Friday, May 28, 2021

Another good week of weather and lots of play.  The main playing areas are holding up really well so far, particularly the fairways.  We will start some liquid fertiliser on them next week to assist with colour retention as there is not too much growth left in them.  The tees have still been growing and covering in quite well but the cooler overnight temperatures are starting to slow them down.  The bunker crews have nearly finished what has been an enormous task of re-sanding and facing the bunkers.  If only the old irrigation system would be as good as the rest of the place!!  Three pretty major breaks this week which couldn't be isolated so the whole system gets shut down and drained which means a slow re-pressurising of the lines to prevent further damage.  We quite often have problems at this time of year as the ground not only cools down but it is actually also drying out as well which can mean some pipe movement.  A few sprinklers have stuck on overnight as well which has caused some localised flooding and wet patches around some greens in particular.  

I have mentioned the last couple of years of a resistant strain of Poa annua that we have in various areas and the struggles to control it.  Some of it actually survived the summer which is really unusual for such a shallow rooted grass but i guess just shows how much rain we had.  We are battling it again and have tried several different methods.  There is some in the roughs but it's the patches in 3 and 10R greens and the Tif PPG collar that are the most frustrating and are proving nigh on impossible to eradicate.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Another very productive week on the courses with some very nice weather albeit a bit cool in the mornings.  The big tree dump on 6R was mulched this week which reduces the fire hazard and allows us access to the area.

Tub grinder in action.

As mentioned last week the shade is starting take effect and none so more than on 4R tee.  The photos below show the deterioration around the mens back tee in just over four weeks.  And winter has a long way to run.

4R tee April 16.

4R tee May 19.

Friday, May 14, 2021

And still it rains.  Another 60mm this week to just top us up again and takes the total to 2,055mm since December 1, 2020.  The radar still below is from the front that hit on Tuesday morning just as we were about to start.  It only dropped 10mm but it kicked off the weeks wet.  The black spot over the ''W'' in Tweed is right on top of us.

Some nice daytime temperatures still has the grass moving along and the excellent grass cover is just what we need to survive winter.  You can already see the fairway turf on the shaded north side of the east / west fairways starting to thin.  Fairways like 2, 4, 5, 11 and 12 River are some of the ones affected.  The shaded greens are also thinning and this is one of the factors in the maintenance of the River greens as they are particularly affected by the shade.  Greens like 2, 4, 5, 12 and 13 River have quite serious shade issues and require special treatment to try and assist them with their growth.

I visited a course this week with no such shade issues and that was at Teven GC just outside of Ballina.  The course was purchased about five years ago and the team set about transforming the once heavily treed site and the result is simply stunning.  Former Monash GC course super Paul Gumbleton led the transformation and was ably assisted by former Kingston Heath assistant of over thirty years Bob Simmons.  The greens were planted with TifEagle and the rest of the site was turfed completely with Sir Grange Zoysia.  A new clubhouse and some equally stunning landscaping leaves just a few odds and ends to complete the project.  If you get the chance it is well worth the visit to see the transformation.

Sanctuary Cove Super Paul McLean playing No. 9.

And a group of ladies were left wondering what all the fuss was as they heard a group of noisy miners chirping their heads off on Thursday as they played 11R.  To their surprise there was an Echidna making its way across the fairway heading for the rainforest area on the RHS of 11.  Many thanks to Liz Browne for the great photo.


Friday, May 7, 2021

Wednesday certainly cooled things down with the daytime temperature not even topping 20 degrees which is the first time since August last year.  We also got a further 15mm of rain during the day and the water table is that high that it looked like we'd had 100mm with the amount of water lying about the courses.  The fertiliser that got applied to the tees is certainly doing it's job with a very good cover of grass evident as we head towards winter.

Once again the course closure on Tuesday allowed us some much needed course access and the River greens were solid tined with the same size tines as the West greens the week before.  We also got a sanding on both courses greens which will probably be the last for the season and this helps level up the surface.  It is a blended sand that is used and its got some humate and gypsum mixed in with it.  An application of soluble fertiliser on Thursday has some nice colour on the River greens as well.

Quite a few more bunkers were renovated during this week and the weather finally allowed the contractor to come in and spray the assortment of weeds on the West course lakes.  It will probably take a couple of applications to get control due to the thickness of cover.