Friday, November 26, 2021

Well last weeks forecast seemed fairly accurate and certainly had an effect on the West greens renovation as the weather did last month at the River greens renovation.  We got a great start on Sunday afternoon in almost perfect conditions and although there were some light showers on Monday we definitely dodged a very big bullet.  The photo below shows the radar at 10.30 on Monday morning with the arrow indicating the line of travel for the rain which came in from the NE.  Somehow it virtually all went around us and we only had a couple of light showers but the lack of breeze meant the surface stayed wet for a long time.  That meant that a lot of thatch stayed on the surface which is a shame as the removal of thatch is one of the main goals of the renovation.  The other photo below is of the amount of material (thatch) that was removed from 18W green which was the best part of a cubic metre and that was pretty much the same for every green.

Rain all around us.

The pile from 18W green.

Tuesday morning was a very different story with 20mm falling in a 5am deluge that flooded the workshed compound and then another heavy shower came down just after 10am.  The result was a very wet surface and we have experienced a lot of wash on the greens.  The constant showers / rain during the rest of the week hasn't really helped get the surface to where we want it to be either.  As with the River greens we weren't able to get some of the amendments on to them that  I would have liked but the surface has come up ok considering and now we just need the recovery growth to start.

The arrow has the rain coming straight at us.

So all up 90mm of rain for the week which was welcomed by the rest of the property but certainly wasn't welcome for the renovation and unfortunately due to the intensity of the rainfall a lot of it ran off and didn't soak in.  We tried to rub in some of the wash on the greens today and had some moderate success and also got some liquid foliar fertiliser on the greens which would have looked a bit strange to have hoses operating on greens after receiving 42mm of rain overnight.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Had a bit of a break last weekend and stayed four nights in a caravan park for some R & R which was very welcome.  I was BBQing dinner on Saturday night, as you do, and was having a chat with a fellow camper and he asked me what I did for a job.  After telling him he said ''oh you just mow the lawns'' to which I didn't bother replying as I had heard that many times before.  Then I reflected on it this week and just saw how much other ''stuff'' we do in a week, a lot of which is often unseen by players.

This week we have been having some serious issues with the transfer pumps at the treatment plant, so much so that probably sixty man hours have been spent over the week trying to rectify the situation by dis-mantling and re-connecting.  We also spent around thirty six man hours getting the renovation machinery ready for the West greens works next week.  Forty eight man hours were devoted to getting the collars on the West course greens scarified on Thursday, to save those hours next week.  (And thanks to the Vets for putting up with the disruption to their comp.)  Sixty man hours were used up edging, blowing and raking the River course bunkers on Monday and Tuesday.  Around seventy two man hours were spent aerating 2, 9, 11 and 15 River fairways over four days.  Recent soil tests showed up a deficiency in the West greens so a trip to the border at Bay Street to meet the delivery driver to pick up some fertiliser off him took up some time.  Oh and then we did some mowing in amongst several spray applications, edging the West greens, filling the sand bins, some general whipper snipping, a couple of small irrigation repairs, some hand watering on greens and hearing from a staff member that he has a torn Meniscus.  Just a normal week really!!

As mentioned above we started aerating the River course fairways and if they respond half as well as the West fairways, which they will, they will be looking great very quickly.  Unfortunately the lack of water for irrigation due to our transfer problems has set them back a little but now there is rain forecast for next week so they will lap that up.  The results from the aeration is well worth the man hour investment.

11 R fairway aerated.


And as also mentioned above the West course greens renovation is planned to start on Sunday afternoon and continue through Monday and Tuesday.  And as has been the case several times over the years the weather forecast doesn't look good.  The greens were renovated in January this year after being moved due to a tournament last November and we nearly got washed out then so it's nothing new.  Some sort of renovation will take place due to the course being closed but it will be a decision made literally as we start the machines up dependent on the weather outlook.

Not the greatest forecast for Monday.


One of the great things about being first out on the courses in the morning is some of the sites of Mother Nature that you get to see.  This week was no exception with some magnificent red sunrises and a spectacular moon set.

Not that good a photo but it was only 5am moonlight.

Red sky in the morning.......?


And finally we don't get many compliments but a long term member had this to say this week - ''fairways and greens on both courses as good as I can remember and a pleasure to view and play''.  Makes all the hours worth it.....Thanks.






Friday, November 5, 2021

Low staff numbers this week thanks to the double vaccination / work rule meant pretty much just the basics got done.  One of the main issues with virtually all golf greens is encroachment of foreign grasses, particularly from the immediate collar grass.  The West greens are now edged on a very regular basis and that helps cut off any encroaching stolons which are ''runners'' that come in on the surface and then take root.  Encroaching rhizomes are the more difficult to control as they encroach under the surface then shoot new leaves.  A couple of very good examples below of rhizomes that have got into the green despite the 25mm deep edging that is carried out.


Encroachment into the TifEagle is generally less of a problem due to the tightness of the canopy when compared to 328 but stopping aggressive rhizomes like this is near impossible.