Friday, November 27, 2015

Well the summer temperatures are with us now with full scale irrigation taking place.  The wind makes accurate application nearly impossible so there is often back up water applied by hand in the early mornings. One nice change is that I only go to 17W green to see how well it is growing rather than how stressed it is from the heat!!

I had the opportunity to tour around Royal Pines this week in a walk and talk hosted by designer Graham Marsh and Course Super Lincoln Coombes.  It was very interesting to hear some of the ideas behind the design changes and the methods used and local council compliance issues.  Only one of the existing dams was altered which is at 16 which now requires a near full water carry to make the green which has some interesting contours.  Bunker size was reduced from 2.2 Ha to .67 Ha much to the relief of the crew!!  On the course side of things Lincoln and his crew have done an amazing job in getting the turf tournament ready.  He only runs a crew of 14 and will have those numbers during the tournament next week.  That compares to 50 preparing The Australian for the Aus Open this week!!

Tree root removal from fairways was the main task this week and in 2 days only the back 9 River and 18W were completed.  This will be ongoing as budget funds allow.  And the River greens have recovered very well from their renovation and are already back to normal mowing height although they seem longer as the leaf blade is so juiced up at the moment.

There has been no feedback on the various rakes placed on the 18W and R greenside bunkers as mentioned last week.  Then again so many people leave bunkers like this that maybe we don't need them??

No rake!!
Next week will see the start of the bunker works at 7R green where the front two bunkers will be reduced in size and the rear bunker removed.  The bunkers will also have the Proliner material installed as on the LHS 7W earlier this year.  A temporary green will be in play which hasn't had a lot of preparation due to only being needed for a few days.  Apologies in advance.

The West practice green will also be redone with the growing medium being removed and replaced and the planted with Tifeagle.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A very busy week on the courses with the River course renovations completed.  The greens have come up particularly well with a smaller diameter tine used for the aeration lessening the damage and therefore recovery time.  The greens were de-thatched at minus 3 mm in up to 5 directions up and back on the same line which removed a huge amount of dead plant material and then were aerated with the cores left on to be rubbed back in to the surface.  The greens were then blown off with fertiliser applied and specially amended sand applied to finish them off.  All tees were also aerated and the cores rubbed back in and all fairways aerated.  All of this was achieved in 2 days which is a credit to the great work of the crew and the excellent weather.  There were 14 staff available on the day which compares to 22 for the River green renovations in 2009!

Aerating begins 

Material blown off the green

This came out of 15 green    

Finished result

Next time we have a school formal in the clubhouse we may need a fence around 18W green!!
Stilettos and bentgrass just don't mix!!  Then again it's one way to aerate the greens!!
Obviously a nice spot for a photo!! 

The bunkers on the18th green on both courses have got a variety of rakes in them to see if we can find a better one than those we currently have.  Hopefully you won't hit into the bunkers but if you do let me know what you think.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Quite a busy week on the courses with a number of irrigation issues rearing their head requiring some substantial repair works.  We operate a "hydraulic" type system which utilises water pressure to keep the valves on the sprinklers closed.  As that pressure is taken away the sprinkler pops up.  At present we have a problem with the supply line losing pressure somewhere and are trying to locate it.  We thought we had when a leak detector found a leak under a 6 foot high mound on the LHS of 10W fairway which rather than digging up the mound we re laid the pipe over the top of the mound.  This has helped but there must still be another leak out there somewhere causing some of the sprinklers to weep.

New trench line LHS 10W

Nearly 60mm of rain fell in the storms during the week which was most welcome, especially with some predictions of a drier than normal summer season ahead.

A number of holes have been left exposed tonight and they are the tapping locations for the sprinkler installation starting on Monday.  Having them already exposed gives us a great start to the process which will hopefully take two full days to complete.

The "anchoring ban" that was announced nearly 3 years ago comes in to force on January 1 2016 which is nearly "next month'!!  Although not many club golfers use the method this link takes you to US Golf Digests explanation of the ban which is quite informative and simple.  Just click your mouse over the link for it to appear.  

And I read this quote and liked it; "You know you're a golfer when you think its ok to wash your practice balls in the dishwasher at home"!!