Sunday, May 1, 2022

Day 4 is here already and the time seems to have flown. At this stage I haven't heard any negatives about the course which is a good sign and very pleasing with the amount of effort put in by the crew.

The threat of gusty winds meant that the greens were only mown this morning and not rolled to restrict the speed, hopefully preventing balls moving if the wind did get up.  The greens are running at just under ten and a half feet.

Greenway Turf Solutions who are one of our suppliers has been providing breakfast for the crew each day since the Pro am on Wednesday.  They do this at most major tournaments around Australia and on Wednesday I asked them how many they cooked for at January's Australian PGA and the answer was 40 and at the 2019 Presidents Cup the answer was 100+.  So cooking for the thirteen of us was a walk in the park!!  I then commended the crew on the job they have done and the quality course that they have produced, particularly considering the two floods.

To think this was 18W tee eight weeks ago.

18W tee February 28.

18W tee after round 3.
 

Day 4 pin placements below and I will do a pin sheet for tomorrows Members competition who are playing the same course.

Day 4.

I will be on leave for a while so the Blog will be taking a break until June.   Hopefully the weather starts to dry up sooner than later.

 

 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Only light showers overnight and the course will be good to go for the first players at 7.50am off the first tee only.  Greens are still running @ 10.5 feet and are true as can be which is the aim of all the preps.  Day three pin placements below. 

 



Friday, April 29, 2022

Day 2 of the tournament and unfortunately we received just over 7mm of rain in the front that blew across the courses at 4am this morning which reversed all of yesterday's drying.  We weren't able to mow fairways again today but got all greens, tees and collars mown and all bunkers raked.

Feedback from the players was positive which was good especially the comments about the greens which was expected as they are running just about perfectly.  Pin positions for round 2 below.

Day 2.

 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Tournament day one has finally arrived and fortunately the weather is fine and a vast improvement on Wednesday's Pro am day.  The rain started at 8.01am on Wednesday morning just as the groups were about to tee off in the Pro am.  15mm in twenty minutes was absolutely not what we needed and most of the puddles filled again after finally drying out over the weekend.  I have spoken to a couple of Sydney Superintendents who are experiencing the same high water table causing water to pool for prolonged periods and losing turf cover in places as we have.

We couldn't mow fairways this morning in the wet conditions which from the mowing perspective isn't too much of a problem as they aren't growing much but it meant the dew, which was quite heavy this morning, was left on the ground.  The greens were mown and rolled and are running at just over 10 and a half feet which is pretty much their normal speed which is in line with the tournaments requirements.

The ladies are using 1 and 9R fairways as a driving range and with the shorter daylight hours  some portable lights have been set up to help the early starters.  Don't get any ideas about golfing at night Members.... the course needs a break!!


1R fairway 4.30am this morning.

 

Here are day one pin placements that were selected by Golf NSW officials which is very pleasing as it takes the heat off us!!  We have two staff members changing holes and they have both had tournament experience on the PGA tour at Pebble Beach and Harbourtown so this is a walk in the park for them.  

Day one.

 The figures for holes 3 and 8 may seem confusing but the players are supplied with a yardage book and some of the measurements are referenced off points in the book.


 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Tournament week is just about upon us and the staff have done an amazing job to get the West course in particular, to where it is now.  Considering what we looked like at the start and then again at the end of March with floodwater, it is an absolute credit to them.  All but a small area on 4R fairway were able to be mown today and I have never seen it take this long for the fairways to dry out following rain.  16W has always been wet before the fairway bunker but the amount of water that it held past the bunker was extraordinary.  We haven't been able to mow 16W for just shy of four weeks which I can't believe.

But the course is ready for the players and with the weather gods co-operating and a few final touches I think we will have produced a pretty good product.  Actually, it will be nice for the course to get a break and only have about 120 players each day who for the most part respect the course they are playing.

A bit unlike this effort on 5W today in the members comp.

At least they tried to put the divot back.

Tournament weeks such as this are a very long drawn out affair for the the crew with staff needing to be onsite before, during and after play  to prepare the courses and put them back together. for the next day.  Hopefully the squeegees won't be needed during play!!??

 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Surely the rain forecast below has to be right?  It just can't keep going the way it is. Just over a week before the players start arriving for the biggest tournament the club has hosted in thirty five years and we need the rain to stop to get the courses dry again.  We need to protect the fairways as much as possible to ensure the best possible playing surfaces for the tournament.  19mm of rain in total overnight Thursday and the West fairways were swamps again and most of the River course was not much better.  The light showers during the day today don't help the situation and I think the courses are wetter at 5pm today than they were this morning.  A couple of shots below of 13 and 14W early on Friday morning.  We actually started checking 16W for an irrigation leak as the standing water on it is just not receding, the water table is just so high.

Oh and just for the rainfall total - the rain since last Friday has put our YTD total to 1565mm.  That's 1.565 metres of rain

Hopefully correct?

13W Good Friday morning.


14W.


It's going to be a huge two week period of work for the crew to get the West as good as we can given the resources available (and the weather) whilst still maintaining the River course for play.  I had arranged for three extra volunteers to come in to supplement our crew but unfortunately the second flood means they are needed at their home course which is totally understandable. Obviously not a lot will be done to the River course in the mornings of tournament week and almost every time I get some correspondence from the Euro Ladies Tour their start time comes forward as they are very concerned about getting all the players through on days one and two.  

 

Friday, April 8, 2022

Another 52mm of rain overnight which although forecast was absolutely not what the courses needed.  They had just about dried up completely with only a handful of puddles left and when I first saw them at 4.30 this morning they once again resembled a lake.  We had done an enormous amount of work on the bunkers this week, particularly on the West course, and the fear was that it would have caused more washouts.  Fortunately it didn't and the only positive of the rain was that it helped compact some of the new sand.

1R fairway at first light Friday morning.
 

Speaking of new sand, we were finally able to get to the practice bunker today after weeks of cancellations due to weather.  We used our Bobcat operator  which wasn't really my preferred method but earthmoving machinery is in high demand at the moment and very difficult to book.  Once again the only positive of no motorised buggies on the courses today was that the number of people congregating around the practice area was reduced as we ferried the sand in to the bunker.  The sludge that had been deposited there in the February flood was removed and the new sand dumped and spread.  Thirty two tonne of sand or about twenty one cubic metres was placed in the bunker today.  We were also able to get some topdressing sand onto the two short range greens to try and help them recover and fill in the surface.  They have been fertilised and scarified several times so hoping to get a good surface by the time the Ladies Open arrives in two weeks.  Dare I say it but a nice heavy shower of rain would help settle both the green and bunker!!

The sludge removed.

Sand spread and compacted.

Ready for play.

In such wet conditions we are severely resricted in what we can do on the courses and today gave us the opportunity to edge the buggy paths around the courses.  Fortunately we only have them situated adjacent to greens and tees but it still took a team of six the full day to get them edged and blown off.  They hadn't been done for a while due to the more pressing matters of flood recovery over the past five weeks and being so wet makes for a less than perfect result.  Interesting to note that when I first arrived at the club there were no buggy paths and now forty eight man hours are used to edge what we now have.

A long walk.