A productive week on the courses despite being four men down. Unfortunately four of my qualified greenkeepers live in Queensland and are unable to cross the border for work. It's a situation that is obviously affecting a lot of people who live close to the border in many ways and is extremely frustrating. All four have mortgages to pay and two have a young family so it's certainly not ideal for them. With a bit of luck we might be able to get them some work in Queensland as a few clubs on the Gold Coast have staff who are similarly stuck in NSW. I have already picked up one greenkeeper from Hope Island and am talking to a few more next week so hopefully we will be able to replace them for what will hopefully be the short term.
It was pretty much routine maintenance with the lower staff numbers and two balls in the first groups playing in just over two hours doesn't give us much time to get the work done in front of them. We were able to get the West greens de-thatched twice this week and cut into the turf canopy a little deeper than usual to try and reduce the thatch that naturally builds up. The greens cleaned up quite nicely and are putting really well with good roll and speed.
Speaking of speed, in 1976 / 77 the USGA took greens speed readings on 1500 greens across 36 States and the average speed was 6.5 feet on the stimpmeter. The table below shows the speed at some of the elite courses in the USA at the time. I was watching ''Shells Wonderful World of Golf '' recently on YouTube and watched a match at Pine Valley back in the 60's I think it was and the greens were very slow. The players were almost taking a half swing at their putts!!