Friday, December 29, 2017

Another busy week both work wise and golfer wise.  Thursday and Friday saw huge numbers of social players out on the River course and it is virtually a WHS issue with the quality of most of the players fairly ordinary and a lot of them not knowing where the ball is going.  It does raise some safety issues for the staff because a number of jobs we do are head down and / or ear muffs on to protect our hearing.  

A couple of staff on arranged annual leave then 2 staff requiring unplanned leave for family situations and we were pretty light on for numbers.  A fairly major breakdown to two of our mowers topped off what was a pretty difficult week all up.

On the bright side, 1, 5, 6, and 7 West greens will open to play tomorrow.  1 was planted 11 weeks ago, 5 and 7 planted  weeks ago and 6 just weeks ago.  They still have some thin areas on the edges but they are more than playable.

7W ready for play.

Friday, December 22, 2017

One of the best parts of this Christmas season is that I won't have any bentgrass greens to lose sleep over!!  The weather has really heated up this week and the humidity is sky high so hopefully a storm can get brewed up and drop some rain which would be a lovely present.  Both courses are drying out and again the wind plays havoc with even application of irrigation. 

Hopefully the beautiful colours of the sky this morning will produce some rain!!??
Red sky in the morning??
The new West greens continue to power along and there is a good chance of some opening next week so that will be looked forward too.  4 and 9 got their first mowing today and came up very well as did all the greens after a fairly heavy sanding.

9W getting its first mow.

4W getting its first sanding.
The back 9 West greens that were renovated last week also got a top up of sand today as a final surface leveler. The greens have continued to recover very well and this sand will help to further restore the surface.
Light sanding on back 9 West.

Friday, December 15, 2017

A very busy week with the West greens renovation taking place on Monday and Tuesday and a very good result evident on the greens.  All the greens were scarified and de-thatched numerous times depending on their condition and then a very small hollow tine which is only 4mm in diameter was put over them with virtually no sign of the holes now.  Some fertiliser was put down and then a very light sanding over the top to finish.  The tees renovation on the West course has been completed and a start made on the River course which will be completed next week. 

Just renovated!!

A pretty frustrating time trying to present the courses over the past few weeks with the constant wind blowing leaves and bark down also making finding balls very difficult.  Our out front rough mowers are fitted with "mulching blades" and they do just that to the leaves.  Below is a before and after mowing photo of an area of rough on the LHS 9W at the front of the course shed.  This area of trees took 1 hour and 10 minutes to mow which gives an idea of just what a huge job the mowing of rough is and why at times of peak growth like the moment it is literally never ending.

Before the mow.

After the mow.
7W fairway is somewhere under there!!

11W fairway is somewhere under there too!!

9W green had the cover removed to reveal an excellent strike and very good even cover.  1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 all received another sanding today and 1, 5 and 7 aren't far from being playable with very close to 100% cover having been achieved which is only 8 weeks from planting for 1 and 7 weeks for 5 and 7.  Just shows the value of rainfall for the growth of plants.

Friday, December 8, 2017

And then there was one......well one green left with a cover on it.  4 and 5 West had the covers removed this week and it was quite interesting to see the difference between them.  4 is probably the weakest of all the greens we have planted and had very poor colour in comparison to 8 although they were planted a day apart.  The other greens are progressing very well with 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 all being mown at normal greens height and all received a heavy sanding this week.  Last year the first greens were opened on December 31 which I am certain we will better this year.

It was again an exhausting 8 week construction period and to get the nine greens done in that time frame was a great effort given interruptions to water and power supply and some unfriendly weather although certainly some welcome rain for the rest of the course.  A project like this is not possible without the approval and support of the Club's Board and then the support of the members which has been nothing short of amazing.  I have only heard positive comments from players which given the disruption to the course is very encouraging.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the following;
  • The Club's ground staff who have put in an enormous effort over the period with some very long hot laborious days.
  • The machinery operators who are the father and son combination of Trevor and Chicka King.  Probably the best operators I have ever seen on golf course construction and they are a pleasure to work with, let alone the excellent product they produce as a result of their talent.
  • Action Sands at Chinderah who supplied the sand and expertly blended the top growing medium for us. Brett Hoyle has taken over the operation and organised the trucking for us and hardly missed a beat.
  • And the various suppliers of fertilisers, soil testing, irrigation equipment, drainage materials and the growth blanket.
8W showing good colour and cover 2 weeks post plant
Not so good colour on 4W but ok coverage
Heavy sand going on 2W

The West greens renovations will take place next week and it will be the TifEagle's first renovation so it doesn't need to be as severe as it would with older greens.  It is important to keep the thatch buildup under control because it is a very aggressive grass.  The greens will receive a range of cultural practices depending on their condition.  The tees on the West will also be renovated and the River tees will be done prior to Christmas.  That will be a combination of heavy scarifying and a hollow tine aeration which they are desperate for.


Friday, December 1, 2017

The last green of the West greens conversion to TifEagle has now been planted with 9W being done yesterday.  Fortunately for the greens and golfers, the rain forecast for Monday has been reduced down from 100% chance of 50 - 100mm to 80% chance of 25 - 50mm which will hopefully come down slowly and at night.

The first three greens to be planted - 1, 5 and 7W have been mown down to normal greens mowing height and received a heavy topdressing today to start the final surface preparation process.  The cover came off 2W this week and it is in excellent condition and appears to be one of the best strikes we have had and should grow in very rapidly.

Elsewhere on the courses, the roughs are really starting to grow with the soil moisture levels up and the heat and humidity.  We try our best to keep up but with the amount of growth out there it is a job that we literally never finish over the summer with this type of weather pattern.  The greens surrounds on the River course also received an application of herbicide which has resulted in an expected leaf burn which will grow out within a week.

The River greens have recovered well from their renovation and are growing furiously and unfortunately the growth regulating product that was put out yesterday received some wash from an unexpected heavy shower of rain during application and it will most likely need to be re-applied early next week.  There was also an issue with one of the fertiliser spreaders during the renovation which has resulted in some patchy results on the greens surface.  The fertiliser granule is very small and almost impossible to see whilst spreading and this added to the malfunction exacerbated the problem.

Cover starting to come off 2W

Revealing a great strike

Planting 9W

Friday, November 24, 2017

It seems like every week is described as huge but that just seems to be the way it has been over the past eight weeks while the West greens project has been rolling along.  Throw the River greens renovations in this week as well and it really has been a huge week and a long one for the grounds staff.  I can assure you that renovations aren't done for fun as they mean long tiring days getting as much done as possible whilst the course is closed and the added burden of new greens and planting 2 more greens this week topped it off.

Over the past two years when nine of the former West bentgrass greens weren't renovated as they were about to be dug up, it has really demonstrated the need for greens renovation.  Both years as the temperatures rose the greens stressed earlier than they normally would have and this was most obvious last year when nine greens were renovated and nine weren't.  To be honest it even surprised me just how much difference the renovation made to the greens and their health through early summer.

The River reno's this year were done on a particularly unfriendly day with constant scuds of rain lashing across the courses accompanied by an equally lashing wind.  For reno's to be successful you need dry conditions which was certainly what we didn't get.  The greens have come up very well though and actually received their first mow today so recovery should be rapid.

A rainbow is the last thing you need on reno day!!

As mentioned above the greens project continued along with 4 and 8W being planted and 9W having all the base sand installed.  The top sand was supposed to go in today but at 2pm on Thursday I learned that the power was to be shut off to the pump station for six hours from 9am on Friday and so we wouldn't be able to water the new sand in.  I also had the issue of two brand new greens that require constant water to keep them cool and alive so the worry levels were at extreme.  Fortunately the two greens have dam water close by so two fire fighter pumps were sourced and readied for action.  9am passed and for whatever reason the power didn't go off which was a relief as the water in the dams is associated with the groundwater and salt levels can be high.

First loads of sand in to 9W

River greens first cut after renovation.

The long hours on the course meant I didn't get to see too much of day one or two of the Australian Open at The Australian in Sydney these last couple of days.  I did get to see a few highlights on the TV last night and have read Jason Day's glowing comments about the condition of the course which rightly so is quite amazing.  Over the past eight weeks while I have been organising the West greens project, River greens renovation and normal routine maintenance of the 36 holes I have never had more than 17 bodies in the lunchroom on any given day.  Indeed there have been several occasions where there has only been 13 which was the case last Monday for the start of the River reno's when several staff were absent for a range of personal situations.  What I would give for the number of bodies in the photo below to be in the lunchroom at the one time.  Might be a bit crowded though???   It also demonstrates just how committed the Cool Tweed crew are when it comes to getting the job done.
The crew at The Australian GC on Thursday morning

Friday, November 17, 2017

And then there was one!!  We are now on to the last green with the irrigation going in to 9W today.  The River greens renovations will delay the sand delivery in to 9 which should now happen next Thursday and Friday with the green being planted the following Tuesday.  4 and 8W are due to be planted next Wednesday and Friday respectively.

Elsewhere on the Club website is some information from VC Phil about an interruption to our water supply from Banora Point Wastewater plant which certainly put a spanner in the works this week.  Fortunately temperatures have still been down and we had some good rain last week that had the courses well prepared for the hiccup.  Having 2 three day old greens when I found out wasn't exactly the news I was hoping for but some judicious usage and skilled hand application by the crew had us survive the week.  I was given the go ahead to start pumping again on Thursday but waited another 24 hours.  The water is safe and is well below the regulated EPA parameters that we and the Council adhere to.

9W underway

The road in to 9W

Good to see turf get some recognition!!

I love old photos of golf courses and golfers but this one of German POW's being used to rebuild a bunker tickled my fancy!!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Another huge week on the West greens project with 4W only requiring the top layer of growing medium added and 8W excavated out.  4W certainly unearthed some nasty looking material which wasn't all that surprising as it has been one of the toughest greens to maintain, particularly as a bentgrass green.  That is one huge advantage that we now have is that the greens are very consistent with little difference in soil moisture levels and they all behave very similarly.  4W green had to be totally re-drained as the existing drainage had been badly contaminated by the "marine mud" that formed the base of the green.  8 on the other hand had probably the best and most functional drainage system that we have seen on any of the greens.

Both 2 and 3W were planted on Thursday which was a tough time given the gusty wind and rain squalls that came through.  Getting the growth mats down was quite an experience and achievement.  So that takes us up to 6 greens planted with only 9W untouched and that should start late next week so this will be the last Saturday comp played on bentgrass at Coolie Tweed!!

A short video above showing the base layer on 4W being rolled, watered and  the final trim by the Bobcat.  531 tonne of sand was needed to re-fill the hole that we excavated and that was on top of more than 100 tonne of drainage gravel and 150 tonne of the top layer sand blend will most likely be required.  The reason the staff are watering is to help compaction which is necessary to make sure the finished surface remains true to construction finished levels.  And speaking of compaction the River greens renovations are planned for November 20 and 21 when we will be relieving compaction in the greens.  We have a couple of new implements that are going to be used so we are planning on doing the 328 practice green next Thursday as a trial run.

The cooler temperatures we are experiencing are slowing the growth rate of the new greens down as we really need some warm temperatures to get the soil warm and the grass responding.  It is a bit more pleasant to work in and I must again commend my crew for their dedication to the task with impromptu overtime never being a concern as long as we get the job done.

4W green begins.

8W green being stripped.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Another week has flown by and the front nine West greens project continues.  6 was planted as planned on Tuesday but the cyclonic winds that started up meant it was a very difficult job with the stolons blowing away as they were dropped.  A problem with the suppliers machinery meant that the stolons were very clumpy and it took a lot longer to plant than is usual.  The machinery is currently under repair so no stolons are available until next week so both 2 and 3 will be planted next Thursday.  The Santa ana collar at 6 was planted on Wednesday and the green covered in the much calmer prevailing weather conditions.

3W green didn't really unearth any great surprises but 2W certainly did.  We have thought for a while that 2 was a green built straight on top of another and that was certainly the case.  The drains were only just 300mm under the surface and even less in places which meant the green needed to be re-drained which was done.  As we dug the trenches for the drainage we unearthed another drainage layer that we assume belonged to the previous green.  Both 2 and 3 had a slight re-design in the front half to try and soften the slope that existed there as part of the works.

First mow on 1W

Top layer starting on 2W

1W received its first mow on Thursday 20 days after planting which was a little bit quicker than 13 which was the first green done last year.  It was a great result and the mowing height has already been dropped by 4mm.

4W is the next green on the agenda and will be started next Monday with 8 later in the week.

And if you think you've got a tough job spare a thought for the Masked Lapwings (formerly Plovers) and their three chicks around 17R.  The 3 offspring are all over the place meaning mum and dad are constantly trying to marshall them.  And the cooler overnight temperatures don't seem to be helping much with mum having to literally take the 3 of them under her wing to keep them warm and dry!!

Lots of feet under there!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

A very productive week on the West greens project and despite a weather delay on Monday some ground was made up and we are nearly back on schedule.  Things didn't look good on Monday when a storm hit just after the trucks started arriving.  In some ways we were fortunate to only receive 6mm but it was enough to create a mud heap where the trucks were driving and when one truck very nearly got bogged we called it a day.  That is one of the reasons we build the access tracks such as the one across 5W fairway so that there is no problem for the trucks to get across there.  Now we we finished in the corner the track on 5W has been lifetd and will be re-turfed on Monday.

5 and 7 were planted as planned on Tuesday and 6 will be planted next Tuesday.  3 is moving along well and may get planted next Friday but we will assess progress on Tuesday before deciding that.  

2 has just started and the existing growing profile is very thin meaning the green will most likely need to be re-drained which adds time to the project but has to be done.  Some of the drainage lines were only just below hole cup depth which is hard to follow why.  There was also a root barrier installed around the perimeter of the green and given the high level of couch encroachment in to the green it is pretty obvious how useless the barriers are on golf greens.

The cover will come off 1 on Monday and mowing should start later in the week so we are well on our way!!

LHS 7W Monday after the storm.

The same track on Friday.  In 4 weeks you won't know we were there..
First load of top sand in to 6W
VB cans used as drainage caps on 2W!!

Elsewhere on the courses and there is a lot of weed control happening on the fairways which results in the yellowing that is currently evident.  We are getting very good control of a couple of very hard to control weeds which is very encouraging.  I am hoping that we will also be able to control the crowsfoot which would have been germinating over the past two months given the soil temperatures being up.  The crowsfoot plants will only be very small and more susceptible given their early stage of development.

Yellowing evident after weed control on 13W.
And a very nice way to end the week with a long term low handicap member going out of his way to say that "the River greens are the best they have ever been.  I realise you probably don't get many compliments but they really are great at the moment - well done". 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Quite cool and cloudy conditions earlier in the week which was nice to work in but not very good for growing warm season grasses especially ones that have just been planted last week such as 1W green!!  It has also been very windy which has meant our plant protection spray programs have been interrupted resulting in a bit more disease on some greens than I would like.  Even the temporaries on the front 9 West haven't been spared an outbreak.

2W temp disease
A very productive week on the greens project seeing both 5 and 7 being completed with just some fine trimming left prior to planting early next week.  6 has been excavated out and it was amazing to see the number of tree roots that were in the green from the Eucalyptus trees at the rear feeding on all the nutrient and water that is applied to the green.

Work starts on 5W
It will depend a little on the weather as to which green we move to next.  Both 4 and 8 are able to be done in very wet conditions should we encounter them given their proximity to the entry road allowing easy access for the sand trucks.

A couple of videos below to finish the week off that might give some insight into what we do on the greens.


Friday, October 13, 2017

An exceptionally busy week with preparations for the Pro am on top of the ongoing front 9 West construction works.  Tuesday was the day that the top layer of material was to be installed in to 1W green until a 5am discovery found a 6 inch irrigation mainline had burst and had lost 80% of water in storage.  There is no rhyme or reason or foreseeable cause for these breaks but it nearly couldn't have occured at a worst time.  Fortunately the excavator was on site and was able to dig the hole quickly for us and get the repair done.  A pretty stressful day though with no water available and 7 remaining bentgrass greens drying out with temperatures well in the 30's. And a day lost on the greens project.

Front 18W tee where the irrigation main burst.

 I mentioned the "top layer" of the green above and this is the top 100mm (4 inches) which is what is known as "amended sand".  In the old days (and sometimes today) just straight sand was used to build the greens and then some fertiliser would be rotary hoed or raked in to the surface.  This generally didn't form a very consistent profile so it is much better to mix the amendments at the sand yard and then have it delivered as a blend.  I have a consulting agronomist who advises on what to include and based on the success and health of the greens last year he is right on the money.  The photo below gives a very good comparison between the "barren" base sand and the "amended" top layer on 1W.

The difference between the 2 sands is plain to see.

1 West green was planted today as was the new collar.  I mentioned last week that Santa ana would be used as the collar grass and would be harvested off our own fairways.  The photos below show the green being hand watered to keep the plant moist while the collar was planted which is evident in the middle photo below.  The bottom photo shows where the Santa ana is being harvested from on 9W fairway.  The collar is a bit more than a metre wide which will allow a greensmower to mow it and also for the same size mower to scarify and de-thatch the area.
1W planted

1W collar planted
9W harvesting area.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Well it was only 45mm of rain that fell but it is some of the most welcome rain I have seen here.  A nice soaking rain that was just what we needed with very little run off.  For the first time since I have been here I recorded a zero rainfall month during September.  Indeed since July 20 we had received just 4.6mm of rain until last Sunday!!  It did delay the start of the Front 9 West greens project but it didn't really bother anyone, particularly me!

A very productive week with 1W green being dug out and irrigation installed.  The dig went well with mainly good material coming out that has been stockpiled for future use around the courses.  A very similar profile to the back 9 greens with a gravel layer on top of a functional drainage system.  The green has been extended about 4 metres to the left but the rest of the green has been taken out to the "existing well" of the old green.  The excavated hole does look very big at the moment but that includes a one metre collar which will be planted with Santa ana which is the variety of couchgrass found on 4, 9 and 10 West fairways.  I have been doing some trials on the Santa ana and it doesn't seem to throw out such aggressive runners as the common couchgrasses elsewhere which will hopefully help limit encroachment into the greens.  A couple of other SE Qld courses are finding the same result.  At this stage the green should be planted next Friday. 

The sequence of the other greens being done is totally weather dependent as some of the areas on the West course can get and stay very wet making access for the trucks very difficult.  We have got some heavy steel plates onsite for the duration and these are used to cover known irrigation mainlines and on kerbs and paths to prevent damage.

Steel plates protecting the 6 inch irrigation main on 17R

Road to 1W.
Most of the front nine greens are "perched" in the air and will require a pretty decent road to be built to allow truck access as was done at the rear of 1W.

And here is a video of the start of excavation at 1W.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

7mm of rain at 9am Monday morning and 38mm on Tuesday morning.  A few other places got more and the greens works have lost a day but we are certainly not complaining!!

LHS 5W last Friday

LHS 5W Tuesday morning

Friday, September 29, 2017

For all intents and purposes it is certainly summer already with the 30 degree mark being surpassed three times in the compound this week.  Full scale irrigation is under way and a couple of calm nights followed some of the very windy days week allowing for some non-wind affected irrigation and you can certainly see the difference in some of the fairways.  Nothing is as good as rain water though but there's not much of that in sight unfortunately.

I said last week that we would make a mess on the left side of 1W green this week and we did exactly that! Three unknown pipes in the first few metres of trenching had our hearts in our mouths but it all finished up ok.  We re-located the 6 inch irrigation main as well as the irrigation controller power and they are now a minimum of 1.8 metres under the ground down the left side.  This means that we have no restriction when adjusting levels on the left side where the green is to be extended.

1W trenching

In four more sleeps and after two grand finals we make a start on the front 9 West greens conversion to TifEagle.  Barring something unusual happening over the week end we will be starting at 1W and moving forward from there.  Unfortunately the transport co-ordinator I had last year to truck the sand in and out has retired so given recent dealings with the same company I don't expect that part of the project to go that well unfortunately.  It is very difficult to forecast exactly when we will need trucks and we were certainly blessed with what transpired last year as most of the time twelve hours is about the most notice we can give and sometimes only two!  With approximately 300 tonne of material being trucked away and replaced it is certainly a big part of the project.

The River greens have started to wake from their winter and we took the opportunity to give them a good de-thatch and sanding on Thursday as part of their preparations for the Pro am on next Friday week.  The sand also contains some Gypsum which is vital in combating some of the undesirable ingredients in our irrigation water, particularly the salts.  There is also some humic compost blended with the sand which helps give the greens some nutrient, but not too much.

EDIT;  Wow how the forecast can change with some rain due next week now to coincide with the start of the greens project unfortunately.  Hopefully it's not the start of an early wet spell though but my websites tell me a very high probability of 25mm+ on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The dry continues but it really isn't much different for this time of year with the last two years almost carbon copies.  Last year the dry continued through till December which was a blessing for the greens re-surfacing program and I would certainly like the same this year although a little precipitation would be good.  As with other years the constant wind makes irrigation mostly inefficient so fairways are generally not programmed on nights where the wind is forecast to continue.  As I have mentioned before, I use "WillyWeather" as my most reliable source of weather information as they have a very good and simple graph system to follow and are very accurate.

Another thing that tells me it is a normal season is the need to apply some growth regulator to the fairways to control seedhead formation on some of what I call the "mongrel couches".  I call them mongrel because they are varieties that cause a lot of problems and sending up a stalky seedhead is at the top of the list.  Their seedhead is normally very purplish in colour and is very difficult to mow and reforms very quickly following been mown off.. Fortunately the growth regulator we use prevents seedhead formation.  This application has taken place in the 3rd week of September since 2003 which shows the consistent nature of the weather events.

That was one thing that struck me the first time I toured golf courses in the US of A way back in 1988.  At one of the courses that I visited the Superintendent told me that a particular type of tree had started flowering which meant is was too late to apply a certain product to his course.  I don't think we really have a lot of that type of information available in Australia and seem to rely more on calendar timing.  Although there is a Jacaranda tree that I drive by on my way home which is always the first to flower and that happened early this week.  It's weird though as the Jacaranda in my front yard can be a month behind it!!

And speaking of America friends that I recently visited in Naples are still in the recovery process from Hurricane Irma  and have only just had power restored to their homes and the water is only just returning to a drinkable quality.  Weather in Naples at the moment compares to February here which would be very uncomfortable without power and fresh water.

This coming Monday we sort of start the front 9 West greens conversion to TifEagle with the six inch irrigation mainline together with power and irrigation tubing being re-located further away from the green to allow for the green to be enlarged by some 4.5 metres to the left allowing for greater pin placement area.  The temporary green will be in play on Monday whilst we carry out this work.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Another glorious week albeit a little on the windy side which as I have mentioned before makes overnight irrigation very unreliable.  A very busy week as well with exposed tree roots being removed from fairways which is quite a laborious task which leaves quite a mess behind as I mentioned last week.  The video below shows one of the removals in progress.

A nice tangle of roots on 13W

Rakes are now being left out of bunkers as a trial and there has been paint applied where the rake should be placed after using it to help players.  

Bunkers have always been an emotional topic with virtually everyone having a different view.  The great Peter Thomson says that bunkers shouldn't be raked at all by groundstaff for play and that they should be as hard as possible to get out of.  I remember Seve Ballesteros at Royal Melbourne complaining that the bunkers were too easy to get out of such was the level of manicuring applied to them and that was back in the 1980's.  It is commonplace now to see 6 or 8 people in a bunker preparing it for tournament play, especially on the PGA Tour in the US.  Most Superintendents would tell you now that almost as many resources are put into bunker preparation and maintenance as greens.  They are a hazard aren't they??!!  

And the great Walter Travis who was one of the greatest amateurs to play the game agrees with Peter Thomson as per the article below and he wasn't too keen on short rough either!!.  Travis was an interesting character and was an accomplished player who was the first "American" to win the British amateur.  I have American in inverted commas there as he was actually born and raised in central Victoria in the town of Maldon before moving to the USA, marrying and becoming a US citizen!!  He was also quite a prodigious golf course architect during and after his playing career as well as an authority on turfgrasses.

Not too sure about the last sentence!!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Another amazing week of spring weather with just about perfect conditions for golf and the golf courses to match it.  The dry spell certainly continues and we are just about at full scale irrigation at night at the moment with some supplemental localised hand watering needed on greens on both courses in the early morning.  It's an incredible contrast when you consider that the southern sea side resort Lorne in Victoria actually had snow fall on Tuesday this week and the maximum temperature has hovered around 10 degrees all week.

The weed control in the fairways is ongoing and another application will be due next week.  When you look at the differing results on the Blue Couch it shows just how many different varieties we have out there.  Elsewhere on the courses and the broadleaf weeds in the roughs have also been sprayed.  In contrast to other years the level of Clover in the roughs is at an all time low which would be interesting to know why whereas the Cotula has gone crazy this year.  Weather conditions and the golfing program finally aligned and we were able to get the River greens sprayed to eradicate some of the wintergrass that had appeared.  The patches of "green" couch in the greens will be spotted, once again when conditions are suitable and then replaced with fresh turf after their renovation in November.

Next week will see the removal of exposed tree roots from fairways.  This is the operation where we use a backhoe with a ripper attachment to hook under the roots and pull them out.  It does cause quite some surface disruption but is very necessary from the playability and mowing point of view.

Other than just general course maintenance there is a lot of behind the scenes preparations for the front 9 West greens project that starts on Tuesday October 3 going on.  Most of the hardware we require is now on site and the turf is in great condition at the turf farm from all reports.  I will be venturing up there in the next week just to check it out in person.  Now we just need the weather to cooperate.   

And always nice to get a compliment for the work we do with the following arriving in an email today;
The star of the show, and the Belle of the ball is the Green Keepers, I have been to all the name dropping courses over the world, and I will go as far to say, your course, is as good if not better than all of them.  The credit must go to the course staff for helping us have a good walk, a great game and a tonne of fun.

Please pass this on to whoever is in charge of the course staff.