Friday, August 30, 2019

And now spring is just days away although the way the weather has been I doubt you could say we have had winter.  The fairways in particular have held their color very well and although it is not warm enough for any really active growth we are just getting a little bit.  One of the good show points for this is 12R fairway where there are normally a sea of divots come the end of winter and this year there are not as many as in previous years.
A very busy week on the courses with nearly 90 tonne of sand being added to the West course bunkers this week.  This replaces the sand that is blown out by wind but moreso the sand that is displaced during play.  We do a process known as "backfacing" in the bunkers which involves manually dragging sand back down off the face of the bunker and back in to the floor of the bunker from the exit point where sand gets dragged to with the rake when it is used by players.  The sand added this week also makes access to the bunkers easier but probably won't help players get out any easier although it does make the bunkers more playable.  I have used the photo below previously to show just how much sand can be moved in the playing of a shot.  River course bunkers will be attended to later in September.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Well not much for me to report this week as I have been home convalescing and it was good to get back on the course today.  I must say I didn't mind missing Wednesday morning when the morning temperatures dropped low enough for some reasonably widespread areas of frost to form.  The gusty change that blew through on Thursday evening wasn't really what we wanted as we prepare for the final round of the Club Champs tomorrow.  Another good run at the River course this afternoon meant that it is pretty tidy all things considered and with light winds predicted tomorrow both courses will be in great condition. 
You may have noticed a small pump down on the RHS of 15R this week which is used to pump some groundwater samples up for testing as part of our monitoring operations of the use of recycled water under our agreement to pump with the Council.  We also do a number of soil tests at the same time.
Pump RHS 15R.
The mulching contractor is now on site to remove the pile of tree debris on LHS 6R.  His grinding machine is quite large and needs the ground down there to be dry so as to not get bogged.  I have had him booked to come since January and every time he was set to come it would rain again and we would have to postpone the works.
Next week will see some sand being added to bunkers around the courses.  This sand replenishes the sand that has been played or blown out of the bunkers and is only added to the base of the bunker in the playing area.  It is the same sand we have been using here at Cool Tweed for probably the past twelve years and is indeed the mix that is used on the majority of golf courses in SE Qld.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Well week one of club champs and the Pro am week are now done and dusted and club director Scott Mayo's par round last Saturday may well be as good a round as I have heard of at Cool Tweed given the wind conditions.  That certainly was a tough day at the office once the wind got up.  Another course closure after the vets on Thursday afternoon gave us the chance to get a lot of prep work done for the Pro am.  We cut and rolled the greens in front of play and only just made it as the photo shows below with all hands on deck to get the last green prepared for play with players already at 5R tee in the background.
Players already on 5R tee but we made it.
With the weather conditions we are having we are nearly in full irrigation mode although as mentioned last week the shaded areas are still soft and wet.  The turf still isn't really actively growing just yet as soil temperatures stay low.  I mention shade fairly regularly and it just isn't possible to have quality turf with the amount of shade we have.  The photo below shows 4R green with the shade persisting in the back RHS corner.  Next time you play the hole have a look at how weak the turf is in this area.  The other photo is of 18W tee where there is some blue couch down the front of the tee.  This area of the tee is heavily shaded and often stays wet with the dew on windless days.  Those round circles in the photo are disease patches which thrive in those conditions.
Rear 4R green shade.

Front 18W tee disease.
Some of the root pruned areas are looking very successful so that will be continuing next week.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Not a lot to report this week with the huge week of golf that is conducted by the Veterans completed.  Combined with member play and a busy Friday afternoon timesheet there were more than 1200 players play the West course from Monday to Friday!!  As usual all credit to the players in the Vets comp and the volunteer spotters and rakers as the courses are always left in clean and tidy condition.
The courses are drying out and some rain would be welcome any time it would like to arrive.  One of the difficulties irrigating at this time of year in lower temperatures is that too much water gets put on to the shaded side of the fairways.  A perfect example below on 5R fairway where there is a very dry area in the busy walkway next to the bunker but the left side of the fairway where it is heavily shaded is still quite wet.  There is a sprinkler in the middle of this area which if operated would make the left side of the fairway wet.  You can almost see a line down the middle of the fairway where the shade line is.  This happens on almost all east / west aligned fairways that have shade on the northern side.

5R fairway.

Friday, August 2, 2019

And just like that it was August.  July 2019 did finish up being the warmest on record although the southerly breezes this week certainly cooled things down.  A very busy week of golf on the courses meant quite a bit of shed time was spent painting, cleaning and servicing machinery.  We did start a program of tree trimming which consists of clearing low hanging branches and the removal of a lot of suckers and small trees growing in and on other trees.

We also had to replace the floodgate at RHS 1R, part of which was only replaced 6 months ago.  Unfortunately the best material to construct it from is aluminium to prevent rust and so it was stolen to obviously be cashed in.  They were certainly well prepared as the top grate was actually bolted down and the bolts sheared off to try and prevent the theft.  The replacement will need a crane to move it so hopefully it will stay in place.

Hopefully immovable?

The forecast included some rain this week which wasn't quite right although further south Byron Bay certainly got their share.  It did start to rain a little this morning and I snapped this beautiful rainbow over Banora Point from 18W green. One of the joys of having a golf course for your office.