Friday, January 28, 2022

And still it rains.  There have been only four rain free days since December 24 and as I mentioned previously that means cloudy weather and no sun which has a serious effect on turf health.  The greens are really thin on both courses and the huge traffic we are experiencing doesn't help much either.  

About the only turf not stressed is the fairway turf on the fertilised fairways.  They are booming along and the plan is to finish the rest next week.  It seems strange that they are under growth regulation at the moment which halves the amount of mowing required and the canopy is tightened right up.  I can't put that sort of fertiliser rates on greens as the growth would be uncontrollable. 

The River course in particular has come up very well this afternoon in readiness for round 3 of the club champs tomorrow.  Hopefully no wind or rain overnight and we are good to go.  A great effort by the crew with three men down and a short week with the public holiday. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Last Saturday nights front that blew through and dropped 23mm on us in quick time seemed to set the tone for the week and we finished with 110mm by Friday morning.  The water table is already high from our summer of rain thus far so it doesn't take much to soak the courses.

Arrow shows the courses under all that.

Unfortunately the rain did hamper our efforts to get the fairways fertilised with all the West course and 4, 5, 11, 14, 16 and 18 River getting done.  At least the rain was good for one thing by thoroughly washing in the product.  It was a fairly heavy application and the fertiliser used has a polymer coating that allows for a slow release of nutrients over a ten to twelve week period so although there will be some upfront growth the slow release is the real bonus.  It is natural to get some leaf burn from the buggies driving over the fertilised fairways but that will grow out in a matter of days.

Considering what the West course looked like this morning after the gale force winds and driving rain overnight the staff have once again done an enormous job to get the course in shape for R2 of the club champs tomorrow.  Good luck to all the players.

Friday, January 14, 2022

A good week just gone with plenty of catching up done following the weeks of wind and rain.  The courses have come up really well and we have concentrated on the West with Round one of the Championships tomorrow.  All the main playing surfaces have been blown and mown in readiness.  The River is going ok too but with 110 players in a 7.30 shotgun this morning and then 176 players booked in for the afternoon it's been a bit difficult getting out there!!

The lower wind speeds also allowed us to catch up on some of the necessary applications to greens and tees and we were also able to get the weeds in the bunkers sprayed.  The constant wet since Christmas has seen a myriad of weeds germinate in the bunkers and the wind and rain has prevented spraying.

The fairways will get a hit of granular fertiliser next week weather permitting as we also start preparing for the Tweed Coast Open in late February which is a $50,000 Pro am prior to 36 holes of qualifying for the NSW Open.  There have been a series of these events around regional NSW at Murray Downs, Queanbeyan, Moruya, Dubbo and Coffs Harbour, which will be the week before us.  It mightn't be the million dollars they are playing for this week at RQ but given the lack of playing opportunities over the past two years and travel now open we should get a pretty good field.

And a blast from the past at Brora GC way up in northern Scotland who started their winter maintenance this week.

Mowing and fertilising at the same time!!


Friday, January 7, 2022

Not sure what happened with the previous post as it hadn't been published so there's a double up for this week.

The main news item at the moment is the rain.  We have recorded rain on every day since Christmas eve and that spells trouble for turf.  Not only from the disease point of view but also from the daylight point of view.  Rain means clouds and that means little sunlight which is having a slowing effect on all turf areas on the courses which is similar to what happened in December 2020 when we recorded 558mm which well and truly trumps 2021's total of 248mm.  2020 total rainfall came in at 2,413mm.  The other effect of the rain is moist conditions and the subsequent damage from motorised buggies.  Please consider where you drive in these wet conditions.

The other news is the tidal surges that we experienced earlier this week.  The photos below are of 9R tee in flood and under tidal surge.  I don't think I have ever seen that much fresh sea water push in on the courses before.

9R tee under tidal surge.

9R tee under flood conditions.

The wind this week has certainly caused some havoc as well as leaving a huge mess in its wake.  The bunkers literally act as leaf collectors in any wind conditions and in particular this past week.  There was that much debris in them that we had to shovel the debris out of them such was the quantity.

Shovelling bunkers.



A pretty grim forecast for the next week with plenty of rain lurking about.  The worst part of that for the golf courses is the lack of play and therefore lack of income but more importantly the amount of growth it will cause.  The grass is almost growing out of control, particularly the roughs where we can't get the growth regulator out which is because of time restraints and also the longer grass is more difficult to get an even application on due to the ''shielding'' effect of the leaves not allowing the spray mixture to make contact.  All other play areas including greens, tees and fairways have been treated along with the bunker edges.  The path edges were trimmed this week and we would love to get some growth regulator on to them but time is the enemy.

Freshly edged path.

It has been a big couple of weeks of edging with all bunkers edged and trimmed, all trees whipper snipped around and all paths edged as well as all the usual mowing and grooming.   Add to that the big Melaleuca that came down on 1R fairway that needed a Bobcat to manoeuvre it around.

It doesn't look that big but it certainly was.

And so it's Christmas.  Hoping that the weather behaves and we can get some players out there enjoying the courses.  Merry Christmas to all CTHGC members and followers of the Blog.