Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just a vote of thanks to the 40 odd volunteers who turned out today to help in the clean up.  It was pretty oppressive conditions in which to work but  the amount they achieved was outstanding. 
Another working bee at 8 am on Thursday morning at the course maintenance shed for those who couldn't make today or want to back up again after today!! 
The contractors and my staff have done a great job as well and if all goes to plan you will hardly know anything unusual happened by Saturday.  At this stage and barring no more rain both courses should be fully playable on Friday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A lot was achieved today on the first clean up day following the storm event of the week end.  Two Bobcats, a front end loader and a rented truck assisted in clearing a lot of debris.  The quickest way to move such a volume is to actually drag the full tree across to the dump area as can be seen in the photos.  This is mainly possible from the northern side of the courses which is closest to the dump.  There is some minor damage to the fairway but to get the courses playable again as fast as possible it is the best way. 

The West course is still very wet and we will need to be much more careful once we get there.  All the River fairways had the debris blown off them today which is a monumental task when you look at what they had to shift.

There will be a working bee on Wednesday and Thursday this week starting at 8am at the maintenance shed in Davey Street.  All are welcome and all you need is a hat, gloves and sunscreen.  The task will be stick picking and piling them up which makes it easier and quicker for the machines to pick up the debris.

One of the problems with this storm event is that there has been so much rain in the hinterland and as that comes down and meets an incoming tide the water inundates our low riverside holes.  1 and 9 River and 17 West are virtually impassable at the moment and worse on high tide.  It sounds ridiculous to say that "we only got 300mm" but when you hear the rainfall totals for the hinterland your mind boggles.

Clearing fairways

Tree down near shed

Cleaned up already LHS 4 River

Towing away!!

2 trees down near 6 Ladies tee
1 & 9 River fairways - literally

Monday, January 28, 2013

I think I will let the photos do the talking:

17 West from the green

Big gum LHS 4 River

Between 4 and 10 West

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Well washing my car last week end certainly bought the rain which is what I wanted but enough's enough!!  We have had about 140mm for the week so far and most of it has been fairly light soaking rain which is just what the courses needed after such a prolonged dry spell.  A number of Clubs in south east Queensland have been buying water for their irrigation requirements over the past few months which must be a first for this time of year so they will certainly be breathing a sigh of relief.  Fortunately for Cool Tweed we have the supply of recycled water to keep us going although as I have previously mentioned the wind makes even distibution difficult.  Coupled with some gremlins in the transfer pumps and the dam we pump from actually running dry 2 weeks ago, it hasn't been the easiest summer.  It got me thinking to how diverse my job is and the number of situations and little crises that Superintendents the world over have to deal with.  Pumps, machinery and staff are probably right up there with the weather and hopefully we will miss the worst of what is predicted over the next 24 hours weather wise, particularly the wind gusts of up to 100 kmh due this evening. 
I follow a number of blogs around the world and have put together a few photos of what is going on elsewhere on the worlds golf courses.
Cairns GC this morning

Briarwood CC in Chicago

The work goes on at Briarwood!!

Hazeltine GC in Minneapolis hosing the snow off the skating rink
on one of their dams
The source of water in the photo above at Hazeltine -
 just drill a hole through the ice!!
I am sure we will see a vastly different Hazeltine when
they host the 2016 Ryder Cup!!
 And at Carnoustie GC this was the part of the report for December; 
The early part of December was very cold with the ground being frozen solid and the daytime temperature rarely above 2degC.  CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE - The greens were cut once and rolled twice during December
The world of golf sure is a strange place!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's been a hectic time to start the New Year with high player numbers making it difficult to get our work done in amongst it all but the courses are drawing lots of good comments from the visitors which is nice.
It is stating the obvious to say that we need some rain and the one weather record that I don't really want to set is for the lowest ever January rainfall which is what we are heading towards.  What a difference 12 months makes with last year virtually inundating us to this year with the driest conditions I have now seen in my 13 years.  The irrigation system is stretched to its limit and can't really keep up in the hot dry conditions we are experiencing.
That situation wasn't helped when a malfunction at the Council treatment plant this week meant I lost a day and a halfs water supply which is certainly not what was needed.  Players today would have seen the staff hand watering tees which was done to not waste any with overspray.  Hopefully the wind will ease tonight and some of the irrigation will actually hit the ground.
The only upside of the lack of rain is that the roughs haven't started the normal summer growth although the number of leaves on the ground still make it hard to find balls.
The green surrounds on both courses were sprayed for some weed control over the past two days which will result in some temporary dis-coloration.