It's been a long week hosting the Greg Norman Junior Masters but a successful one, particularly for the senior boys winner Cameron Smith who shot an amazing four round total of 24 under par. I guess you have to feel sorry for the runner up who shot 17 under as that would normally win comfortably. The story of the young fellow who aced the 17th River two days in a row was quite amazing too. Most years we have some issues with the weather and this year was no exception with the final day seeing the final groups bought in off the course due to lightning. The weather radar on the final day was looking rather grim so I rang Murwillumbah GC Super Brian Cox to see what it was like there and if there was any lightning. He responded that there was no lightning and that it was very black but it would probably blow away around the mountain like the day before. Five minutes later he rang back with "starting to rain a little bit", then five minutes later "raining a lot with a bit of lightning", then five minutes later "lightning every 20 seconds", then five minutes later "hailing now". Needless to say my advice to halt play was heeded and the players got in just in time. 15 mm of rain fell in about 10 minutes and play resumed after the storm cell had passed. News filtered through later that day of the golfer who was struck by lightning and killed at Hawks Nest GC, which was an unfortunate reminder of the danger of being on a golf course during an electrical storm.
The humidity of the past couple of weeks has caught up with the West greens with quite a bit of disease present despite applications of preventative treatments. The good news is that the 17th West green has withstood this outbreak thus far so here's hoping that the fan is doing its job and it gets through the heat of summer unscathed. At least we have missed the rain for a change with only 118 mm being recorded over the first 18 days of December with only 3 days having no rain recorded. Southport has recorded 186mm and Horton Park on the Sunshine Coast a massive 326mm.
Next week will see some trenching on both courses to replace some irrigation control tube lines. Trenching will take place on 1 and 10 West and 13 and 14 River. The 16th West will also have some trenching to allow for the installation for an additional fairway sprinkler. Growth retardants will also be applied to the fairways to slow them down to allow for the four day Christmas break and onslaught of play that follows.