Monday, February 28, 2022

Wow.  212mm of rain on the courses in the 24 hours to 9am this morning then a further 96mm until it stopped raining for a bit at 2pm.  Still not as much as some other locations but plenty for us.  One of the boys comes from Uki where they recorded 575mm in the 24 hours till 9am and then a staggering 319 mm after 9am this morning.  I haven't heard from him yet so I trust he is safe.  And I hope all our members and staff are also safe and secure.

Unfortunately it looks like it's a dirty flood too meaning there's lots of debris being washed in.  A few shots below at low tide Monday afternoon and I'm doubting there will be much golf in the near future.  One fortunate aspect for us is that the wind hasn't been so bad for such a weather event.  There are a few trees down and lots of branches but nowhere near as bad as some previous storms of this type. 

Entry road rear half way West on low tide.


1R fairway from 10R tee.

1R green.  I have never seen water on the front of the green before.

Debris on the levee bank road behind 2R tee.

7R green is to the left behind the palm tree.


18W tee down there somewhere.


 So much for dodging a bullet!! 

Entry road at 7am Monday morning

Half way west from 15W green.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

I did say in Fridays post that we had dodged a bullet and I still maintain that given the size of some of the falls that have happened elsewhere. 325 mm for the week for us with 134 overnight into Sunday and a further 44 since 9am this morning.  Most Brisbane courses are flooded and for anyone who has been to Indooroopilly GC and know where their maintenance shed is will realise the gravity of their situation as the shed is flooded.

A selection of photos below of our courses and the interesting one is of 9R tee this morning at high tide and then again this afternoon at low tide. Despite the amount of rain received upstream the river was still able to drop nearly two feet on low tide this afternoon,  and a lot of water was able to get off the courses. But as you can see there is still a lot of water to get off elsewhere.   All the photos other than 9R tee are at low tide this afternoon.

9R tee high tide.

9R tee low tide.
1R fairway curiously dry @ low tide!

Arrow indicates high water mark dam LHS 7W.

15R fairway looking back to tee.

12W fairway.

14W fairway.

And the obligatory half way west.


Friday, February 25, 2022

A pretty tense week preparing for the Tweed Coast Open given the forecast rain but so far we have dodged a bullet....well on Friday anyway.  The forecast below on Wednesday morning of expected rainfall had the heaviest falls predicted to occur right on top of us and the volume of rain was a real concern. We really did have some luck on Wednesday with ''only''  80mm falling overnight in to Wednesday morning as falls of up to 150mm+ were common anywhere south of Chinderah.  Unfortunately it led to the cancellation of Thursday's Pro am and then the decision was made to shift the two day event to the much drier River course.  So a pretty intense day on Thursday getting all the signage across and doing as much prep work as one day would allow. 


Purple right on top of Tweed!!

Then this was the forecast rainfall on Friday morning which was pretty alarming but most of the rain stayed to the north of us for the day.  Fortunately an 11am shotgun on Friday gave us some more much needed time and the course came up in a very satisfactory manner given the timeframe and weather.  

Hope they're wrong?

It was a shame though as on Tuesday afternoon I reckon the West course was in about the best condition I have seen it and then all that work was washed away.  But I was told very early in my career that I would be dealing with Mother Nature and that she will always win and to just work along with her.  (Still allowed to be disappointed though!!)  It's also a shame for the staff who take great pride in what they produce so we had a congratulatory BBQ breakfast on Friday after the morning preps as some consolation.


Always appreciated by the boys.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

A very busy week on the courses with some early preparations for the Tweed Coast Open next week, which is the biggest event prizemoney wise that the club has held since the 1987 Qld Open.  We were able to get the West greens de-thatched one last time and then sanded as well as some fertiliser on Friday for some colour.  The application of fertiliser to the fairways was timed to perfection, even if I do say so myself, and they will peak next week and they are playing very well.  The tees are growing just a little too fast but some consecutive days of mowing should help that.  Hopefully the predicted rain will not eventuate and we will get the event done and dusted.  This event was to be held in December 2020 but a week of rain that delivered nearly 550mm of rain including one overnight total of 252mm accompanied by cyclonic winds put paid to that.

The River greens also got a de-thatch this week and certainly enjoyed a couple of days of sunshine toward the end of the week.  Temperatures early in the week were still down for this area and it has generally been a much cooler summer than usual.

A couple of irrigation issues for the week and both are affected by the tides with repair works needing to be done on low tides which with a full moon means they are hard to find and when it is low enough you only get a short amount of time but we will get there.

And a tragedy of sorts in the USA with the famed clubhouse at Oakland Hills CC burning to the ground this morning.  I always thought the clubhouse at my old club in Melbourne was pretty impressive until I was invited to play and then dine at the club in the early 1990's.  An incredible atmosphere and so much history within the structure and so sad to see most of it destroyed.  No one was injured which is one blessing.

Completely gutted.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Having to schedule some irrigation this week was something different with a dry week from Tuesday.  Driving out on the course on Wednesday morning and seeing a sky full of stars was very pleasant and hasn't happened often lately.  I checked the rainfall stats for last year and 2021 came in as the tenth wettest since records started in 1886.

Another big week of work on the courses and a couple of low wind days gave us a good chance to clean the courses up for a good mow and rake.  But it all seems to no avail as todays wind has the next lot of leaves on the ground. We need to keep trying to keep the surfaces clean to allow the mowing, raking and spraying to do as good a job as possible.   We also got some weeds sprayed in the greens surrounds on both courses and some fairways on the River course.  A leaf tip burn is the result but it will grow out in no time.  The burn also helps reduce the mowing requirement which is a nice little bonus.

Seemingly neverending - but necessary.


Over the next few months as time permits we will be backfacing some of the bunkers that have got a build up of algae on them following the constant wet of the past three months.  It is time consuming work requiring the algae to be removed by hand in most cases and fresh sand added to the bunkers.  We use a sand that is sourced from Caboolture and it is what they refer to as an 80/20 mix.  That is, it is comprised of 80% bunker sand and 20% brickies loam which helps give the sand some ''body'' to help prevent balls plugging.  It is one of the most commonly used sand mix for bunkers in SE Queensland.  The brickies loam component also explains the orange colour of the sand that does bleach out in a few weeks.

16W greenside

14W greenside

Speaking of wind and last Saturdays final round of the club champs must go down as one of the toughest days for golf you could have.  I said last week that Cool Tweed players are good wind players but Saturday was ridiculous and then was coupled with sideways rain to top it off.  Congratulations to all the winners.  I doubt Jordan Spieth would have played his shot from the cliff face at 8 at Pebble Beach in that sort of wind.  But that shot has been hit many times before including this one below by Marion Hollins in 1929 albeit a bit further back from the edge.  It's amazing that in such a litigious society that the cliff face has just a couple of small warning signs.


Friday, February 4, 2022

Tuesday this week made it five days since Christmas eve without rain being recorded which is as amazing as it is frustrating.  At least we did get some heat early in the week but are still desperate for some serious sunlight.  Talking to several fellow Supers this week and everyone is pretty much in the same boat but our rainfall regularity and volume dwarfs most other clubs.

The course closure this afternoon for club champs preparation allowed us to get a dry de-thatch and mow on the River greens which as I have said before is a huge advantage.  It gives the machine the opportunity to work properly and by that I mean it can pull out an amazing amount of dead plant material from near the surface of the green. The picture below shows the quality of the job with barely a green leaf in sight - just mostly dead and decaying leaf matter.

Lots of dead leaf matter.

The photo below shows the de-thatching unit that fits on the ride on triplex greens mowers we use.  The blades are only set at ground level in our situation and the weight of the unit means we get about 1.5mm - 2mm of penetration which shows just how much dead material is in that zone.

Tungsten tipped blades make a very fine cut.


Unfortunately the strong winds are predicted to persist through the weekend so the courses are going to be pretty messy with the amount of debris blowing down from the trees.  Just getting the playing surfaces clean enough to mow is a challenge in itself.  Coolangatta Tweed players have a reputation for being good wind players so the weekend sets up as a great test.