Greenkeepers Blog

GreenKeepers Blog May 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

GreenKeepers Blog - May 2016

We had 39.5mm of rain for the month of May with 30mm falling on the last day of the month. We recorded 6 days of rainfall.

Once again Kiama Golf Course has proven to be one of the best all weather courses in the Illawarra, we recorded 250mm of rainfall in a 48-hour period in the early days of June, despite this heavy rain we were fully operational within 24 hours of the rain stopping, not only did we receive heavy rain but we also had gale force winds.

My team worked extremely well to remove a lot of debris from the course in a very short time frame to get the course back up to a high standard. 

 Greens

 We have again had no signs of any disease or pest activity on the greens during the month of May, we continue to fix a lot of pitch marks on the greens during our hole changing and mowing practices, this is a very time consuming activity for the green staff but quality repairs are important in controlling early incidence of disease through turf injury.

We are currently cutting four times a week and using our greens roller to remove the dew on none competition days.

The chipping green renovation has not gone exactly to plan due to an ongoing irrigation fault throughout the month of May. We had a break in the irrigation pipe near the men’s 12th tee. This leak was contributing to a consistent loss of pressure at the pump shed resulting in the pumps continually staying on, with this occurring the energy consumption increased and was too expensive to leave running, so isolation valves were used to prevent the pressure loss until the fault could be found.  The problem has now been rectified.

The storm in the early days of June has resulted in the seed being washed away or in clumps on the chipping green, the green will be seeded once again to ensure uniformity, however the re-growth will be slow due to the drop in temperature and the reduced growth activity of the new germinating seed.

It is difficult to place a time frame on the re-opening of the green at his present time.  

 Tees

 Tees are being cut once a week and are in good condition.

The tees have been treated with a selective herbicide to control the winter grass, this will result in some discoloration of the grass but will not affect play.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut once a week in a cross cut pattern.

The overall condition of the fairways is excellent with complete grass coverage across the course, however there has been some small areas affected by a fungal disease resulting in some discoloration of the grass and a reduced growth rate, these areas will be continually monitored and action will be taken if the disease persists

Bunkers

The bunkers held up well during the storm in early June with only the back right hand bunker on the 18th requiring additional sand due to the washouts that occurred.

Machinery

We have had a problem with the starter motor on the Toro Workman, this is currently being repaired.

We have been demoing a selection of new greens mowers to continue our ongoing machinery replacement program, the mowers include the Toro 3300, John Deere 2500 and the Jacobsen 322 hybrid. All three mowers are the leading brands in the industry.

We have recently purchased a small mobile “Root trimmer” this machine will be used primarily in the removal of exposed tree roots on fairways, this will aid in the control of problem areas for our machinery.

Trees and Gardens

The removal of several problem trees along the fence line on the 5th will be scheduled in for late June, this tree work will result in the closure of the 5th hole while the maintenance is carried out, the removal should take two days.

Pathways

General repairs have been made to fix washouts after the storm damage in early June.

Vandalism

No vandalism or theft has been recorded in the month of May.

Thank You

Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 

 

GreenKeepers Blog April 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016
April 2016

We had 42.5mm of rain for the month of April and recorded 6 days of rainfall.

The heaviest day of rain was 26mm on the 17.4.2016.

The overall condition of the course is good with weather conditions still favorable for good grass growth.

We have removed the majority of the” bull rushes” from the 10th dam surrounds, this has definitely improved the aesthetics of this area and should make finding your ball a little bit easier if you hit it in this area.  

 Greens

 As we enter the month of May and the threat of disease to the greens diminishes, we can reflect on a great season of disease management where our programs have performed well, we have basically gone through the peak season of disease with approximately 95%+ success rate.

We have had some incidence of pest activity notably the presence of the insect

“Argentine Stem Weevil” throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn months, this pest has the potential to cause major damage if uncontrolled, we have suffered some damage during the season however our programs have limited the damage and the turf grass recovery has been good.

 Tees

 Tees are being cut twice a week and are in good condition.

We are still getting plenty of growth and recovery from divots.

We now have sand bins on all par 3 tees to aid in the recovery of player’s divots, we have noticed that the bins are not used as often as we had anticipated.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut twice a week in a cross cut pattern, this frequency will continue until after the men’s foursome championships in late May.

The overall condition of the fairways is excellent with complete grass coverage across the course, however there has been some small areas affected by a fungal disease resulting in some discoloration of the grass and a reduced growth rate, these areas will be continually monitored and action will be taken if the disease persists

 Bunkers

Throughout the first two weeks of May, the bunkers will be raked at least 4-5 times a week due to the ladies Championships and the veterans golf day.

Bunkers have held up well and have been very consistent throughout the month.

Machinery

The problem with the charging system on the greens mower has been rectified with a replaceable wiring relay.

The wood chipper will be served in preparation for the winter months as we will be removing several problem trees ASAP.

 Trees and Gardens

Helen has recently planted 20+ “New Guinea Impatiens” around the practice putting green, this should provide a bit of color for this area.

We have removed a dead pine tree from the new mound on the 10th as well as a dead pine from the left hand side of the first green.

Two melaleuca’s have been removed from the beginning of the first fairway and near the seventh green.

Pathways

We have recently rebuilt the walkway bridge on the 8th with all associated cost paid for by the Kiama Golf Club Veterans with a kind donation of $600.

Five members of the garden party used their expertise to stain the bridge and the log wall in front of the 8th green.

Thank you for the ongoing contributions of both the Veterans and the garden party.

Vandalism

Two flags sticks have been stolen from the 10th green during the month of April, these sticks have not been recovered.

Other projects

   

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

-        Chipping green renovations and re seeding.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 


Captains answers to rules quiz

Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Question and answers to Rules Quiz

Q1: Tom’s ball at rest touches a line defining the margin of a water hazard. He may ground his club in the hazard in addressing the ball for his next stroke?

(A) True
(B) False

Q1: B. 
Explanation: Definition Water Hazard ­ A ball is in a water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the water hazard – when the margin of a water hazard is defined by a line on the ground, 
the line itself is in the hazard. Rule 13­4b Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions – As Tom’s ball is in the hazard he may not touch the ground in the hazard with his club before making a stroke.

Q2: Graeme’s ball lies outside a water hazard but to make his next stroke he has to stand on a bridge that is situated in the hazard. Which of the following statements is CORRECT?
A. Graeme is not entitled to relief from the bridge as relief is not available from an immovable obstruction that is in a hazard. 
B. Graeme may take relief from the bridge, but if he drops his ball and it rolls onto the bridge he must then play his next stroke from the bridge.
C. Graeme may take relief from the bridge by dropping his ball within one club ­length of the nearest point of relief that is not nearer the hole and not in the hazard.

Q2: A. 
Explanation: Graeme is not entitled to relief from the bridge as relief is not available from an immovable obstruction that is in a hazard Graem e m ay take relief from the bridge, but if he drops 
his ball and it rolls onto the bridge he must then play his next stroke from the bridge.
Graeme may take relief from the bridge by dropping his ball within one club ­length of the nearest point of relief that is not nearer the hole and not in the hazard
Rule 24­2(a)(b) Immovable Obstructions - ­Interference occurs when the players stance is affected. Relief is not available from an immovable obstruction if the ball lies in a water hazard. 
Rule 20­ 2c(i). When to Re­Drop. If the ball rolls onto the bridge it is in the hazard and must be re­dropped. As the ball is lying outside the hazard relief may be taken but the nearest point of relief must not be in the
hazard.
Q3: Is a ball in a bunker if it lies on the edge of the bunker overhanging, but not touching, the sand?

Q3: No. 
    Explanation: The margin of a bunker, unlike that of a water hazard, does not extend vertically upwards. See Definitions.
Q4. A player plays his second shot, searches for his ball briefly and then goes back and drops another ball under Rule 27-1. Before he plays the dropped ball, and within the five-minute search period, 
the original ball is found. Is the player required to continue with the dropped ball?

Q4: Yes. 
EXPLANATION: When the player put the substituted ball into play at the spot of the previous stroke with the intent to play a ball under penalty of stroke and distance (Rule 27-1), 
the original ball was lost (see definition of “Lost Ball”). Therefore, Rule 20-6 does not apply and he must continue with the substituted ball.

GreenKeepers Blog February 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Superintendents Blog – February 2016

We had just 22mm of rain for the month of February and recorded 3 days of rainfall.

The heaviest day of rain was 12mm on the 1.2.2016; so we only had 10mm for the rest of the month.

Overall the course has held up well during this above average temperatures and prolonged dry spell.

Please remember that irrigation is only a substitute to quality rainfall and that there will always be some areas that suffer more during

 Greens

 We have prioritised our watering program to concentrate on the health of the greens. With the consistent high temperatures and the constant threat of dry winds our main aim was to keep the greens healthy.

Unfortunately there is a down side of the healthy greens is that they become a bit slower although the consistency has been good.

We are currently disease free and our pest control program is running perfectly.

Greens have been cut daily including Sundays during the pennant season.

 Tees

 Tees are being cut twice a week and are in good condition.

We were unable to schedule in the second application of the selective herbicide to control the crab grass in some tee and tee walk off areas, this is mainly due to the overall health of the turf grass due to the lack of rainfall, I believe if we applied the chemical there was a possibility of and adverse effect on the desired turf grass whilst controlling the weed.

Fairways

We have gone from very dry fairways in December 2015 to lush green healthy fairways in January due to the consistent rainfall and back to dry again in February, but considering the consistent dry hot weather the fairways have held up very well.

The localized dry areas on fairways are due to under performing sprinklers and low pressure in some areas. We continue to monitor these areas on a daily basis and often selectively water these areas in the early mornings.

We are currently cutting twice a week.

 Bunkers

Throughout February bunkers have been raked at least 4-5 times a week due to the increase in social days and we have raked bunkers for every pennant match on Sundays.

Bunkers have held up well and have been very consistent throughout the month.

Despite the lack of rain it has been good to not have to have major repair work due to extreme thunderstorm damage as was the case last year.

Machinery

We are have some problems with the alternator charging system on our number 1 greens mower, this problem will be resolved ASAP.

Trees and Gardens

Helen has been very busy keeping up with the gardens over the past month with hedging being a large part of her schedule.

Hand watering has been extremely important once again due to the hot dry weather.

Pathways

No major repairs have been required

Vandalism

No theft or vandalism has been recorded for the month of February, although there has been some bird damage on the 9th, 10th and 18th greens.

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

-        Chipping green renovations and re seeding.

 

Thank You Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 

 

 

GreenKeepers Blog January 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Superintendents Blog – January 2016

We had 148.5mm of rain for the month of January and recorded 13 days of rainfall.

The heaviest day of rain was 36mm on the 15.1.2016; the overall rainfall was consistent throughout the month

On Friday 29.1.2016 the course suffered a lightning strike on the telegraph pole behind the 18th green, this has resulted in fuse and appliance damage to the green shed and some problems with the running of the automatic irrigation system, this has led to some areas not being irrigated correctly and some heat stress has been evident.

 Greens

 Throughout January the greens have been in great shape considering the time of year and the general problems associated with this season, so far we are currently disease and pest free.

Greens are being cut everyday due to the favourable growing conditions.

The only real problem with the greens is the amount of unrepaired or poorly repaired pitch marks.

 Tees

 Tees are being cut twice a week and are in good condition.

A second application of the selective herbicide to control crab grass in the tees is due in mid February.

Fairways

The fairways are in great condition due to the high frequency of rainfall throughout January. We are cutting twice a week and we recently applied the growth regulator “primo” to suppress the growth of the Kikuyu.

Bunkers

All bunkers have been trimmed with the assistance of the garden party and the bunkers are looking and playing great.

Machinery

All machinery is working well at the moment.

Trees and Gardens

We have removed several large branches from two coral trees on the 15th and 16th holes.

Two dead pine trees have been removed from the left hand side of the 16th fairway and the left hand side of the 18th tee.

 Pathways

No major repairs have been required

 Vandalism

Several flagsticks have been stolen during the school holidays, a couple of the sticks have been recovered near the Minnamurra Bridge. 

This theft has cost around $300 in replacements.

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.

-          3rd tee pathway.

-          Soil mounding on the 10th.

-          Chipping green renovations and re seeding.

Thank You     Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 

 

Greenkeepers Blog December 2015

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Superintendents Blog – December 2015

 We had 117mm of rain for the month of December and recorded 5 days of rainfall.

The total rainfall for 2015 was 1475mm although half of this rainfall was received in the 3 months of January, April and August.

We recorded 93 days of rainfall for the year.

The overall condition of the course is great and continues to improve with favourable weather conditions.

During the December holiday period the course was very busy with an influx of social golfers.

 Greens

 The greens are very healthy at the moment and we currently have no pest or disease problems.

The greens are usually a bit slower at this time of year due to the increased irrigation to keep them healthy however all the greens are consistent in their playability.

Whilst the greens are softer at the moment this has resulted in an increase in unrepaired pitch marks and this seems to be the only irregularities on the putting green surface.

  Tees

We have had the weed “crab grass’ germinate in the tees and surrounding walk offs, this is not uncommon for this time of year and each year we are reducing the amount of weeds through our treatment program, a selective herbicide will be applied in mid January to control the weeds, this may result in slight yellowing of the kikuyu and couch grasses.

 Fairways

The fairways suffered from heat stress throughout the later part of November and up until the 22nd of December when we had a decent period of rainfall.

During the dry spell we had only 1mm of rain during a 31 day period.

Bunkers

On the 17.12.15 the course was hit by 2 severe thunder storms on the same day resulting in 73mm of rain in a very short period of time, although the 31 day drought was broken so were the 33 bunkers on the course, the repair work was carried out over the next 2 days with 4-5 staff each day involved.

The greenside bunkers on the 3rd and 11th greens needed significant repairs and these repairs were carried out on a later date due to the hectic work load over the Christmas break.

Machinery

We were without one of our on course utility vehicles for about 4 weeks while we were awaiting a spare part from the US. This was repaired in late December and currently all other machines are working well.

Trees and Gardens

We removed a large coral tree branch from the right hand side of the 8th fairway.

We will intend to remove several dead pine trees along the 5th and 13th fairways in the near future.

Pathways

Minor pathway repairs were required after the storm on the 17.12.15 mainly the 3rd top tee.

 Vandalism

 We have recorded no vandalism or theft during the month of September. 

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.

-          3rd tee pathway.

-          Soil mounding on the 10th.

 

Thank You    Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 

Superintendents Blogs November 2016

Monday, December 28, 2015

Superintendents Report – November 2015

 

We had 56.5mm of rain for the month of November and recorded 9 days of rainfall. Our last recorded rainfall was on the 23rd November. It’s now been 16 days with out any substantial rain. The forecast is for the possibility of a late shower/thunderstorm throughout this week…. Fingers crossed!

The overall condition of the course is still good but showing signs of dryness in some fairway areas. At the moment there are some minor issues re a break down at the Bombo Treatment Works which they hope to have rectified before the weekend. (12-13 Dec) So our current supply of treated water is limited to zero.

We are now into the busy time of the year with the grass starting to grow and with favourable weather condition for weeds, pests and disease. We have a good management strategy in place to eliminate any outbreaks.   

 Greens

 The greens are still playing well with a lot of positive member feed back.  We are continuing our wintergrass program with yet another application of the product “shortstop” and we have increase the rate of the product “primo” to reduce the growth rate with regular fertilization for plant recovery.

We have also now introduced the rolling of greens hopefully twice a week. This should improve green speed and smoothness of ball roll.

Tees

Tees are still being cut once a week but starting to show signs of wear mainly from lack of rainfall. Otherwise we will continue to manage these areas to a good standard.

Fairways

The fairways were being cut twice a week through November but with the lack of recent rainfall we have pushed this back to once a week usually Thursday / Friday ready for weekend play.

The recent application of ‘primo’ has really kicked now so we now have controlled growth. We will continue this scheduled program of application to maintain their high quality.

 Bunkers

We are still trimming  bunkers every 3 weeks.

Most of the larger sands chunks have been removed from the bunkers following the addition of the new sand in mid September.

Bunkers are being raked a minimum of 3 times a week and are playing well. 

Machinery

At this stage all machinery is operating well with no major problems.

Trees and Gardens

We still plan on removing several more problem trees over the coming months. Overall the garden areas are good with the ongoing maintenance of these areas.

Pathways

The overall condition of the pathways is good and no repairs have been required.

Vandalism

 Unfortunately we had our back flow prevention valve stolen off the main water meter near the 12 green. This had to be replaced at an expense.

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

Thank You

Mark Yates / Course Superintendent  

Stuart Miller /  Assistant Superintendent.

 

Superintendents Blog October 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Superintendents Report – October 2015

We had 26mm of rain for the month of October and recorded 4 days of rainfall.

The overall condition of the course is great and continues to improve with favorable weather conditions.

October was a great month for golf with the men’s club championships and the senior PGA Pro-Am.

We are now entering the busy time of the year with the grass starting to grow and with favorable weather condition for Weeds, Pests and disease. 

Greens

 The greens have played well over the past month with a lot of positive feed back after the Pro-Am. We are continuing our wintergrass program with yet another application of the product “shortstop” and we have increase the rate of the product “primo” to reduce the growth rate.

 Tees 

Tees are currently being cut once a week.

We fertilized the tees in mid October and the results have been good with healthy grass coverage on all of the tees.

 Fairways

The fairways are currently cut twice a week.

The fairways received their first application of the growth regulator “primo”,

and liquid fertilizer, this resulted in the fairways looking and playing great for our events throughout October.

A second application is due in mid November.

Bunkers

We are currently trimming the bunkers every 3 weeks.

Most of the larger sands chunks have been removed from the bunkers following the addition of the new sand in mid September.

Bunkers are raked at least 3 times a week and are playing well. 

Machinery

We have managed to source some large diameter rollers to fit into our old greens mower cutting heads, this modification should provide a heavier unit with a greater rolling factor for the greens, these units will be utilized when we roll for the removal of dew and to also incorporate a cut and roll program to improve both the smoothness and speed of the greens.

 Trees and Gardens

We have removed another dead pine tree from the left hand side of the 18th fairway near the new mounding.

We are hoping to remove several more problem trees over the next month.

Pathways

The overall condition of the pathways is good and no repairs have been required since the August floods.

Vandalism

 We have recorded no vandalism or theft during the month of September. 

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates           Course Superintendent

      Stuart Miller         Assistant Superintendent.

 

Superintendents Blog September 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Superintendents Report – September 2015

 

We had 65mm of rain for the month of September and recorded 7 days of rainfall.

The overall condition of the course is great and continues to improve with favourable weather conditions.

The course will be in great condition for the men’s club championships and the senior Pro-Am.

Greens

 We have continued our wintergrass program on to greens.

The use of the growth regulator “shortstop” has reduced the growth of the wintergrass and has caused some yellow discoloration to the leaf. The use of this product will suppress the wintergrass and with the right balance of fertiliser will encourage the more favourable bent grass species.

 Tees

Tees are currently cut once a week.

A selective herbicide was applied to the tees to control the cool season grasses that had established during the cooler months, this application has worked well and a follow up application will occur at the end of October.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut twice a week for the men’s club championships.

The fairways are in great condition and will be fertilised and receive and application of

the growth regulator “primo”.

There are a few small patches of clover in the fairways and some rough areas.

These areas will be treated with a selective herbicide

Bunkers

After the major overhaul of the bunkers in early September, the green staff has continued to remove any larger chunks of sand from the bunkers, this practice will continue and the bunkers are improving after each rake.

The bunkers are raked a minimum 3 times a week.  

Machinery

We are currently in the process of receiving quotes for the repair of our greens roller.

If the repairs are within our budget I would hope to have the machine running efficiently by the Senior Pro-Am in late October, Unfortunately a new roller costs around $13,000-$15,000 however an upgrade is in my future machinery purchases.

  

Trees and Gardens

Helen has planted 20 new trees on the course in areas that have seen the removal of older dead trees.

These trees grow well in this environment and have a nice full canopy that can provide protection from stray golf balls; they also have a deep root system so they will not pose a risk to players. We will be planting approximately 20 plants over the next month.

With the assistance of the garden party in the October meeting we continued the pine tree root covering in the area between the 10th and 18th fairways, this section is now complete and has greatly reduced the risk of injury due to the exposed root systems.

We have also removed a dead pine tree on the right hand side of the 3rd fairway near the old pump shed.

 

Pathways

The overall condition of the pathways is good and no repairs have been required since the August floods.

 

Vandalism

 We have recorded no vandalism or theft during the month of September. 

 

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

Thank You

Mark Yates       Course Superintendent

     Stuart Miller       Assistant Superintendent.

Superintendents Blog August 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Superintendents Report – August 2015

We had 295mm of rain for the month of August and recorded 7 days of rainfall. Most of the rain occurred when we received 288mm in the space of 3 days.

Despite the huge down pour from 10am Monday to 3pm Wednesday we were still open with carts on Thursday morning. All other Golf Courses in the Illawarra were closed until at least the weekend.

The overall condition of the course is still very good.

You can certainly feel that spring is just around the corner and the grass is just starting to green up and grow a little.

 Greens

 Overall I have been happy with how the greens have recovered after the annual greens renovations carried out in early August.

The heavy rainfall has washed some core holes out however the greens will receive another dusting shortly.

Tees

Tees are currently cut every fortnight, this will increase to weekly over the next month as the weather warms up and growth increases.

An application of a selective herbicide will be applied in mid September to remove any cool season grass and to promote warm season grass growth without competition.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut every fortnight and like tees this will increase shortly.

The overall condition is good with only a small amount of disease scaring present on some fairways, these areas are showing good signs of recovery as we enter spring.

Bunkers

Bunkers have received a major overhaul during the past 3 weeks with all bunkers topped up with fresh sand. This is aimed at making all the bunkers as consistent as possible across the course.

We have used natural sand that unfortunately has some “chunky bits” in it.

We are removing as much of the debris from the bunkers every time we rake them, I do apologize for any inconvenience.

This sand is extremely cost effective and is the only way we can afford to continue the bunker program.

Machinery

All current machinery is running well at the moment.

Trees and Gardens

Helen has sourced some replacement trees similar to the “Brushbox” trees situated on the right hand side of the 18th green.

These trees grow well in this environment and have a nice full canopy that can provide protection from stray golf balls, they also have a deep root system so they will not pose a risk to players. We will be planting approximately 20 plants over the next month.

Pathways

Unfortunately due to the torrential rainfall in August we have had to carry out several pathway repairs.

The retaining wall on the second has moved out of line and this will be repaired over the coming weeks.

 

Vandalism

We have had someone let off an fire cracker of some sort in the cup on the 17th green, this resulted in a burnt cup (we cleaned it off) and the damage to the grass around the hole, this damage is showing some slow recovery and will eventually heal itself, the damage does not affect play but is discoloured compared to the rest of the green

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

Course Superintendent