Friday, December 21, 2018

We finished up with just over 30mm of rain over last week end and the impact on the courses is clearly evident with the fairways jumping back to life aided by the even moisture and recent fertilisation.  Even with growth regulators applied we are still having trouble controlling the growth which is in one way a nice problem to have.  The rain was a very good soaking variety with hardly a drop not making its way into the soil profile.

It also had a great effect on the renovated West greens and they really started to put some growth on, more than I have ever seen on TifEagle and they were quickly cut back down to normal mowing height and are filling in very quickly.  The photo below shows the rear of the now 3 year old 17W green after the first mowing post renovation.

Rear 17W green

With last weeks rain and more in the forecast we will be looking at doing our best to keep up with the grass growth over the remaining summer and particularly through the hopefully very busy golfing period coming up over the next two weeks. 

Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year to all my followers.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The week has gone by and the West greens renovation occupied much our efforts, particularly earlier in the week.  It was very successful but certainly very hectic to get everything completed in the two day time frame and the greens are certainly looking forward to the predicted rainfall, as are the rest of the courses.  We use scarifier units that are mounted on the greens mowers rather than walk behinds as they are much quicker and allow for multiple passes with the debris going into the grass catchers rather than needing to be swept between each pass.  The older back 9 greens were scarified in up to six directions and the front 9 just 5 times.  The finer de-thatcher units then covered the greens twice and they were then mown down to normal height.  The greens were then aerated with 8mm diameter tines and fertilised with an 8:0:16 slow release fertiliser and sanded with a humate and gypsum laden sand which is rubbed in to the surface.  On Thursday morning the greens were then liquid fertilised with a high nitrogen based fertiliser to get the required recovery growth happening.  TifEagle is not a very fast growing grass once established so the post renovation time is expected to be a little different from the old bentgrass or 328 days where there is lots of leaf.  
An interesting note from the renovation is that we used 225 litres of diesel fuel during the operation in addition to the hard work of the staff who make it all happen.
The photo below is of 6W green before the sand was applied so a very different look to the old bentgrass days that's for sure.  A couple of members out on Wednesday actually commented that the greens were pretty good to putt on!!  
6W green late Monday.
A relatively quiet play day on Thursday allowed the opportunity to get the River course fairways fertilised and 4 tonne was applied to the fairways on the day.  The West fairways were done a couple of weeks ago and even with no rain have greened considerably so if we get some of the expected rainfall I would expect a great response across the fairways as well as the rest of the courses which are as dry as I've seen them in parts.  The water table has really dropped this week so a nice recharge will be welcome.  Obviously with the moisture from the rainfall and the usual heat the roughs will start growing so apologies in advance as we try and keep up with the growth over the next few weeks.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Another windy week with much of our time spent clearing tree debris from the courses.  The forecast is for the wind to continue so our efforts at keeping the courses clean will continue.  We need to do it to allow some light to reach the plant to allow it to grow and also to protect the mowers, particularly the greens and tees mowers.  Our rotary type mowers in the roughs and intermediate cuts are fitted with mulching kits to allow the debris to literally be smashed up.

We also stared the West course greens renovations with the collars being scarified and aerated.  The two days we have next week to complete the renovation isn't enough time for us to get these done as well.  Here's hoping for some fine dry weather on Monday and Tuesday.

A quiet day on the West course on Thursday gave the opportunity to get some fertiliser out on the fairways and nearly 4 tonne of a custom blend slow release was spread.  Unfortunately no rain of any substance to follow so it will be up to the irrigation to wash it in.

And a weird finish to the week with a fox getting caught in the course boundary fence.  She wasn't very appreciative of the bolt cutters being used to cut the wire and was gnashing away at us but was eventually freed although with a nasty gash on the leg.

Looks fairly placid but looks could kill!!

And I found this classic golf photo in my readings this week.

Might be hard to see in the fog!!