Ø Foreign grass invasion. Particularly couchgrass which has been controlled as far as possible with the available products. All I am able to do now is reduce the spread of the couchgrass. Greens 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15 and 18 are the worst for contamination. This problem is most noticeable during the summer months when the bent is at its weakest and the invading couch at its strongest. The most difficult aspect of controlling the existing couchgrass is that to totally remove it from the surface it has to be sprayed out and then have at least 300mm of the growing medium removed and re
placed. In the past fumigation could be used which provided a fast result and meant the surface could be re-seeded as was done on many occasions previously. Fumigation is now no longer available.
Ø Staffing. The maintenance of bentgrass greens in this climate, particularly through the period of October thru April, requires a huge commitment from the Superintendent to continually monitor the greens. One of the aspects that amazed me when I arrived here is just how much the greens can dry out overnight in comparison to greens in the southern States. Similarly the change in the greens from 2.30pm in the afternoon when the staff leave and 6.30pm when the sun stops beating down is substantial. This means the greens need to be monitored continually throughout the day, seven days a week and decisions on irrigation requirements assessed on a daily basis. This didn’t happen prior to my arrival with obvious results. Having bentgrass greens in this climate is like having a 2 week old baby that is in need of constant attention. Such constant attention requires a time commitment from the staff and the generation of workers coming through is not interested in working such hours and that trend seems to be worsening. The days of peo
ple working 70 plus hours a week as I do are numbered.
So what is the solution? In my mind the time has come for the greens grass on the West Course to be changed. Following is a discussion on possibilities.
In 2007 the Club undertook trials of six new improved “ultradwarf” varieties of couchgrass with a view to their suitability as a putting green grass at CTHGC. All of the varieties, proved to have a much finer leaf than “328” couchgrass (which we have on the River greens) and therefore provided a better putting surface. In the
USA golf clubs in similar climatic conditions as we are across the States of Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas and for exam Florida ple, are changing their greens from bentgrass to these new varieties at a startling rate. Unfortunately the grasses are still not commercially available in so can’t be considered. Australia
However, the couchgrass variety TifEagle was part of that trial and is available in
. Northlakes, Australia and Sanctuary Cove Palms are three courses who have used the variety over their entire course. Brisbane GC and the new course at Horton Park GC on the Dent Island will be installing TifEagle in their greens in the next few years as will Arundel CC on the Gold Coast. Sunshine Coast
|Disease infestation comparisons in 2007 trials|