Friday, March 26, 2021

A really productive day today with a lot of clean up achieved across both courses.  We started on the bunkers as well but they will be a long term project, particularly the West.  Almost 100% of the River bunkers will get raked tomorrow with some work needed on some of the washouts.  The West bunkers have done what they do and turned to mud.  We didn't get any fairways mown as they are generally too wet and as much rough got mown as the day allowed.  There is some extremely long grass out there and will take time to get to it all from both a time and wetness factor.  1R green will also come back in to play on Saturday.

We have had to cut a drain across 11W fairway in front of the green to drain the water from the green.  When the green was built we renewed the drainage outlet and ran a pipe down the front bunker and it has somehow become blocked at a point where it is about 2 metres deep.  I couldn't get a big enough machine there in the wet so made the decision to renew the pipe.  The green well was basically backing up with water as it couldn't drain out.

The River greens got some fertiliser yesterday and we are planning on sanding them next week.  328 doesn't like dull conditions and they have thinned considerably which is not ideal going in to winter, especially with the amount of golf we have coming up. Getting a full healthy sward is of critical importance and will be a focus over the next several weeks.  The West greens have fared much better and look as though they have enjoyed the break from traffic.  The fact that they are so much flatter helps spread the wear as well which is a great benefit.

So we finished with 461mm from Friday evening to Wednesday morning and have now had 760mm in March - Thats 30 inches in the old scale!!  YTD is 1130mm and since December 1 is a total of 1690mm.  Most people I quote those figures to don't believe it.

With no more rain overnight motorised buggies will be back on both courses on Saturday but there are still a lot of wet areas so please exercise extreme caution when driving.

And although we think we have it bad spare a thought for dozens of golf courses on the eastern seaboard that have been flooded this past week.  Yes we get wet and if the river does break its banks it is a ''clean flood'' with not much debris or silt coming in.  Pictured below is Nambucca Heads GC where they are pushing 6 inches of sludge off the fairways.  It's a common sight at most clubs that have flooded and greens cop the same amount of silt.  The best way to get it off the greens is to use high pressure water but most pump stations go under as well so it is all hand work.  The Glades has suffered its fifth flood in thirteen months and this one is one of the worst they have seen there.   Seriously heartbreaking for the crews.

Nambucca Heads GC.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

The final update for the week @ 5pm Thursday.

Most of the water has now gone although there are some areas where water is still standing that I don't recall seeing this much before, including LHS 14R before the dogleg and further down on 14R on the RHS of the green, especially so long after it has stopped raining.  The entire cart path on the RHS 14R green is inundated which I am sure has never happened previously.  Just goes to show how much rain there has been.

But the good news is that both courses will be open for walking only on Friday.  Carts should be good for the River on Saturday and it just depends how well the West dries out tomorrow so that call will be made as usual before 5.30am Saturday.

Thanks for your interest in the blog (now 3,800 views since Saturday) and your patience in missing out on some game time due to the weather.


Water still lying LHS 14R.

Water covering the cart path RHS 14R.

Now for the dirty work - clean up time on 1W.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

6pm update Wednesday.

We have been pumping water all day today as well as clearing drains and have made some progress but not enough to make the courses playable tonight.  At the moment we are predominantly concentrating on the River and there is still water across both 11 and 12R making them both impassable.  There are also numerous other large puddles of water at least a foot deep and the ground is pretty much saturated throughout.

I will update the course conditions tab by 5.30am in the morning.

A couple of photos below to show progress made today.

1W this morning.


1W this afternoon.

12R Tuesday evening.


12R this afternoon.

Just another 70mm in the past 24 hours but it was nice to see a clear radar this morning and even nicer to see a full sky of stars.  Hopefully now we can start the process of drying out which is going to take some time.  461mm of rain or 18.5 inches of rain has fallen since Friday night which takes us to 1129mm this year and 1687mm since December 1, 2020. 

The photo below is of 1W fairway looking through to 11 and 12R and that water level is constant all the way across and up to the fairway bunker on LHS 14R.  Contrary to what some people believe the drain is not blocked but actually flowing as fast as it can.  The drainage pipe starts on the LHS 12R and is only 150mm until it gets to RHS 1W where it empties into a 200mm pipe which then transports the water to the open drain at the front of 18W and into Shallow Bay, which from its name doesn't suggest a lot of drainage potential.  From 12R to 18W is about 1% fall which again doesn't allow for a lot of flow.

1W looking towards 11R.

And while we lament what's happened at Cool Tweed during this weather event spare a thought for those courses further north on the coast.  I saw some photos and videos yesterday and the damage will be significant and take months to recover from.  Once the water starts pouring down Mudgeeraba Creek with rain from the hinterland, The Glades is the first to go under then Colonial and then Lakelands.  They are 'dirty floods'' too with a lot of silt and debris being deposited on the courses not to mention the damage from the fast flowing water.  And The Grand GC wasn't spared either with huge volumes of water cascading down the Nerang River and inundating large parts of their course as well.  Not to mention Murwillumbah who are well and truly under again.

And hopefully that's it for this weather event.  Thanks to those members who have left positive comments on the Blog and sent emails thanking me for the updates.  There have been more than 2,750 views on the Blog since Sunday evening so I trust you've been well informed.  

And finally thanks to the crew for continuing to go out and make sure the drains are running as well as possible.  It's dirty and sometimes dangerous work and they are often in waders to get where they need to go which means restricted movement in flood water. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

5pm update Tuesday.

Another 40mm since 9am this morning but at least there appears to be an end in sight.  Very doubtful there will be any play possible until Friday to be honest and that will only be on the River.  There are so many fairways with so much water on them that they are impassable.  1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16 and 18R all have huge amounts of water on them.  Don't even mention the West!!

A few shots from this afternoon showing 11, 12 and 15R all having as much water as they have had on them over this event.  In the photo of 11R in the top right corner you can see where we have been out and raked up some of the debris wash that is now sitting back in water.

11R with piles top right of waterline.



Apologies that a lot of the photos are of the same areas but I feel it's the best way to get a comparison and rest assured most of the other fairways look like this.  Here's to some finer weather and some much needed sunshine.


9am update Tuesday.

A further 45mm fell between 5.30am and 9am this morning which made a total of 67mm in the 24 hours to 9am.  Pretty much puts us back to square one and now the falls are really happening upstream which as previously mentioned slows our drainage potential down.  At least the high tides aren't too high so hopefully that will work in our favour.

The bottom photo shows the water backed up on LHS 14R fairway and all that water needs to move across 12R fairway before it can fully drain.  The water on 14R is backed up to the LHS fairway bunker and there is minimal fall from 14 across 12 so it's going to take some time. 

So todays total takes us to 392mm since Friday night or 15.68 inches in the old scale!!  It also takes us over 1 metre for YTD and 1.617 metres since December 1 2020.


15R fairway back to square one.

LHS 14R.

Monday, March 22, 2021

 5pm update Monday.

12mm of rain since 9am today and it is the worse type as it is only light and just sits on the surface making already soggy conditions significantly worse, which may sound strange but 100mm in a few hours sheets off the fairways very quickly.

We have spent today continuing to clear drains to keep the flow up as good as possible.  One of the issues with the sump drains we have is that they clog up with leaves and debris and need constant clearing to maintain flow.  As mentioned previously it is such a flat piece of land that there is little fall available for the water to move which slows down the drainage.

12R is the wettest on the River course and will take some time to drain as there is a huge back up of water on 14R that needs to get across 12R first.  You could take your pick of wet fairways on the West course although good progress was made today.

A couple of shots from this afternoon below.

Blocked drainage grate that hinders flow.

12R 5pm Monday.

15R 5pm Monday.  Todays rain just sitting on the surface.

9am update Monday morning.  

91mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am. It takes us to 325mm since it started raining on Friday night.  The water is draining away but now there have been some big falls upstream so there will be more water coming down the river which slows our drainage potential.  Most areas have dropped by about 300mm as can be seen on the track across 13W where you couldn't see the hazard pegs on Sunday afternoon but they were visible on Monday morning.  We have continued cleaning drains this morning to help the water keep moving.

13W track 5pm Sunday.

Same track 8am Monday.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday March 21,  5pm update.  

72mm of rain since 9am takes us to just over 300mm since it started raining on Friday evening.  The river is still low so there is still a lot of water able to get off the courses.  Still not too much rain upstream so that works in our favour.  I would have serious doubts about any play being possible for tomorrow.

15R @ 5pm Sunday 21.  Almost back to square one.

12R Sunday afternoon.

11R looking back from the green.

16R Sunday afternoon. 


114mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am Saturday morning has been followed by just shy of 120mm in the 23 hours since.  So despite a massive amount of water draining off the courses yesterday we are actually back to being a little worse off today.  But still the fact that upstream of the Tweed River haven't been getting the amount of rain we have means that the river is staying low and allowing us to drain quickly.  Or as fast as a virtually dead flat piece of land can.

Photos below are of 15R fairway yesterday morning and again at 5pm yesterday afternoon showing how much water had moved.  It is totally inundated again this morning so back to square one.


15R 8am Saturday March 20.

15R 5pm Saturday March 20.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

 Saturday March 20 after 110mm of rain overnight!!

13R - one of the highest points on the courses.

15 River - literally.





The rain was so heavy that it washed the pebbles off the path at the rear of the practice nets!!


Friday, March 19, 2021

This weeks updated rain chart since December 1 with an additional 70mm for the past week which doesn't sound much but I have never seen the courses stay so wet, particularly the West.  It is normally one day behind the River for allowing carts but it is just sodden.  Lack of sun and wind hasn't helped.  Even the bunkers on the West have drained before the fairways.

And this is the week ahead apparently;

That is all - I'm over the rain!!


Friday, March 12, 2021

Well the rain just continues and it is really starting to affect not just our programs but actual turf health.  We have now recorded rainfall on 59 out of 102 days since December 1 and that means lots of cloudy days and very much reduced sunshine.  We haven't been as humid as locations like Cairns or SE Asia but they have similar light reduction due to their tropical climate and rainy growing season and is one of the reasons you won't find much 328 or even TifEagle on their greens, as those grasses need sunshine and plenty of it to be at their best.  We are still getting good leaf growth but most of the grass we have is starting to thin especially the shorter mown areas and particularly the shaded greens such as 2, 3, 5, 12 and 17R.  Below is a rain chart for our summer just gone and it's a staggering amount of rain.  Yes last year was worse but there were a couple of massive downpours / floods last year that boosted the total.  This year has just been relentless.


So 1168mm of rain since December 1 which is nearly 47 inches in the old scale which is pretty mind blowing and from the forecast there is more to come next week.  March so far with 230mm in the first twelve days has the courses, particularly the West, as wet as they could be without being flooded.  The lack of breeze and sunlight has really slowed down the drying process as well.

Thursday was so wet that even we were restricted in where we could drive and areas we could access so we took the opportunity to have ''carts on paths'' and edged the paths.  So they are all nicely trimmed and now we just need to get the carts back out on them.

Edged and waiting on 6R.

As I mentioned at the start the lack of sunlight and constant leaf wetness is not helping the fairways either as can be seen in the photos below.  The leaf and profile wetness has quite a bit of disease going rampant but the fairways are too wet to spray although given their size budget dictates that spraying is out of the question.  We have had this type of disease before and it will grow out and recover but it's not helpful when you are getting ready for winter and trying to take the turf in as healthy as possible.  We have a long low / no growth period in winter and lots and lots of golf planned so the turf needs to be ready for it.

Disease in the fairway at 2W.

And it doesn't help when you are as wet as we are and looking for growth that you get players doing this to the fairways, this time on 11R.  





Friday, March 5, 2021

Wednesday and Thursday both had a 60% chance of 1 - 5mm they said.  127mm later and we were pretty much under water again.  It takes us to just shy of 500mm for the year thus far which in the old terms is twenty inches.  But that does pale in comparison to last year when we had 1251mm fall to March 6!!  The big advantage we had with this event is that there was virtually no rainfall inland so we only had to deal with what fell here and with some good low tides the water got away quite quickly.  We virtually lost two mowing days so we are way behind where we would like to be and there were many areas on Friday that we couldn't get to even if we could.  It did give us a chance to get all the sprinklers and valve boxes trimmed which is an enormous undertaking in itself so that's a positive.

And not so much on the course but a new roof was put on the fertiliser storage shed today.  It has been programmed to be done almost every week this year but has been dashed by rain.  Wet fertiliser is no good to anybody so it was a very necessary repair.  And a job that is similarly being interupted by rain is the spraying of the dams on 4/9W and 8W.  We employ a contractor who has a boat to spray these dams and the product needs to be on the surface dry for at least 36 hours if possible.  Every time he has been set to come in the rain has come through.

New roof coming up.