Friday, October 29, 2021

A very busy week on the courses with just about a full crew and lower player numbers allowing a lot of work to be achieved. We were able to get the collars on the River course scarified and also got the first mowing on the River greens following renovation.  As I have said before it is very important to get the first mowing done whilst dry which we were able to do on Tuesday afternoon and then followed up on Thursday with another dry cut which was indeed a bonus. Sand and reel mowers really don’t go together so it is very hard to maintain a quality of cut and that’s why the greens are quite stripy in appearance.  We were also able to get the West greens de-thatched in the dry on Tuesday as well which is also a bonus.

The new roughcutters are certainly getting a workout following a surge in growth with the ground moisture and heat and humidity we have been getting.  We normally use mulching blades on them which help literally ‘’smash up’’ the leaves but unfortunately they are not currently available as are so many things that are affected by freight delays so there are still heaps of leaves left on the ground.  We do have a sweeper that we could use but that would fill within minutes and require constant emptying which makes it totally unproductive and then we have the issue of disposing of the stockpiled leaves.

I said last week that irrigation problems come in threes but unfortunately that was just last week and another three appeared this week with a major repair required on 10W fairway and luckily we only needed a relatively small hole to access the pipe. All three repairs this week required the system to be drained of water and therefore we need to fire it up again and re-pressurise the lines which takes quite some time and that is why you quite often see hoses around the course just running into rough areas. 

A fair bit of weed control has also been conducted particularly on the West green surrounds and it is obviously noticeable by the associated leaf burn that will recover in ten days or so.  We are also having some interesting results so far with a new product that has been trialled on River fairways 6, 8, 11 and 13 for the control of Blue Couch and Kikuyu.  Both are quite difficult weeds to entirely eradicate whilst not damaging the preferred turf and playing surface.  A bit of a watch this space situation.

And an end of an era in the clubhouse garden with the retirement of our clubhouse gardener Eric. He has been with us since 2005 and has pretty much made the garden his own in that time. Similar to Len Korn, I don’t remember Eric ever ringing in sick in his time with us and he has been a valued employee throughout. So if you get the chance to see Eric in the garden next week please take the time to thank him for his work and wish him well in retirement.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Irrigation seems to be the hot topic for us on the courses at the moment. Last week in the rain we took the opportunity to replace a section of the pump station manifold and some valves. On trying to fire back up the system we found that the foot valve on the pumps was seemingly faulty. We had to get a Franna crane in who pulled it out and we duly confirmed our thoughts. Fortunately a company in Brisbane keeps stock and a mercy dash up there late Friday secured a replacement. The Franna was back in on Saturday morning and the new foot valve installed. Kudos to our two irrigation guys who did the job for us, our own staff members Simon and Dave.

The Franna in action pulling out the old foot valve.

New foot valve ready to go.

Then this Thursday a blowout on the right hand side of 17R and as seemingly always happens, irrigation problems come in threes and all of a sudden we had an issue at 17W dam and 5R fairway. Two days work which ties up nearly four men taking them away from other duties.

The other big topic this week was the River course greens renovations and we had some good rain and some bad rain during the week. The good rain came in the storm just as the boys finished on Monday afternoon which washed everything in quite nicely and the bad rain was the storm that hit about 12.30pm on Monday that dampened everything making the result very messy.  The photo of the radar below is just as we finished with the arrow indicating exactly where the courses are. Unfortunately it went for a bit too long and produced a little bit too much heavy rain and caused quite a bit of wash which needed to be attended to on Tuesday. Some more light showers during the week and some good rain was certainly welcome and helped until a downpour on Thursday around lunchtime when we got 9mm in five minutes. Once again we had significant wash which then had to be scraped off the greens on Friday in front of the members comp. Not the perfect result that we were looking for as we couldn’t get any granular fertiliser or amendments spread on the greens so they will have to wait. We were also unable to get the greens collars scarified over the last couple of weeks with the rain so hopefully will next week.  Our new trailers got a good workout with the sanding of the River greens and performed extremely well as did all of the staff in what is not the most enjoyable task. We don’t do it for fun or to annoy you I can assure you.

The radar just as we finished on Monday with the storm haeding straight for us.

New trailers made a difference.

Some of the wash debris on the greens Friday morning.


I mentioned last week about the downpour that we got on Friday morning and one of the Dads Army regulars John Clark who lives in Pinehurst snapped this great photo of the courses just after the rain finished.

West Lakes!!

And speaking of rain, the 196mm we have received thus far in October has us at 1963mm year to date, just shy of 2 metres.  1664mm is our average yearly rainfall total with the highest recorded being 3192mm in 1906 and that total is way in front of the second wettest which was 1999 with 2874mm.  Let's hope we don't challenge either of those figures this year.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Wow.....40mm in 30 minutes this morning!!  I have probably said it before but that's the heaviest rain I have seen here.  The courses were a lake.  Takes us to about 120mm for the week  with most of the rain prior to this mornings deluge soaking in quite nicely which is just what we needed.  A few pics about half an hour after the rain stopped this morning and before the second storm front that came through

4W and the obligatory seagulls.

Half way West.



What the radar looked like.

And the end of an era this week with our Last John Deere roughcutters leaving the premises to be replaced by Toros.  We have had JD's for 22 years but unfortunately they shot themselves in the foot and lost the business.
Out with the old.

In with the new.

Friday, October 8, 2021

A lot was achieved in the short week with Mondays public holiday. We were able to get both courses greens de'-thatched and mown in the dry which as I have mentioned before means a much cleaner and better result. Low player numbers on both Tuesday and Friday allowed us to get this done.

I don’t want to really get political but the decision by the government to mandate that all staff have to be double vaccinated by November 1 is pretty rough considering our vaccines were transferred to Sydney to help them out. Five of the groundstaff are yet to have the second vaccination so it is going to leave us very lean for most of November. At this stage the greens renovation scheduled for Monday, October 18 will still go ahead on the River course.

We have started to spot spray weeds in fairways and some boom spraying will also take place in the coming weeks when the weather is suitable so look out for some dis-colouration.  We were also able to get the River course tees scarified this week and plan to do the River greens collars next Tuesday.  We only have two days for the greens renovation so doing the collars the week before reduces the workload on Monday 18.

Nicole is writing up an application for a grant at the moment and wanted some photos of the courses.  As I was perusing the myriad of photos I have I came across an old newsletter with a lot of familiar members names appearing.  Tony Venn is the only staff member mentioned that is still here so Tony has been at the club for 37 years!!  And although not mentioned in 2006, Mark Hartmann is only two years behind him.  There were quite a few staff that had racked up a decade or so at that stage who are still here now as well.  I've made it as big as I can so hope you can read it.

60 staff......those were the days!!