Friday, October 24, 2014

A couple of major irrigation problems this week were certainly quite unwelcome.  At the moment and for the past several weeks we have been pumping 24/7 from the Banora Treatment Works which is the source of our irrigation water but had two hiccups this week that saw us lose nearly 24 hours of water transfer time due to two separate problems with our pumps at the plant.  We currently pump down about 1.3 megalitres of water each day and have been putting the same amount on the courses each night.  Unfortunately the loss of pumping time meant that for two nights only greens and tees were irrigated due to the reduced volume.  The fairways are really struggling at the moment which is one of the problems with such a sandy free draining site coupled with the constant motorised buggy traffic as well as the system design as mentioned last week.  The upside of the sandy profile is the recovery from rain events which would be most welcome at the moment.  It was amazing to think I got excited with the 5mm that fell this week!

The other issue was with a mainline on 14W fairway and the green supply at 13W both of which required a substantial excavation.  The size of the Fig tree root heading in to 13W green from the right was absolutely huge.  This made me ponder just what we will encounter with 13R green in a couple of weeks when the top is removed given the size of the Norfolk Pines at the rear of the green  Preparations are going quite well for the green although the temporary will probably struggle with the short preparation time.  A "growth blanket" has been placed over the top of the temporary to assist speed up the growth by creating a virtual greenhouse effect which will lift the temperature of the surface and soil whilst still allowing light and moisture to get through to the plant.  The sand mix for the green was finalised this week with numerous amendments to be added to make the growing profile "old" so as to better match it to the existing greens.

Had a laugh at this one!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A lot of fertiliser going out this week in an effort to "wake" the grass up and get it moving.  Soil temperatures are still down so the effect is mainly cosmetic with an almost manufactured green coloring across the courses.  I have been fighting an issue with my irrigation pumps for some time now with overnight performance not where it should be which seriously effect the delivery of the irrigation water.  Couple that with the recent dry spell and it is obvious to see the results on some of the fairways with very dry conditions evident.  We also only have a single row of sprinklers up the middle of the fairways and whilst they have an impressive 30 metre throw on them they are seriously effected by wind which is almost a constant at Cool Tweed.

The temporary at 13 River green is well under way and the foreign Couchgrass was sprayed out today in preparation for the construction which is due to commence on Monday November 10.  The stolons were to be harvested from the existing green but the amount of foreign grass in the surface has meant that they have been ordered from a turf farm for delivery on Tuesday November 11.  So no doubt the drought will be breaking on that week end!!

And there are many warnings around the entire country about the threat of a major snake season this summer but spare a thought for this unsuspecting golfer at Sanctuary Lakes in Melbourne earlier this week when he returned to his bag to find a Tiger snake slithering in to it!!

Very impressed to see that he was carrying 2 sandbuckets which both look well used and empty which would be nice if all players followed that lead!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thursday was the day the "circus came to town" in the form of the Toll Charity Golf Classic.  Both courses were booked for the Friday event and not much expense was spared with a wide array of promotional paraphernalia ranging from serviettes to semi trailers and a guest appearance by Ricky Ponting.  A hectic couple of days bumping in and out but the courses were left spotlessly clean and anyone not on site on either Thursday or Friday would be blissfully unaware that anything had taken place.  A selection of photos below from the day.

6 West tee.  The $250K truck was the prize for a hole in one.
In front of the Half Way Bar
9 West tee
Another Prime Mover in the trees at 6 River

Perhaps somewhat fortunately for the sponsors 4 metres was the closest anyone came to a hole in one on 6W!!

Back on the golf course and a temporary green has been prepared in front of 13 River green in readiness for the re-surfacing of the green.  The main reason for the works is to prevent balls from running off the green at the rear right side and to also establish a hole location in the rear right of the green.  Initially just the back half of the green was to be done but given the opportunity to remove some of the foreign couch contamination at the front of the green the decision was made to do the entire green.  It is also very difficult to marry a new section of green with an existing surface and the green is now 16 years old.  Yes that's right the back nine River greens were re-constructed and converted from Bentgrass to 328 Couchgrass in 1998!!

Temp green 13R
Construction work will commence on November 10 and with good growing weather the green will be out of play for 12 - 14 weeks.  Stolons will be harvested from the green and replanted on the new green to maintain uniformity and a root barrier will be installed to prevent root encroachment from the Norfolk Pines at the rear of the green.  The single bunker will remain.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Not very much to report this week with the past two days involved in a massive clean up of leaf and tree debris after the strong north winds on Wednesday afternoon followed by the massive southerly change that was one of the most severe I have witnessed - Melbourne included.  A great effort by your groundstaff to get the courses back in order, particularly for the Vets open day on Thursday.  I have mentioned as the source of a lot of my weather information and they predicted the change to come through at 4.30pm which only just missed the actual time of 4.45pm.

A pleasing result with the aeration of the green surrounds on the West course and the firming up of these areas.  7 West tee has also been returfed for the coming summer.  Investigations continue in to a suitable artificial teeing surface for this heavily shaded small tee.