Thursday, March 31, 2022

It never ceases to amaze me how the water gets off this property and it has done it again overnight.  The main area of concern we have now is still 12R but I am confident that it will be dry enough to allow play tomorrow.  There are still other areas of standing water but they are progressively drying up.

It will be a 7.30am walking only 1 tee start so see the timesheets for booking details.   9R will play from the start of the fairway as the tee will most likely be inaccessible on high tide and all bunkers will be GUR.


12R fairway should clear overnight.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Not much change today with the annoying light rain keeping everything wet.  No trees have come down yet with the gusty winds that we have been getting though so that's a bonus in the clean up.   A bit of debris but nothing like earlier in the month.

And just when you don't want an irrigation break we get a major one on the wettest fairway on the golf course @ 12R, right on the corner of the dogleg.  

There is still a huge amount of water that needs to be moved off 11 and 12R fairways before any play is possible.  At this stage I can't see any chance of play until Saturday at the earliest and to be honest that' s being optimistic.


Irrigation blowout on 12R.

And still it rains.  Another 42mm overnight has put a dampener on things but hopefully the worst of the overnight rain has, and will stay south of us.  There have been some falls of 300+mm for the second day in a row around Ballina.  It makes for a very wet past few months and it seems to becoming a trend for the period of December 1 - end of March over the past few seasons.  December 2019 to end of March 2020 saw 1593mm fall.  The same period  2020 - 2021 = 1710 and with one day left this season we sit at 1669mm.

Out on the courses they are obviously very wet but the positive aspect is that the river is staying low meaning that a huge amount of water can get off the courses and thus far there has been little inundation on high tide.  This mornings high tide just came over the levee bank road to 2R.  The standing water in areas that don't have drainage will take some time to move especially with such a high water table.

The photo below shows 9R tee at low tide Tuesday afternoon showing just how much water drained off.

9R tee at low tide Tuesday afternoon.

@high tide Tuesday morning.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Well the rain gauge overflowed this morning so that means we had more than 275mm.  The courses are nowhere near as bad as last month but it does look like there is some silt on the short range again.  The river only just came over on to the road to 2R tee and the water has already started to recede as you can see in some of the photos from this morning which were taken on high tide.  There is a huge amount of water out there and with the rainfall totals from up the river I would expect some inundation from tidal water over the the next couple of high tides.
The river just came over the track to 2R tee @ high tide.  
A comparison behind 2R tee.

This time @ high tide and the river is 600mm below road level.

Last time - March 2.  

9R tee.

18W @ high tide.   Note the wash indicating how much has drained.


A comparison of 6R green.


6R green last time.

6R green this time.  Note the ''cleaner'' water.

15W green partially under - about ''normal'' for a big rain event.

Looking across 12 and 11R fairways.  All this water needs to go before we can get play back out there in any form.


Friday, March 25, 2022

A highly productive week across the courses with all greens, tees and fairways fertilised and bunker rejuvenation following the flood continuing.  The bunker work in particular is predominantly hand work to restore them and the bulk of the West course has now been completed.  The fertiliser application was timed to ensure that we are as healthy as possible leading into the NSW Ladies Open that is now just four weeks away.  The tournament has loomed large on the horizon for a few years now and it always amazes me how the last month leading in flies by.

The actual course distance the ladies will be playing is all but finalised and will see them using several mens blue and white tee locations so they will be managed / rested in the lead up to ensure the best possible surface.  The couple of days of sunshine this week were most welcome but the forecast now of rain through to Wednesday next week means more low light levels and as I have mentioned before this has a seriously deleterious effect on the turfgrass.  Let's hope there's not enough to wash out the bunkers again.

Thursday afternoon this week gave us another opportunity to get the West greens de-thatched in the dry which gave a great result but unfortunately the topdressing machine failed again and we missed the opportunity to get some sand on to them.  Hopefully we will get some sand out next week and will also try and get a solid tine aerate done to help keep them draining surface water away quickly through the tournament if needed.

And just when you think you've seen everything......

Bunker prep doesn't take long!!


Thursday, March 17, 2022

I mentioned last week that one of the more unusual aspects of the flood was the appearance of the two cows and this week we had another strange result from the floods.  We have lost at least 75 bunker rakes that have obviously floated away in the flood waters which has never happened on this scale before.  Bunker rakes are in short supply in Australia at the moment, we have had some on order since December, so we will be a bit short on the number of rakes in the bunkers.

All the West course bunkers were raked on Thursday and although there are still some washouts the bunkers are certainly fully playable and will be deemed ''in play'' from Friday March 18.  The two greenside bunkers on 1R will remain GUR for the near future as they require some significant work to restore them. 

There are still some very wet areas including the short range and the bunker adjacent to the green.  The bunker raking machine nearly got bogged and I don't recall the ground staying so boggy for this long and the target green in the middle of the range is also sodden.  It is probably a lot to do with the high water table. 

The West greens got a de-thtatching on Tuesday afternoon in the dry which as mentioned previously is a big advantage and they were due to be sanded after the Vets shotgun start on Thursday but unfortunately the spreader broke down just prior to starting so hopefully the part arrives and we get them sanded next Tuesday as part of the course preparation for the NSW Ladies Open that is five and a bit weeks away.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Hopefully with only small rainfall totals predicted for the next week we may get a chance to dry out. The fairways are still very wet in places and it would be appreciated if motorised buggy drivers avoided the soft spots at all costs to prevent any further damage.

The staff did an incredible job this week with normally only 10 in on any one day. Unfortunately two of the boys lost cars and three others had water through their houses so some home time was required. Once again our contractors were on site to help out with Trevor King on his bobcat and Pete McConnell on his backhoe. Pete was in last week which was an amazing effort given he has lost his house at Woodburn so his mind was really elsewhere, but was still prepared to come in and help us out. 

One of the more unusual aspects of this flood were the two cows that literally body surfed onto the course on Monday, March 1. Tracking down their owners was a bit of a task and I contacted a few posters on Facebook saying they had lost cows but to no avail. Then our bobcat operator Trevor spoke to his neighbour who said he knows someone who would probably be able to identify them. Next time I have a cow on the course I will just go straight to the local stock agent who pretty much knows everyone's cows!!. On Wednesday afternoon this week one of the owners came in and we set up a corral to catch them so we could load them onto a truck. The next problem was how do we round them up, to which a girl that was helping said I'll bring my horses in!! I said I don't think you'll be bringing horses on to the golf course thanks very much. We had set the corral up and the cows were standing on the side of 14R fairway and we made a bit of noise and chased them and they turned around and ran straight in the corral as if they knew that was where they had to go. They were left there overnight then the truck came back first thing in the morning and loaded them and off they went. One came from the other side of Murwillumbah and the other from Tumbulgum so they had a fair old ride down the river.

The two cows in question.

Waiting to go home!!

On the way home.

Out on the courses and there are a lot of clumps of grass being left behind following the mowing operations, particularly in the roughs.  This is due to the inability to mow for ten days coupled with the extreme grass growth in these weather conditions.  The bunkers are still out of play and we will start their restoration on Monday, a task that will take some time.

Last weeks PGA tour tournament at Bay Hill certainly aroused some feeling amongst the players. Unfortunately due to the fun of the floods, I didn't get a chance to see any of it but it just shows how subjective a game golf is with the comments by Rory McIlroy and John Rahm post tournament. Rory said "I feel punchdrunk to be honest. The weekend it's like crazy golf. You just don't get rewarded for good shots''. John Rahm on the other hand was quoted as saying ''I liked it. I enjoy the golf course. I enjoy the challenge.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Hopefully last nights storm that produced just shy of 30mm of rain is the end of it for a while.  Much larger totals were recorded further up the coast and the only good thing about the 30mm is that it came in a hurry so it mostly ran off and didn't get a chance to soak the ground.

Looked nasty last night, and was.

Many thanks to the thirty odd volunteers that came out this morning to help clean up the courses, you did a great job and makes the final clean up that bit easier.

As mentioned last week, 1 & 9R are really slow to dry due to the incredibly high water table as are several of the West fairways that don't have much fall or drainage capacity on them.  Elsewhere the grass is going berserk and that fertiliser we got out the other week is really kicking in as the growth regulator effect runs ou,t so we will be applying some growth regulator where possible tomorrow.  As expected there is some burn on some greens from the salt water with 7 and 15R the worst affected but it should grow out.  The sun still hasn't been out much which doesn't help the greens on either course so some sun would be nice.

Tuesday and Wednesday this week should be ok for 16 holes of play on the River course with carts and the West should be open to walkers on Wednesday if there is no more rain in the meantime.

Salt burn at the front of 7R green.

Since my first post regarding the flood eight days ago this blog has had 5,474 views so I trust you ''enjoyed'' the coverage and information provided given the tragic circumstances so many locals find themselves in.  This will be the last update regarding the flood and we will resume normal programming on Friday.

Saturday, March 5, 2022



MONDAY  March  7  @   8.30 am 

Meet in the carpark in front of the short range. 

All members welcome to attend. 

Please assemble there and Club President Tracy Dunn will advise of what is required.  Tasks will mainly consist of walking through the roughs picking up sticks and stockpiling them for pick up by our staff.

It is strongly recommended that volunteers bring a hat, sunscreen, water bottles, protective clothing (like working gloves) and wear the appropriate footwear as it will still be wet out there in places.


The courses have dried a little more on Saturday but are still very wet in places.  With no further rain overnight, 14 holes of play will be possible on the River course on Sunday with carts allowed.  

Sequence of play will be 10, 11, 12, 13, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 17, 18.


 8 mm of rain yesterday afternoon wasn’t really what we needed after a good day of sunshine helping dry the place out. 

We got the solid tine aeration done on the River greens and had an excellent result with a dethatch on the West greens. You can see the photo below all the dust coming out of 16 W which is exactly what we want to try and pull all the silt out of the greens.

Plenty of dust and debris out of 16W green.

17W ladies tee high tide line.

A lot of the fairways look dry but when you walk or drive on them the squelch of the water is evident.  It's going to take some time for some of these areas to dry out.  Just walking on these areas brings the water to the surface.  The river level has hardly dropped below the level of 1 and 9 River fairways so the surface water still remaining on them has nowhere to go.

Still sodden.

And a couple of photos below from other clubs.  Carbrook GC on top and Indooroopilly's shed below.  I descibed our situation as ''carnage'' but when you look at these shots it puts it into perspective.  Not to mention those who have lost houses.

Carbrook GC.

Indooroopilly's maintenance shed.


We will be okay for a 7 hole comp today on holes 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17 and 18 River.  Carts are ok on these holes but please don’t drive elsewhere.