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Superintendents Blog

Friday, December 19, 2014

Superintendents Blog – November 2014

We had 61mm of rain for the month of November and recorded just 5 days

We had 52mm of this rain in 1 day.

We had a period between the middle of October to the end of November were we had only 6mm of rainfall.

The drought has definitely broken and we are now getting thunderstorms on a daily basis.

Greens

The greens have had an increase in growth due to the rainfall and increased humidity and heat, the frequency of the rainfall has resulted in a slower putting surface due to the moisture and grass growth.

I will increase the rate and frequency of the growth regulator; this should increase the overall consistency of the greens surface.

Tees

The tees have recovered well after a dry spring.

We are currently cutting the tees twice a week.

Fairways

The fairways are in great condition, with full grass coverage and weed free; there is a little bit of disease due to the consistent moist conditions however this will recover quickly when conditions are favourable.

I will apply a growth regulator in mid December; this will result in an even tighter and even playing surface.

Bunkers

Wow, we have never put so much work into the bunkers as we have over the past 2 weeks due to the increase thunder storm activity, often taking 3-4 staff members 5 hours to get the bunkers into an acceptable condition for competition play only to see the hard work washed away in the next down poor of rain.

Machinery

All machinery is currently in working order as we approach our busiest time of the year. 

Trees and Gardens

Several trees are in need of immediate removal and will be attended to ASAP notably the large pine near the practice tee.

Pathways

We have been continually repairing washouts to the pathways due to the recent storms.

Vandalism

We have not recorded any problem during November.

Other projects

          Western car park retaining wall

-        Continue Round up spraying under pine trees, gardens, course boundaries and dams.

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

 

 

Superintendents Blog September

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Superintendents Report – September 2014

We had 64mm of rain for the month of September and recorded 9 days of rainfall.

The course in good condition and should play well for the men’s club championships

I would like to welcome Stuart Miller to my team as the new Assistant Superintendent; Stuart has over 30 years of industry experience including bowling clubs golf courses and spent almost 20 years as a chemical rep and turf technician.

Greens

I have applied 2 treatments of the growth regulator to our greens, this product helps to suppress the winter grass during the growth season resulting in a smoother consistent surface, and the greens will be running ok for the championships.

Tees

I have decided to resurface the tees on the 14th and 16th with Kikuyu, we will try two different methods for the resurfacing including seeding and vegetative propagation.

Fairways

The fairways have come out of  winter in great condition, with very little to no wintergrass present in the fairways, they are a bit dry in some areas however they are playing well, we are currently cutting once a week.

Bunkers

The bunker on the 5th is back in play and I have had several positive comments on how it looks and plays. We are currently relocating sand into the playing zones of the bunkers.

Also we are topping up the bunker on the front right hand side of the 11th.

Machinery

Our Toro tees mower is in need of a major overhaul to be ready for the spring grass growth.

We are expecting our on course trailer back soon with a nice fresh coat of industrial strength Yellow paint so keep your eye out for it I’m sure you wont be able to miss it. 

Trees and Gardens

We have replaced a few of the Muraya's on the 8th fairway

Pathways

We have widened the pathway on the 12th for better vehicle access.

Vandalism

We have had a few incidents of theft from both the maintenance shed and from the course. We have increased our security measures in the shed to counteract the theft of specialized machinery.

On the night of Friday the 10.10.14, the theft of almost 22 m of our boundary fence along the roadway on Riverside drive and the 5th fairway, the thieves have simply cut the wire and rolled it up.

The replacement cost is almost $1000, I would much rather spend this money on the course in a different way.

Please if you see anything suspicious do not hesitate in calling the police.

Other projects

          Western car park retaining wall

-         Continue Round up spraying under pine trees, gardens, course boundaries and dams.

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Timber screen fence on the 4th tee.

 

Thank You Mark Yates

 

Superintendents Blog July

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We had 5.5mm of rain for the month of July and recorded 2 days of rainfall. The course in good condition although the greens are a little slower than expected.

We have had only 10mm since the 16th of June which is the driest winter that I can remember.

The forecast is for light showers over the coming weeks

Greens

As I write this report we have finished our annual greens renovations although we have a little bit more topdressing in some places to fill in the holes, the coring was a success with perfect weather.

Tees

Tees have not received any extra maintenance over the past month. There is an increase of wintergrass and Rye grass weeds on the couch tees and these weeds will be sprayed out over the next month.

Fairways

The fairways have been fertilised with “Iron”. This has resulted in a darker colored leaf that has given the fairways better definition.

The darker colour retains more heat from the sun and will aid in the grass’s winter recovery and also reduce the time the grass takes to come out of winter dormancy.

Bunkers

We have not yet had the chance to renovate the bunker on the 5th however I have not had one complaint about the bunker remaining GUR.

Machinery

Our Toro tees mower is in need of a major overhaul to be ready for the spring grass growth.

We are expecting our on course trailer back soon with a nice fresh coat of industrial strength Yellow paint so keep your eye out for it I’m sure you wont be able to miss it. 

Trees and Gardens

We have removed 6 dead pine trees from the course most notably the dead pine near the 9th hill, by chopping these trees down we have kept the people of the Minnamurra/Kiama Downs area with a handy supply of firewood.

Pathways

We will be topping up some problem areas with gravel for temporary relief and until we can do major works.

Other projects

-          Western car park retaining wall

-           Continue Round up spraying under pine trees, gardens, course boundaries and dams.

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.

-          3rd tee pathway.

-          Timber screen fence on the 4th tee.

 

Thank You / Mark Yates

blog update

Thursday, July 10, 2014
Mark Yates and team did a fantastic job preparing the course for the 

McGrath Foundation Day for this Saturday 12th July Texas Team Stableford event 

Superintendents report June

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Superintendents Report – June 2014

We had 27.5mm of rain for the month of June and recorded 6 days of rainfall. The course is in good condition and June has had unseasonably warm weather.

One of my staff members Martin Cohen has completed his training as an apprentice greenkeeper and we have decided to replace him with a new apprentice, Martin has been a great asset to our staff and the golf club and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

We have suffered from very strong winds in the later half of the month with a lot of debris on the course and consistent strong winds have made the clean up difficult.

We had our first frost on the 4.7.14; this has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the turf growth and colour.

Greens

The greens are playing well and are pretty consistent across all greens.

The greens have recovered well after the pest problems encounter over the past 2 months.

We will be renovating (coring) all the greens in mid August, as part of our yearly aeration program, during this time we will be oversowing the practice putting green with new bent grass seed. The practice putting green may be again closed for approximately a 3 week period to help the new grass seed to germinate without the pressure from being used.

Tees

We have continued the weed spraying on the Couch tees, this has caused severe discoloration to the turf as well as slowed the growth, the Kikuyu tees are in great shape and I will be replacing at least two couch tees with Kikuyu in October.

Fairways

 The fairways are in great condition and due to the cooler weather and the absence of any winter grass we have not cut fairways for over 3 weeks yet they are still providing a great playing surface. The winds have dried out a couple of areas that are affected by surrounding tree roots notably the 5th and 15th fairways.

The “Fusarium” disease seems to be under control and this has been aided by the consistent winds and lack of heavy dew.

Bunkers

We have carried out some reshaping work on the 5th bunker and we are now up to the turfing stage, this should be completed over the next week or two.

Machinery

We are currently rebuilding our on course trailer, the trailer is over 25 years old and had rust problems so we have rebuilt the frame work and the tray lining. 

Trees and Gardens

With the strong winds there has been a couple of trees that have been removed, the tea tree near the seat on the 9th tee has been removed and we also had to remove a large coral tree from the fence line on the 12th.

Pathways

We will be topping up some problem areas with gravel for temporary relief and until we can do major works.

Vandalism

Just the usual stick thrower on the 10th.

Other projects

 

-          Western car park retaining wall

-           Continue Round up spraying under pine trees, gardens, course boundaries and dams.

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.

-          3rd tee pathway.

-          Timber screen fence on the 4th tee.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

Superintendents blog January

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Superintendents Report – January 2014

We had just 40.5mm of rain for the month of January and recorded 7 days of rain this total is about a quarter of the monthly average. Despite the lack of rainfall we are holding up well even though there are some dry areas on the course.

Greens

Hopefully most of our golfing members have noticed the sign that I have placed on the practice green regarding the spraying of a selective herbicide to control the winter grass in the greens. I have been monitoring the recovery of the bent grass to understand the time frame for complete recovery.

The decision to spray all the greens will not be taken lightly and I will need to be prepared for a back lash from some golfers however my long term goal is to continue to improve the greens in all aspects i.e., consistency, uniformity, to increase drought, pest and disease tolerance.

I have also sprayed the road side of the chipping green and the overall damage to the surface from the herbicide has been minimal.

I have placed information for members on the practice green, the golf clubs Facebook site and the clubs web page. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Tees

Tees are currently only being cut once a week and there are a few weeds present, most of the weeds require hand weeding and therefore this task is very time consuming, we will complete this when time is available. Tees will receive an application of fertiliser in February.

Fairways

 Fairways are currently being cut twice a week.

The fairways have held up well in the summer months so far and are weed free.

I have decided to hold off from the growth regulator spraying until we receive some substantial rainfall; it would not be very beneficial to the health of the grass if we sprayed it while it was under drought stress.

Bunkers

General maintenance as need, this means mainly racking and fortnightly trimming.

Machinery

All machinery is currently in good working order with no major problems to report.

Trees and Gardens

General garden maintenance including weeding, mulching and hedging and also there has been a lot of time allocated to the plants through hand watering during the hot dry conditions.

There will be 20+ trees planted on the left hand side of the 8th fairway between the fairway and 9th tee.

Pathways

We have concreted another pad on the walkway up the 3rd tee; we hope to continue this work as time allows concentrating on the problem areas.

Vandalism

The Galah’s have caused damage on some of the fairways and rough areas, although this is not really affecting play.

 

 

 

 

Other projects

-          Western car park retaining wall

-          Round up spraying under pine trees, gardens, course boundaries and dams.

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.

-          Timber screen behind the first green to reduce the amount of balls entering the roadway and to prevent any cars from entering the golf course.

-          3rd tee pathway

-          Repair the drainage problem behind the first green

                        

Thank You

 Mark Yates

 

 

Superintendents Blog December 2013

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Superintendents Report – December 2013

We had 78mm of rain for the month of December and recorded 8 day of rain and a total of 1262mm for the year.

Greens

We have had several irrigation faults throughout the Christmas / new  year period with a couple of the greens showing signs of heat stress, the greens have recovered well however they are a bit soft due to the extra irrigation.

We are currently disease free on all greens.

We have started a trial of a selective herbicide on the practice putting green and also the practice chipping green. This trial is based on the success of the winter grass fairway program.

The aim of this trial is to assess the recovery time of the green surface after the wintergrass is sprayed out. I am expecting that the recovery could be 3-4 months. The overall results should mean we will have greens with only one species of grass which in turn will result in better drought tolerance, a more uniformed surface, improved consistency, less disease and less susceptibility to insect attack.

I have placed information for members on the practice green, the golf clubs facebook site and the clubs web page. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Tees

Tees are currently only being cut once a week and there are a few weeds present, most of the weeds require hand weeding and therefore this task is very time consuming, we will complete this when time is available. Tees will receive an application of fertiliser in February.

Fairways

 Fairways are currently being cut once a week due to our successful growth regulator application with the chemical product “Primo”, this product reduces the leaf growth of the grass and encourages a tighter playing surface.

The fairways have held up well in the summer months so far and are weed free.

Bunkers

We have managed to top up several of the worst bunkers on the course; the bunkers that have been chosen have been based on the current playing depth of the sand in the bunker. The bunkers are as follows including an estimated tonnage that has been used

Green side bunker on the 3rd = 24 tonne

Both bunkers on the 6th = 12 tonne each

Left hand side 13th = 7 tonne

Right hand side 13th = 9 tonne

All the bunkers on the 14th =  44 tonne

An estimated total tonnage of nearly 100 tonne has been placed in the selected bunkers, this bunker work will resume again in the winter months when time will be available, and I would expect to complete all the bunkers on the course during this time.

 Machinery All machinery is currently in good working order with no major problems to report.

Trees and Gardens General garden maintenance including weeding, mulching and hedging and also there has been a lot of time allocated to the plants through hand watering during the hot dry conditions

Pathways We have concreted a pad on the walkway up the 3rd tee; we hope to continue this work as time allows concentrating on the problem areas.

Other projects

-         Western car park retaining wall

-         Round up spraying under pine trees, gardens, course boundaries and dams.

-         Tree maintenance.

-         Pathway repairs.

-         Timber screen behind the first green to reduce the amount of balls entering the roadway and to prevent any cars from entering the golf course.

                       

Thank You  Mark Yates

 

 

whats NEW

Friday, January 10, 2014

Herbicide Trial on Chipping and Putting Greens

Hi Members,
Due to the success of the wintergrass eradication program on our fairways, I am currently trialing a selective herbicide for the control of wintergrass in our bent grass greens. The first application was made on the 17/12/13 followed by the seccond application on the 6/1/14. The aim of this trial is to remove the wintergrass and promote a better and improved putting surface for the future. I understand that there will be areas of the greens that will affect the putting and performance, please understand that I am carrying out these trials now to obtain an idea of the recovery period and I wish to spray all the greens in October 2014.

Please like this page if you have read the information so i can get an idea of how effective this social media communication is in relaying important information. If you have any further questionms please do not hesitate to ask.

Kind Reguards
Mark Yates
Course Superintendant 

September Superintendents Blog

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Superintendents Report – September 2013

We had 72mm of rain for the month of September and recorded 6 days of rain.

Most of the rainfall was followed by very strong westerly winds which quickly evaporated the moisture from the surface of the grass; the strong wind also caused two large trees and several branches to blow down.

Greens

We verti cut the greens in late September and they have been pretty smooth with a little bit of speed, they have held up well in the winds and should be good for the men’s club championships in October. Our dusting program will continue after the champs.

Tees

I have applied the selective herbicide to control the rye grass and the winter grass in the couch tees with great results, the couch is in great condition as we enter the growing season.

Fairways

Pretty much unchanged from last month. We will be carrying out renovations to the fairways with either spiking or scarifying, this will help to smooth out some areas and encourage a tighter growth.  The height of cut has been reduced from 14mm in winter to 10mm for the summer months, this will be closely monitored and reviewed as the weather conditions change, the frequency of cut will increase to twice a week and the use of a growth regulator (herbicide) will be used in October.

Bunkers

I will be hireing an excavator to remove several large stumps from around the course, and if there is any quality excess sand, we will use it to top up the bunkers on the 3rd and 6th greens.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be relocating a lot of sand from the sides of the bunkers back into the playing zone, this sand is often removed from the desired area through incorrect raking techniques from golfers, wind, irrigation and rainfall, this job is very time and labor consuming as everything needs to be shoveled and compacted by hand.

Machinery

The old Ford tractor that we use for running our wood chipper is back up and running after having a major overhaul of the cooling system, all other machinery is in good working order as we enter the growing season. (Touch wood)

Trees and Gardens

We removed two large corals from the 16th, as well as several large branches from around the course; a large pine tree was also removed by contract tree removealists from the rear of the green keepers shed.

All gardens continue to be mulched and trimmed and are in good shape.

The Agapanthus are about to flower so it will be good to see some colour around the 1st tee area.

Pathways

It’s difficult to find the time with the winds forcing our focus onto tree maintenance, however when time permits we will continue the concreting on the 3rd hill pathway.

Vandalism

Only the odd flag removed from the 10th green.

Other projects

-          Garden work, trimming and mulching.

-          Western car park retaining wall

-          Round up spraying under pine trees, gardens, course boundaries and dams.

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.                          

Thank You / Mark Yates

July Superintendents Blog

Friday, August 16, 2013

Superintendents Report – July 2013

 

We had 57mm of rain for the month of July and recorded 6 days of rain.

We received 47mm on the 30th of July so the rest of the month was relatively dry.

We have had a lot of positive feed back from the golfers directed to the green staff when they are carrying out their daily duties, this feedback is great for staff moral and a general appreciation of what we are achieving on the course.

 Greens

As I write this report we have just completed the renovations of the greens (coring), this involves the use of hollow tines which remove a small plug approx 100mm x 12mm from the green, this allows better surface drainage, better root development, removal of mat and thatch, we can incorporate any soil amendments while the core hole are open and relieve excess surface and soil compaction, so despite the interruption to play it is necessary for this type of maintenance to be carried out on a yearly basis.

Tees

The couch tees have again been sprayed to control the kikuyu encroachment, the rye grass and wintergrass will be sprayed out at the end of August, which will put us in a great position going into the warmer months to be potentially weed free.

I might look into returfing the 9th and 16th tees with Kikuyu as the couch originally selected for these tees simply does not perform throughout the cooler season.

Fairways

The fairways still have a good surface and the Fusarium disease from the June rainfall has shown some strong recovery considering the reduced growth.

We will be in great condition leading into spring with full turf coverage and only a handful of areas that require a bit more TLC.

Bunkers

Normal bunker maintenance as required although the wind has displaced sand around the bunker.

Trees and Gardens

The tree work has been completed on the 12th tee and replanting with native plants will commence shortly

Pathways

We have concreted a pad on the walkway up the 3rd tee; we hope to continue this work as time allows concentrating on the problem areas.

Vandalism

Only the odd flag removed from the 10th green.

Other projects

-          Garden work, trimming and mulching.

-          Round up spraying under pine trees, gardens, course boundaries and dams.

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.                           

 

Thank You

 Mark Yates