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