Sunday, April 29, 2012

170 mm of rain overnight on top of 47 mm the night before.  At least the new drainage in the bunkers on 4 West worked and most of the bunker face held up!!  A bit better than the back bunker.
Time for a holiday methinks!!  I will be back in late May and hopefully things will have dried out by then.  Au revoir.
Front 4 West bunker

Rear bunker on 4 West a tad wet!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another 25 mm of rain overnight has the courses absolutely saturated.  Motorised buggies were allowed on yesterday which in hindsight was a mistake as when the rain arrived the way they were driven around the courses, and the places they were driven, beggars belief.  We are now in a situation where turf recovery is either negligible or non-existent so any damage caused will take months to recover. 

We have now received 175mm of rain over the past 10 days and have recorded rainfall on 62 of the past 96 days for a total of just over 1100mm in that time.  The only upside this week was that I took the opportunity to get the last fertiliser on to the fairways and tees to try and get as much growth as possible as we approach winter. 

The West greens were also needle tine aerated again this week in an effort to keep the water moving through the soil profile and to hopefully dry them out.  We had an issue with one of the aerating machines as it was taking some gouges out of the greens but most were in non pin placement areas and the greens desperately needed opening up so we pushed through.

The rain also played havoc with the practice net re-furbishment as the artificial turf can't be glued down with any moisture present.  As a result only 3 bays were completed this week and are now available for play.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Over the past couple of days we have been installing a "Yellow" back tee marker plate on both courses.  Part of the new handicapping system involved our courses being re-rated and we now have three rated men’s courses for each course.  We now have a “Blue”, “White” and “Yellow” course rated at 72, 71 and 70 respectively for both courses.  To assist in spreading the wear on the tees we will be conducting some competitions on the Yellow rated course over the winter months.  Next Monday the 23rd of April will be the first such competition followed by the Veterans competition on Thursday April 26th.  Play for Men will still be from the white markers and the existing scorecard and hole ratings will be used.  To assist players on the first couple of rounds we will put the playing distance to the middle of the green from the plates on all par 3's.

Other dates in the coming months will be;
  • May – 4, 7, 10, 13, 18, 21, and 31.
  • June – 1, 4, 7, 10, 15, 18, 24, 28 and 29.
  •  July – 2, 6, 8, 13, 16, 22, 26, and 27.
  • August – 5, 6, 9, 12, 17, 20, 23, 26, 27 and 30.
There will be little difference to the length of course that is normally played during winter as the Yellow plates were actually situated in the area that winter play was previously played from.  The benefit now is that you will be playing to a course rated for that length and handicapped accordingly.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quite a productive week despite the intermittent showers and as I sit here on Friday afternoon both courses are in great condition and clear of the leaf debris blown down by the constant winds this week following a great effort by the staff.  The West greens were sanded on Thursday which has been a long time coming but I need to be very careful and not go out too early when there is too much heat in the sun and literally cook the greens.  A fertilise for them to finish the week has them looking very good after a long humid summer.  The River greens were needle tyne aerated this week which as with the West greens last week allows for some critical aeration to the rootzone.

The left bunker on 3 River green has had the grass face installed this week and with the cooler weather establishment of the turf will be slow.

Weather permitting, the refurbishment of the practice nets will start on Monday morning necessitating the closure of all the nets whilst works are undertaken which will be most of the week.  Apologies in advance for any inconvenience.

The on course Palm trees will be cleaned next week and in accordance with our removal plan some more will be removed from the course

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A very successful couple of days with the fine weather allowing for a lot of work to be done.  The West greens were needle tine aerated on Monday to a depth of about 120mm which will allow for some much needed aeration following the long wet and humid summer.  The River greens were then sanded today following the Ladies shotgun start and look terrific.  The amount of sand applied is only small and actually enhances the putting surface.  The videos below give a good idea of what the operation entails.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A very nice comment from Joe Long below the previous post about the condition of the courses and as I said in my reply it has been a very tough summer with the constant rainfall and humidity making my life quite difficult.  In the past 38 days rain has been recorded on 29 occasions with a total of only 282mm for the period which for our location at this time of year isn't a lot but the regularity has been the issue.  The constant rain has interupted many of our maintenance programs, particularly weed control and now the daylight hours are shortening and the heat in the sun diminishing, it is too late for some of our programs to continue.

I guess we can't really complain though when you look at the golf courses in Perth who have not had a drop of rain since February 2nd and then Cairns GC who have had in excess of 1.2 metres in the past 3 weeks....thats right metres!!!

The most noticeable aspect of the weather cooling is divot recovery and we will start seeing more and more divots evident in the coming weeks as recovery time slows.  The use of sand buckets is crucial during the winter in order to maintain a playing surface.  The tees in particular really suffer from the wear from now on and a combination of play and shade on many of them make growing grass nigh on impossible.  To assist maintaining a grass cover several of the worst tees will actually be oversown with a Ryegrass / Fescue mix so as to provide a winter playing surface.  Weather permitting this will take place on April 16th with River course tees 4,16, 18 and West course tees 7, 13 and 18 being oversown.  The photo below shows 15 West tee with about 4 rows of divots visible and some of the shade that the tee experiences.  Two weeks ago there would have only been one line of divots visible in the same area.
Divots on 15 West tee
Another weapon that we now have is the different rated courses.  As part of the new handicapping system we have 3 different mens courses rated for handicapping purposes and winter is the time that we will start using them all.  The forward course (for want of a different name) has a  course rating of 70 on both courses and will start to be used in the coming weeks.  Members will be advised of the days the "short" course will be used and it will be interesting to see the effect on scores.  The "short" course will generally be used on selected Monday and Friday Comps as well as some of the Thursday Veterans Comps and possibly the odd Sunday Comp.  The course is not that much shorter, indeed the location of the markers is no different from the normal "winter" marker positions so time will tell the effects on scoring.

The West greens will be needle tine aerated this week so that we can finally get some air exchange happening after the summer.  The greens can't be done until the weather cools to prevent them from drying out but it is a process that is essential for the greens and long overdue.  The  River greens will be lightly de-thatched and possibly have a sanding to help prepare them for the on coming winter in the next week.

And finally congratulations to our Division One Pennant team on their win in the Gold Coast Pennant competition today....the quality of golf was amazing to say the least.