Friday, May 29, 2015

Works on the CIP have been concluded at this stage of proceedings with a break being taken in June for the Ladies Championships over the next 2 weeks followed by the Australian Senior Matchplay event.  There is then a very busy golf calendar through July / August with Ladies 4Somes, QSOOM event, Vets WOG, Twin Towns Open and then Club Championships.  There will be some minor works completed during this time such as some tree trimming and small scale bunker works including removal of bunker tongues.  Turf growth at this time of year is minimal anyway.

To date a total of 26  bunkers (15 West and 11 River) have been completely removed and a total of 8  bunkers (2 West and 6 River) significantly reduced in size.  The positive comments from members and their guests continue which has been very pleasing.

The weather has certainly taken a turn for the better with some very nice daytime temperatures assisting the newly laid turf establish a little out of season.  The River greens were given a light de-thatch on Thursday followed by a sanding which was not really planned but the grass is still ticking along so this operation will help even up the surface.

One of my news feeds that I follow had this report; 
Mother Nature has added some new design elements to Top of the Rock Golf Course, as a massive sinkhole opened on the course in Ridgedale, Mo.
The course opened a little over a year ago and has twice played host to the Champions Tour's Bass Pro Shop Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge.
Early Friday morning, course employees noticed a sinkhole had formed near the edge of the practice facilities:

I thought oh yeah big deal, we had a sinkhole appear on 5R green last year that we had to repair that was all of one foot square.  Then I saw the photo;

Now that's a sink hole!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

A huge week of work on the Course Improvement Plan (CIP) saw bunkers on West holes 5, 7, 16 and River 14, 15 and 16 filled in or reduced in size and some drainage added or replaced.  member feedback continues to be favourable and one of the main ideas is that once the areas are grassed and back in play you wouldn't know there was ever a bunker there.  A big thank you to the Members and guests for their understanding and patience in playing shortened holes when it is necessary to protect staff and contractors engaged in the works.  This is a great time saver as we can all concentrate on the job at hand rather than be on a constant look out for golf balls.

Next week will see CIP works continue on 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 River.  The greenside bunkers on 2 and 3 will require some modification and so the holes will be closed to play after the Members competition on Monday and the Ladies on Tuesday.  As mentioned last week, works will be suspended after next week to allow for the completion of the Ladies Championships and the Senior Matchplay event.

Elsewhere on the courses the Bentgrass nursery has had a very good and even covered germination and is enjoying the "balmy" May weather we are having as are the rest of the Couchgrass playing surfaces.  17 West green continues to improve and is still getting some sand applied to the surface to help even it up.  The green is only 17 weeks old so it is in very good condition and withstanding the player numbers comfortably.

Drainage replaced in 15R fairway bunker

I really couldn't be happier with the condition of the courses at the moment  especially considering the resources available.  I especially enjoyed reading the following quotes from one of the online golf forums;
  •  Great courses in great condition, the sand belt of the Gold Coast, good value
  •  Course in excellent condition, a credit to the superintendent. Very good value  for golf visitors to the gold coast, recommended
  •  The course is in really good condition and is very well maintained by the greens staff.
 And no I didn't write them!!

Next week works continue on the CIP as outlined above and the West greens will be sanded on Tuesday to even the surface up, especially the myriad of unrepaired pitch marks.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Works associated with the Course Improvement Plan have continued and from the players on course there has barely been a negative comment.  This past week saw 1 West / 18 River works conducted which is the biggest area of works planned covering an area of some 2,000 square metres and the removal of 3 bunkers.  We will be having a break from works this week to allow bunker repairs to be carried out following last weeks storms.  Works will then recommence for a further 2 weeks prior to being halted for the Ladies Club Championships and the Senior Matchplay event.

I would like to commend my staff for their efforts over the past week in restoring the courses to a playable condition following the storms.  When you consider that when I started at Coolangatta Tweed in June 1999 there were 19 crew available to work on my first day in the middle of winter and in March 2010 I had a crew of 20 in a similar summer season to what we have just experienced.  These numbers compare with the 12 crew who were on hand last week which has been the number all summer.  I made the decision to leave the bunkers till last and restore all the grassed areas first and as mentioned above the bunker works will start this week.

And whilst on the weather here are the rainfall figures for the past 6 months; January – 441mm, February – 432mm, March – 143mm, April – 203mm, May to date – 186mm.  That’s 1.4 metres of rainfall and if you include December 2014 (410mm) it’s 1.8 metres!!  The annual average is about 1.6 metres.

The Bentgrass nursery green planting was delayed in anticipation of the heavy rainfall which proved to be the right decision as there was substantial wash on the area following the rain.  Establishment should proceed quickly given the beautiful weather we are having.

Soil erosion on the nursery area.

First irrigation for the nursery following seeding.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The weather is the obvious talking point at the moment with 160mm having already fallen on the courses to 4pm Friday.  Hopefully the expected low pressure system dissipates or completely disappears (which is doubtful) and allows the courses to dry out.  We took advantage of the lack of play to verti drain aerate the West greens late this week which will assist in water movement through the profile and allow for some much needed air exchange.  The verti drain is a deep tine aerator that employs a solid tine and we were penetrating 6 to 8 inches deep.  This will also allow some room for some roots to grow within the soil profile.

The West greens were also de-thatched earlier in the week and sanded however much of that sand has now been washed away.

Works associated with the Course Improvement Plan continued this week and at this stage the high rainfall has not caused any damage to any of the works which hopefully continues to be the case.  The rain is certainly an inconvenience and has obviously delayed some of the works. 

Earlier this week the ProLiner bunker liner was installed as reported last week.  The installation went well and the rainfall so far has given the bunker a stern test which it passed comfortably.  Normally after the recent rainfall the bunker face would be badly washed out and full of water.  

Promising test so far??
Until the rain arrived it was a fairly hectic week particularly on Monday and Tuesday with several contractors working across the courses.  Just to cap off Tuesday I received a phone call from the Pro Shop late Tuesday afternoon alerting me to a "massive fire on 8 River".  Fortunately massive was an overstatement but the fire brigade attended nonetheless.  The fire was started by someones overnight camp fire and was fortunately extinguished before it got too bad.

A day in the life of a Superintendent??