Thursday, December 24, 2015

Quite a busy week of golf on the courses this week which is a little unusual in the week leading into Christmas but we were still able to get the work done and all is readiness for the "silly season" of golf that is this time of year.  One thing that I have noticed this year is just how long the once a year golfers take to play a shot which must be a result of watching the Pros play.  Apparently the Friday round at the recent Byron Bay Pro Am took in excess of 6 hours!!

The West putting green continues to develop and the cover was removed as planned on Tuesday.  It had quite a heavy top dressing of sand applied today and will probably receive its first mow late next week. 

The growth regulator has kicked in on the fairways just in time for the short working weeks ahead with the playing surface in great condition.  All the Course Improvement Plan areas received a heavy topdressing this week to help smooth out the surface.

Sanding turf

A special thanks to the people who took the time to say something to the ground staff and or send a card or beer down to us for the festive season.  You have no idea how appreciative the boys are of such gestures and it helps keep them motivated.

Breakfast for the crew

And John the wildlife photographer was back this week and his camera must be really good as it even makes the Ibis look good!!

An Ibis in full flight

Friday, December 18, 2015

The weeks just keep flying past and this one was no exception.  Five tonne of fertiliser was put out on the fairways and a couple of nice rainfall events have it watered in just nicely.  A plant growth regulator will be applied to the fairways next week to ensure that we don't get a mad surge of growth over the Christmas period and short working weeks ahead.

The West practice green is coming along quite nicely although there was some wash caused by the heavy rain last week end.  50mm of rain was recorded on Saturday night with not many other locations receiving anywhere near that amount.  Some solid turf was purchased and has been placed in these areas to try and prevent any further wash in future expected storms.  The cover will come off next Tuesday and then we start the main part of the grow in phase.

Members may have noticed an avid nature lover parked down behind 4W green recently.  His name is John and he is a keen photographer of wildlife around the Tweed and is particularly drawn to the Honey bee eaters that nest in the bunkers by burrowing a tunnel into the sand.  Here are just two of his photos which are nothing short of spectacular.

Incoming meal

In full flight

Friday, December 11, 2015

Another very busy week on the courses with the turf being laid at 7R green surround and the West practice green being planted.  The wind continues to play havoc with course preparation although at least now most of the bark has been stripped from the gum trees.  Another task completed this week was the trimming of the bunkers on the River course which consume just under 50 man hours on Thursday from a possible 104 hours for the day!!

The West greens surrounds have had some weed control applied which has resulted in a leaf tip burn that sees a temporary loss of color.  It looks like a good result at this early stage.

An unexpected 15mm in short time on Wednesday night caused some wash out at the practice green and then we were lucky to avoid the storm that blew through on Thursday evening.  The forecast for Friday evening and Saturday isn't good but hopefully we won't get rain heavy enough to wash the green away again.

Practice green after planting

It was interesting to see a photo of Jordan Spieth playing at Royal Melbourne on his recent trip to Australia and playing from the white tees of the day.  Great to see the world No. 1 respect his host club.  It's a pity a few of our players didn't have the same respect for the courses.  It does amuse me when you see the swings on some of the people playing from the back tees and I feel like suggesting that the yellow tees may be better suited to their game.  The two best players I have seen in my time at Cool Tweed, Scott Gardiner and Ben Gazal also had the same respect and I don't ever recall seeing either of them playing from anything but the tees of the day.  Food for thought perhaps?

The No. 1 @ RM

 The photo below looks like the bolt of lightning is about to demolish the golf ball on the roof of the clubhouse but it was just one of many that were lighting up the sky on Thursday evening!! 

A near miss??

Friday, December 4, 2015

An extremely busy week with the weather causing some disruption to the works program.
The West practice green has been removed and a new growing medium added with TifEagle due to be planted in the green on Tuesday.
Earthworks at 7R green have been completed with the turf due to be laid on Monday.  The area of bunkers on the hole has been reduced from 900 square metres down to 330 and the access to the front of the green widened.  As mentioned previously a system known as ProLiner was installed which virtually prevents the faces from washing away in a rain event and ensures drainage of the bunker.  It also prevent contamination of the bunker sand from rocks from below the surface.  Once the bunker is excavated out and new drainage installed an emulsion is sprayed on the surface to waterproof it.  15mm diameter stone is then spread evenly over the entire bunker and then the liner mix is applied over the entire bunker surface.  The sand is then distributed evenly over the top and after some compaction the bunker is ready for play.  The video below gives an excellent demonstration of just how much water can pass through the liner. 
The liner being installed
And then compacted