Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flood photos

This is an excellent link to some photos of some of the Brisbane Golf Clubs affected by the floods.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Indooroopilly GC

Its hard to imagine that this is Indooroopilly GC.  I will let the photos do the talking.

Clearing silt from a fairway

Silt covered fairway

Clubhouse is an Australian website that has some astounding photos of the floods.  Click on this link for an aerial of Indooroopilly GC with Brisbane GC just to the south.  You can move the page around and zoom in as well.  If you knew where to look there is a creek next to Brisbane GC that has 3 full size semi trailers in it!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Its hard to fathom the damage and loss of life caused by the floods in south east Queensland.  When I was an apprentice I worked at Latrobe GC in Melbourne on the Yarra River and experienced several floods there including once on Good Friday when I had to go out and bring in the tee markers, flags and anything else I could salvage.  I actually saw where the water first broke the levee bank and within 2 hours the whole course was flooded.  The speed and power of that water is something that still lives with me today, so I have great sympathy for the poor people affected by the recent events.

Golf clubs in Brisbane have certainly not been immune from the carnage and as I mentioned last week, courses are so often built in flood plains and/or low lying areas and this is certainly the case in Brisbane.  Some Clubs have been without power until as recently as today and the entire clubhouse and golf course is shut down which will have a terrible impact on these Clubs.  On the positive side, in amongst all the volunteers helping out has been literally hundreds of Members helping out their stricken Clubs with well co-ordinated working bees.  The Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association have been following the floods and the effects on golf courses closely and these are a couple of links to articles with some of the grim news;

At Coolie Tweed, the courses are still holding water in some areas which is absolutely amazing.  Another 19 mm last night had many of the pools of water re-form on the fairways and roughs although the majority of the playing surfaces are fine.  The major downside to all this rain and associated cloud cover is the lack of light intensity for the Couchgrass to grow in.  The River greens are currently really struggling to maintain a cover.  Areas where we lose turf from shade in winter (rear 4, 12 and 13) have still not recovered and will probably require re-turfing.  The general health of the greens for this time of year is poor and although they might be putting well now, my concern is having enough grass to sustain us through winter.  If the weather doesn't improve I may need to give them a minor renovation in early February to kick them on.

The tees are also not as healthy as they should be for this time of year and a minor renovation might be needed to help stimulate some growth on them as well.  Once again the surface right at the moment is OK but it is about having enough grass to get through winter that is my main priority.

16 West fairway waterlogged area

Some areas on the fairways have now been waterlogged for some time and several small depressions and hollows have been holding water as well.  This has resulted in what is known in turf management as a "scald" injury.  At this stage it is hoped that we will get recovery and most of the areas are to the edge of fairways.  The main exception is the 16th West fairway which has damage in the middle of the fairway and may require re-turfing.

Elsewhere on the course and the West greens have had encroaching Couchgrass treated and will be subject to some dis-coloration in the next few weeks as will the greens surrounds on both courses.  The tees are being handweeded to avoid any more undue stress on the plant from spray applications.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The big wet

Firstly my thoughts are with all those in the south east of Queensland literally fighting for their lives and trying to salvage their belongings.  Being a little wet under foot as we are pales into insignificance when you see some of the footage to come from the torrential rains and subsequent flooding.  Unfortunately as golf courses are so often built in flood plains and/or low lying areas, the damage to golf courses will be some of the last we will see as the water clears.

At Coolie Tweed I have now recorded 665mm (just shy of 27 inches) of rain since the start of December with only nine days when there was no rain recorded.  To say that we are wet is an understatement although we have been lucky that so far upstream on the Tweed River hasn't had the volumes of rain that west of Brisbane have.  The course had dried out reasonably late yesterday but then a mere 6mm overnight had us wetter today than yesterday which I haven't seen happen before here.  I actually started verti-draining (deep aerating) through some of the puddles yesterday to try and get the water off the surface but to no avail, which amazed me.  The ground is that sodden that it can't take any more. 

Verti draining through puddles

Friday, January 7, 2011


Well it just continues to fall and the downpour on Wednesday night was extraordinary to say the least.  I recorded 105mm at the course and Coolangatta airport 110mm with their records showing that 100mm of that fell in just two hours between 9.30 and 11.30pm.  I was quite amazed at the lack of damage to the bunkers although once again it demonstrated just how good the re-constructed River course bunkers are with only two of them not being fully playable today.  The combination of some high tides and the volume of water coming down the Tweed River saw the highest levels I have seen today considering it hadn't rained much for 24 hours.  Buggy drivers had to wade through 6 inches of water at the 9th River tee as the water pushed in.  The downside of such a high water table and tide levels is the delay in the courses drying out with the West course absolutely saturated at the moment. 

1st River "creek" at high tide today

Whilst we are a little wet, spare a thought for golfers in the UK and even the USA where courses are being blanketed with snow as the photos below show.

Royal Dornoch

TPC Valencia just out from Los Angeles