Tuesday, August 31, 2010

West course

The West greens received their first mowing today and considering the amount of grass that came off they have come up well. Sand and reel mowers don't really mix that well and it is very difficult to maintain a quality cut the first couple of times the greens are mown following renovation.  The 17th green has grown out of the tip burn it received and mowed up a treat.

The water under the bridge to the 7th West tee is always a problem with algae and weeds growing year round.  In an attempt to combat this, crushed rock has been placed in the gully which will still allow water to flow through but without the unwanted and unsightly growth.  The water in the gully is rarely more than 300mm deep which makes it all but impossible to stop weed/algae growth.  The crushed rock is hoped to be the solution and will be monitored over the coming months.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

West greens renovation

I am now convinced that the 17th West green is cursed!  It's latest ailment is a leaf burn from the sanding it received last week as part of the greens renovation.  The 17th wasn't hollow tyned last week as it doesn't yet need it but was solid tyne aerated to allow some air into the soil profile.  As a result it didn't need as much sand as the other greens and was sanded by hand to save the weight of the machine from crossing the putting surface.  The sand had some fowl manure mixed through it and this has caused the burn, but none of the other greens have the same problem and yet they had 6 times more sand spread on them. 

The 17th was fertilised this morning to help the turf grow through it and the mottled effect should mow out later this week.

17th West green

Some of the worst worn tees will be hollow tyned and sanded this week to try and promote some much needed growth.  Tree root removal from fairways will continue and depending on availability of the contractor, some of the dead trees will start to be removed.  We will also continue with tree trimming which has been happening for two weeks now to allow for easier access for our mowers.  And of course the mowing of the West greens will re-start, probably on Tuesday afternoon but that is totally dependent on the weather as all our planned jobs are.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Gold Coast Show Day

Just a word of thanks to those Members who commented to me on the Blog on the course today and those that have joined now that it is public.  The main reason for the Blog is to inform you, the Members, so please feel free to use it.

Gold Coast Show day is always a busy day and with absolutely perfect weather, today was no exception.  Both courses have been full of players all day but for the groundstaff the work must go on.  It wasn't a very good start to the day when an irrigation line next to the 4th West green blew out at 6.15am this morning causing quite a bit of damage to the green surround.  The repair has been completed and the area left as sand.  This is to allow for any settlement that will occur with such a large hole and the area will be re-turfed next week. 

4th West green

The West greens renovation is progressing well and we are now at the stage of getting the grass back through the sand and that is progressing really well.  The downside of so much growth is that the resident ducks love the soft lush Bentgrass and can graze it back to dirt if allowed.  To prevent this a bird repellent was sprayed on to 8 greens this morning.  The ducks don't like the taste of the spray and generally one spray keeps them away for 5 days or so.  At this stage the greens are on track for their first mowing on Monday afternoon.

10th West green - 3 days after heavy sanding

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tawny frogmouth

I found this one on the ground near the irrigation dam today.  Generally when they are on the ground other birds attack them and they have difficulty flying but this one flew straight back up to its perch when we tried to catch it to protect it.  Its truly amazing just how well they camouflage themselves....it looked like a piece of bark.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

West greens renovation day 2

A kinder day weather wise although there wasn't enough drying wind or sun to really get the sand worked into the surface properly.  It will take another couple of levellings to move the sand from the surface and the best thing for the greens now would be 10 mm of rain.  If the weather co operates in the next few days the greens should be mown for the first time next Monday or Tuesday.  The greens need to be completely dry for the first mowing to avoid too much sand sticking to the mowers rollers.

There is a bit of sand left over which will be used on the par3's on both courses following an aeration in the coming week to try and promote some growth.

Monday, August 23, 2010

West greens renovation

Not the best weather for greens renovation but we have to soldier on as the course has to be closed for us to do the work properly and the contractors are only booked for the one day. We only received 3mm of rain but that was enough to make the job very messy. The sand was covered and dry prior to the day but the rain wet it up and then the ground didn’t dry out after the rain which made incorporating the sand almost impossible. A bit of a break in the weather in the late afternoon helped but then dew started coming down and that was enough to wet the sand and make it unworkable. Only 4 greens have been finished today whereas under better weather conditions we would have at least 12 fully completed. Here’s hoping for drier sunny conditions tomorrow.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tree works

Dead tree
August and September are months when a lot of tree maintenance works are carried out.  With a golf course as heavily treed as CTH such tasks could go on year round at a huge expense but a "tree maintenance" budget is allocated each year and is spread between the following activities so obviously not all of the golf courses can be treated.

This year we will be concentrating  on tree root removal from fairways, removal of dead and dangerous trees and branches and ultimately the grinding of stumps throughout the courses.  As part of the palm cleaning operation we will be selectively removing some of the Cocos Palms to help reduce the annual expenditure on maintaining these declared environmental weeds.  
Dead dangerous branches

Palm cleaning

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

West greens renovations

Yes it is unfortunately that time of year again with the renovation scheduled for next Monday the 23rd.  Preparations have commenced this week with several West greens being "Verti Drain" aerated (pictured).  We used what is called a "needle" solid tyne that penetrated up to 150mm to allow some much needed air to reach the rootzone.  Only the greens with underlying problems had this operation carried out on Tuesday.

The West greens have hardly been irrigated over the past few months with fairly regular rainfall keeping up the turfs moisture requirements.  However to ensure the coring machines can extract the cores as required there will be some water applied to the greens leading up to Monday.  The greens will also be fertilised on Friday to ensure that they are healthy and growing to help speed up the recovery.

The greens will be hollow tyne aerated using 16mm tynes and will then be fertilised and have some soil amendments added as required.  The greens will then be sanded with a sand / fowl manure mixture which is due to be delivered on Thursday and will be sure to add an aroma to the air!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

7th West tee

A small section of artificial turf has been layed on the 7th West tee as a trial teeing surface.  As you can see from the photo the tee is in a very shaded environment and requires continual oversowing / turfing to maintain grass cover. 

The re design of the hole a few years back has helped protect our course boundary but now a lot of players use an iron or hybrid club and take divots which is putting stress on turf survival.

The main drawback is that only short tees can be used as the "pile" is only 25mm thick so those broken tees we use on par 3's will be very handy!  Unfortunately the material used on the 13th River tee that accepts longer tees is no longer available.  The trial area is big enough to get a good feel for the surface and will be available for use on certain days in the coming weeks.  Player feedback is welcome.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday the 13th!!

Perhaps the next Black Friday I won't schedule so many works! 

Tree root removal from the fairways started and this is always a fairly messy job with a backhoe used to pull the roots out.  Some of the roots are up to 150mm in diameter and run up to 15 metres into the fairway.  The job was going well until we hit the rising sewer main from the Clubhouse on the 18th River fairway which was only 300mm below the surface.  This therefore caused a lengthy delay with several staff and a licensed plumber needed to expedite the repair.  This unfortunately meant that several of the root removal areas were not able to be repaired before the end of the day. 
From the golfers viewpoint, the Local Rule "Course Damage" covers the relief situation for the root removal areas. 
Sewer main on 18

New support posts for our irrigation dam water mixer were installed on Friday and these needed to be concreted in.  Half a metre of concrete wes required for the job and a mini mix truck was ordered.  To my surprise a full 6 metre truck arrived which meant that the truck would not be able to leave the main course access tracks and the concrete had to be manhandled to the posts.  The concrete truck arrived 3 minutes after the plumber so this was an interesting time of the day!  Once again more staff had to be deployed to the concreting task away from their other duties.

And to top it off I was hit by a golf ball on the full whilst on the motorbike on the track behind the 10th west green, meaning that the shot from around the 135 metre post had cleared the green by 20 metres!! 
Friday the 13th....unlucky for some!

Tree root on 1 West
Tree root removal on 5 River

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Start of a New Era

Welcome to the Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club Course Maintenance Department.

The aim of this page is to inform Members of works currently being undertaken and works planned on the golf courses and explain some of the reasoning behind them.  I hope that this will help Members understand what goes into preparing the golf courses for play and why we do some of the things we do on the golf courses.

Please post any questions or comments you have regarding any of the information on this page.

Peter Lonergan
Course Superintendent