Friday, November 24, 2023

We didn't get the forecast amount of rain but we certainly got enough annoying rain to disrupt the West greens renovation.  At least we got a break on Monday morning and were able to get almost all the greens scarified and detached before the rain came in.  The 40mm of rain that fell overnight into Tuesday wasn't really a problem and if anything was a bonus but the drizzly rain all day Tuesday really put a dampener on things.  We weren't able to get the greens hollow tine aerated which is the best way to remove some of the thatch in the top each of the surface. Thatch is best described as an intermingled organic layer of dead and living shoots, stems and roots that develops between the zone of green vegetation and the soil surface.  Hollow tine aeration is when we remove an actual core which is virtually totally thatch and stops the green from becoming spongy.  Due to the rain we weren't able to remove the cores so the greens were solid tine aerated with six millimetre sized tines.  Solid tine aeration is when the greens are basically spiked.  We did get some sand on the greens which contains some amendments and in the wet condition some of the amendments gelled together with the sand resulting in small ‘’balls’’ forming.  We also weren't able to get the full amount of fertiliser onto the greens so recovery will be a bit slower than expected.

We have made a small adjustment to the RHS bunker on 3W by dropping the front section and access area by about 300mm to allow for easier access for players and machinery.  The area will be re turfed on this coming Monday but given the intense shade and huge traffic in the area it will always be a struggle to hold grass there.

Last Tuesday saw the first meeting of the successful contractors for the installation of the irrigation system.  Nutrien Water which are a large irrigation supply company were the successful tender and their local depot is based in Nerang.  The system chosen is a Rainbird system and four years ago a very similar system was installed by Nutrien at Burleigh Golf Club.  At this stage the project is scheduled to begin in the first week of February next year and there are several more meetings planned. 

The photo below shows the intense weather cell that blew through the course last Friday afternoon and wreaked havoc for us.  Spare a thought for Southport Golf Club though as they had just stolonised (planted) their new green and they received a similar small violent cell that washed the green away and large areas of their recent course reconstruction. 



Friday, November 17, 2023

Last Monday saw us have the largest group of staff available on the courses for just routine maintenance in twelve years.  There were seventeen of us and next Monday when the new mechanic starts that will make eighteen, which mightn’t sound very exciting, but it certainly is for us and the work output we can achieve.  The West course was closed until 10am last Monday and even some of my more recent newer crew members were amazed at the amount of work we were able to complete unimpeded by play.  Being dry first thing in the morning was a help as we were able to get all West course tees and collars renovated.  At that stage we thought it was going to take some of the pressure off for next week's upcoming West greens renovation and allow us to concentrate on the greens alone.  Unfortunately the weather forecast doesn't look good with rain forecast each day next week so a modified renovation will be required.  We have had to do that over the last couple of years with some rain interfering but it is some time since I have had a full week of rain forecast in renovation week.

I mentioned our new mechanic starting next week and he is a local who has worked his way up to foreman at a local car dealership workshop.  Although he doesn't have golf course experience he has the mechanical aptitude and even in interview and at today's induction showed great eagerness and we have no doubt he will pick up where Craig left off.

Interesting talking about staff numbers.  Royal Melbourne GC just hosted the Asia Pacific Championship and only had two volunteers join their regular crew of forty six.  When Royal hosted the 1988 Bi-Centennial Classic I went over from Victoria GC to volunteer and took the crew for the week up to fifteen.  How things have changed and yet the course was lauded then as being in fabulous condition and the tournament was one of the biggest Australia had ever seen.

RMGC Crew.    What we could do with these numbers and machinery??

Wow that was a heck of a weather cell that just blew through the courses.  Absolute gale force southerly winds and on a quick run around the courses no trees down but debris everywhere.  Just the normal weekend crew in tomorrow so no bunkers will be raked as we will need to clean up the tees and greens as best we can in front of play.  It's not often that planes can't land at Coolangatta and are diverted to Brisbane or even circle around Byron Bay for twenty minutes waiting while the cell went through.

1W fairway after the cell blew through!!