Friday, October 30, 2020

A great week of storms and subsequent rainfall for the courses with just over 80mm of rain falling on the courses and what a difference it has made, particularly to the fairways.  Although I think we were lucky not to get the storm on Thursday afternoon which had some pretty serious hail come down.  See the radar below.  The roughs have also started to grow and we haven't really had this amount of heat, humidity and rainfall concurrently for a couple of seasons.  


An application of growth regulator went out on the fairways this week to try and slow them down.  The growth regulator not only slows the growth down it also helps the plant green up and become more resilient.  It has also been proven that it aids in divot recovery and also increases root growth which I have witnessed firsthand.  A few years ago when we had the bentgrass greens I was applying the product as a trial on the nursery.  I commented to the rep that I couldn't really see much difference on the surface so was unsure about the benefit.  We took a couple of core samples and washed away the soil to expose the root system and the result is in the photo below with the incredible difference in roots in the treated area on the left.

The River greens are now back down to normal mowing height and will receive a sanding on Monday to help level the surface out.  The greens probably won't be mown for a few days while the sand settles in next week.  The West greens renovation has been postponed due to the Club hosting the NSW Open qualifying event which is known as the Tweed Coast Open.  It also includes a Pro am on Sunday December 13 and 36 holes of qualifying on the Monday and Tuesday following.  The West course will still be closed as planned on Monday November 23 to allow us to do a light ''mini renovation'' in preparation for the event.  Given the lack of tournament play available for Pro's in the Covid world you would think it would be a pretty good field with $50,000 on offer.


Friday, October 23, 2020

We received 48mm in the downpour that accompanied the storm last Sunday night but unfortunately the bulk of the water ran off and was of little benefit to our dry soil profiles.  Our predominantly sand profile is a great advantage when you get the rains but when they don't come it is nigh on impossible to keep enough water up to the fairways in particular.  The 7mm that we received on Thursday was a very different matter though with just about every drop soaking in.  A pretty wet looking forecast for the next few days and into next week so hopefully there will be some rainfall there for us.

We took advantage of the rain and got some fertiliser out on the tees and some of the wear areas so that should hopefully see some green up.  It is still too cool, especially the soil temperatures, to really get some serious growth happening but with the humidity today it may only be just around the corner.  The River greens are recovering well and the same goes for them regarding the soil temperatures so recovery will be a little slow.

1R green surround looks good with a lot of shoots showing already.  It's only a week since planting and I would like to think by this time next week there should be a lot of leaf starting to happen.

There has been a lot of talk about bunker raking throughout the golfing world since the start of the pandemic and the age old discussion of rakes in or out of the bunker has been at the forefront.  Well a golfer in Melbourne has come up with a potential solution by developing a ''personal golf rake'' that fits neatly into a golf bag and even comes with a head cover.  The rake head folds down snug along the extendable handle and it just slides in your bag. Who knows if they will become the ''new norm''?


Friday, October 16, 2020

A highly successful River greens renovation early this week and then the unexpected rain on Wednesday morning was just what we wanted and the 10mm in a couple of heavy showers settled the greens in nicely.  It was also great for the fairways as they were starting to dry out although a lot more than 10mm is required to really get the courses going but I am certainly not complaining.  It had been twenty five days since we had any rain which is very unusual for us even though we have been dry over the last couple of years in general.  It is not as bad as August and September 2017 when we had just one fall of 4mm for the two months.

The outer edges of 1R green were over planted on Wednesday as planned and it seemed to be a very successful operation and it is now a matter of wait and see just how much comes up.  It will take up to twelve weeks to get a full cover on the area.

The last application of growth regulator to the fairways has had a very unusual response and there are some ''streaky'' lines apparent on many of the fairways.  To be honest we are not sure exactly what happened as the sprayer is one of our most reliable machines and seemed to operate as per normal.

Stripy effect on 1W fairway.


Friday, October 9, 2020

The north wind that we have had this week has really dried the courses out and we really do need some rain so hopefully one of the scattered storms in the area this afternoon makes its way to Cool Tweed..  The way the leaves are dropping off the trees is a good tell tale sign that the trees are struggling for moisture as well.

It's that time of year again with the River greens renovation scheduled for next week.  The weather forecast has no rain in it so we should get a good run at them.  The dry does mean that the sodium levels are through the roof and the greens are under some stress already.  We were in a similar dry period last year and the greens really took a hit although we are going a month earlier than last year so the weather is also somewhat cooler and that will slow recovery as well.  You really need to have good soil temperatures to aid recovery with warm season turfgrass.

The greens will be scarified in at least four directions up and back on the same line and the de-thatched up and back in up to two directions.  The photos below show the scarifier and de-thatcher heads.  The scarifiers will be set at 5mm depth and the de-thatchers at 3mm depth.  The greens will then be hollow tine aerated with 10mm tines and will only penetrate 50mm.  With the undulations in the greens this is hard to do as the machine naturally shifts up when travelling over mounds.  Following the aeration the greens will have some amendments and fertiliser added and the quantity and type will vary depending on the green and applicable soil test results.

On Wednesday next week we will be planting the edges of 1R green with some cores and stolons so the green will be out of play for four weeks while the turf establishes.  It should take about twelve weeks to attain full cover but the area will be playable whilst it is growing in after the initial four weeks.  The reason we need to close the green is it will require constant irrigation to ensure the new material survives and starts to grow and to prevent foot traffic from having a detrimental effect.

De-thatcher heads 

Scarifier heads.

Hollow tine heads.



Friday, October 2, 2020

The weather stayed fine and we had a very productive two days on Monday and Tuesday this week while the West course was closed to play for maintenance.  We were able to get all the West course greens solid tine aerated three times in the two days and used the largest solid tine on the greens yet.  We normally use a 6mm diameter tine but this time went up to 9mm which doesn't sound much but it sure was a difference. as the photo below shows.  The greens were done twice with the 9mm and once with the 6mm and the tining followed a de-thatch and double mow.  We also got all the West tees scarified which is a little early weather wise but it's a messy , dusty job that is better done with no play.


9mm tine on the right.

And a video below shows the finish on the green after the first pass.


We also did some more tree root removal from the fairways as well as applying a growth regulator to all the West course fairways to help control the seedhead which is one of the actions the product can perform in addition to growth regulation.  At this time of year with not so much growth, a lower rate is used specifically for the seedhead.  1R green also received it's second application of herbicide in preparation for the re-planting of the greens edges.

And how we didn't get some much needed rain out of the front that went through on Thursday afternoon is beyond me.  The radar ''lied'' for once!!


The radar on Thursday afternoon!!