Friday, October 26, 2012

A fairly hectic couple of weeks with the River green renovations a priority.  The wind has also presented its challenges and has again severely affected irrigation and spraying applications.  80 kmh gusts last Tuesday were about the strongest I have experienced on the courses, especially when it blew like that all day.  The crew have done a great job in cleaning up the debris and if the northerly hadn't blown today the courses would have been picture perfect.

The renovations went well with the same method used as last year with a smaller tine being used meaning less disruption as less sand needs to be applied.  The biggest problem at the moment is the quality of water that is being applied as sodium levels in the water are about 300 parts per million being applied to turf that you want to grow which isn't the ideal scenario.  Following a light scarify at minus 3mm the greens were hollow tine aerated with 6mm tines and then the cores were rubbed back into the green and the remaining "chaff" blown off the surface.  Amendments and fertiliser were then spread and a light dressing of sand applied.  At renovation time there always seems to be something go wrong and this year it was the top dressers turn.  It was working perfectly in testing the Friday before then had a number of issues arise on the Monday without a grain of sand being spread.

The topdresser in pieces.

A busy couple of weeks ahead starting Monday morning with the following works planned;
  • Tree removal at West tees 13, 14 and 15 to allow more sunlight to reach the teeing surface.
  • Surface tree root removal on fairways.  There is a local rule governing relief from the subsequent damage.
  • Remaining tree stumps will be mulched.
  • Select bunkers, generally on the River course will have 80 cubic metres of sand added to them where required. 
  • The oversown tees will be lifted next Friday in readiness for turfing on the following Monday.

There is a lot of planning and co ordination that goes into the organisation of these works but for once I won't mind at all if they are disrupted by some rain.  The dryness has continued and the level in the lakes has dropped dramatically, so much so that the pump that is used to circulate water in the trio of dams at 7 / 8 West had to be pulled up as it was in danger of sucking mud.

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