are at their winter mowing height which is imperative to try and maintain a grass cover into spring. The height is dictated by the need for the shaded greens to have as much leaf as possible. River greens 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, and 17 all have quite significant shade issues and with the amount of foot traffic they are receiving this year it is most important to protect them as much as possible.
The wet and unseasonably humid conditions have some diseases popping up in greens on both courses despite a thorough preventative protectant regime being in place. It has been a common theme throughout SE Queensland this year and the severity has caused a couple of courses to oversow their greens to help mask the problem. We are lucky that it isn't affecting the actual putting surface so can be masked without to many issues.
We finally have some control starting on the resistant Poa annua that is evident around the courses. Some good results on 3, 7 and 10 River greens and some early looking good signs on 5R green surround.
Poa dying on 7R. Clumpy Poa dying on 5R.
The water circulator in the main irrigation dam has had some electrical problems of late. It is affectionately known as ''the paddle'' and is a beast of a thing to get in and out of the dam. We got it out and thought the problem was fixed but after putting it back in it was still not working under the water yet was working just fine out of the water. It does an excellent job of continually turning the water over and generally keeps the dam weed and algae free.
It's always interesting to watch The Open Championship and this year is no different. I played Royal St Georges in 2014 and it was one of the toughest I have played with so many blind shots that you didn't know where to play to, especially playing as a 2 ball and neither of us had seen the course before. The head greenkeeper at RSG has been there since just before the 2011 Open and took control not long after. He set about a massive restoration, primarily focused on returning the course to the preferred types of grasses and when we were there it was certainly fairly patchy. But with England's rather fickle weather it takes time to grow good turf and he thought he had it going well until the drought and heat of 2018 when they lost 60% of their turf. To see how the course is playing this week is a testament to his knowhow and the efforts of his crew. And speaking of blind shots, The Maiden as it is known is the par 3 6th hole and it used to play from the LHS over the mound so the green was competely blind. Imagine building something like that now!! The red line in the photo below shows the original line of play and the one below is a photo of the original hole.