Greenkeepers Blog

Greenkeepers Blog October 2016

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Green Keepers Blog October 

We had 37mm of rain for the month of October and recorded 6 days of rainfall.

October was a very busy month for the greenstaff with major events throughout the month including four rounds of men’s club championships, Ladies WGI tournament over three consecutive days and followed by the Senior Pro Am.

The course has held up well despite some difficult weather conditions including dry westerly wind and minimal rainfall.

Also during this time, I was lucky enough to be enjoying a 3-week family holiday to the United States.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our new mechanic Gary Slow to the greenstaff crew. Gary is a fitter and turner by trade and has a great knowledge on all things mechanical, he has already proven himself and has adjusted quickly to his new position. After not having a mechanic for nearly four months he certainly had a bit of catching up in the machinery repair and maintenance department.

 Greens

Greens are being cut 5-6 days a week.

The greens have been running well during the month however I have heard that they were a little firm and fast for the 1st round of the championships. (Blame Stuart for this one).

We are continuing our “primo” program with good results, and we are starting another growth regulator product called “Shortstop”, this product targets the Winter grass and suppresses the seed head and reduces the tufted growth habit resulting in smoother and more consistent greens.

 Tees

 Tees are being cut once a week and this will increase to twice a week as the weather conditions continue to favor turfgrass growth.

Overall the tees are in good condition.

 Fairways

The fairways are currently cut once a week in a 50/50 pattern.

The overall condition of the fairways is excellent with complete grass coverage across the course.

Some dry areas have started to appear near the edges of the fairways were the tree roots are taking most of the valuable water supply.

We must keep in mind that irrigation is only good when supported by consistent rainfall, during long spells of dry weather or strong winds we will see a deterioration in turf quality when irrigation cannot replace the water lost from the plant through evapotranspiration.

 Bunkers

Bunkers have been raked a dozen or more times over the month due to the frequency of competition play, consistency and presentation being our main focus for the bunkers.

We are looking at options for the grass face on the 5th bunker to create some stability, this might include the placing of plastic mesh on the face and allow the grass to grow through it resulting in an area that will not allow a golf ball to plug in the grassed area.

Machinery

With the appointment of our new mechanic in early October everything is running smoothly at the moment and all the machines are sharp and cutting well.

With the financial assistance from our Veteran members to the sum of $2000, we have been able to purchase a quality second hand greens roller from a group one Sydney golf course. These machines really hold their value and do not become available very often.

The purchase of this greens roller will greatly improve the smoothness of the green surface and aid in the quick recovery of the surface after aeration with the coring machine.

So, thanks again to our Veteran committee for their generous donation. 

Trees and Gardens

It has been a very busy month with tree and fence line spraying.

Helen has had to hand water trees and garden beds frequently due to the dry windy conditions and continue with the garden mulching, hedging, pruning of shrubs and the planting of new plants donated by our members.

Helen has also fertilized garden beds and young trees with liquid fertilizer and dynamic lifter, again in preparation for the summer months.

The next stage of our dead tree removal will include the pine tree behind the 7th green, the pine to the right-hand side of the 16th green, and the large pine at the end of the practice range.

Pathways

The bridge on the 10th easement will be scheduled ASAP.

No other repairs have been necessary.


 

Thank You   Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 

 

 

Greenkeepers Blog Aug 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

 August 2016

We had 76mm of rain for the month of August and had 4 days of rain recorded.

August has been a busy month with our annual green renovations carried out in the early part of the month and despite a minor setback with the weather the greens recovery has been good.

Greens

Despite the rainfall in early August that prevented us from top dressing half of the greens after renovations for an extra week, I have been happy with the overall recovery from the annual maintenance and after 5 weeks I am happy with the condition going into one of the busiest time in our golfing calendar including events such as the Minnamurra bowl, WGI tournament, Men’s club championship, Senior Pro-Am, Ladies open and Junior Masters.

Tees

 Tees are being cut once a week and the growth and recovery has been good for this time of the year.

A spring renovation will occur over the next few weeks.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut once a week in a 50/50 pattern.

The overall condition of the fairways is excellent with complete grass coverage across the course.

The small areas affected by the winter disease are already showing good signs of recovery due to the warmer weather and increased growth, we are in great condition as we enter the growing season with forecast rain in the coming weeks.

Bunkers

The bunkers are in good condition and are raked on competition days, there is a good consistency across all bunkers on the course.

We have used a hose to remove the built up sand on the 5th bunker, this will result in the surrounds being GUR for the next couple of weeks, this bunker has certainly changed shape over the past 16 months since the rebuild.

Machinery

We kept the new Jacobsen greens mower off the greens over the past month due to the excess sand on the surface, this sand would quickly blunt the cylinders and blades. We certainly noticed the quality of cut and appearance on the greens when we started using it again in early September.

At the moment we are still in the selection mode for the placement of a new mechanic, hopefully this position will be filled by the end of September.

Trees and Gardens

It has been a very busy month in the gardens with hedging and mulching of all the gardens on the course, this hard work will pay dividends with great weed control as we enter the full growing season, the gardens are going into full bloom and are looking great.

Spraying under the pine trees and fence lines will continue over the next month to help control the weeds.  

Pathways

The bridge on the 10th easement will be scheduled ASAP.

No other repairs have been necessary.

 

Thank You Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

September Newsletter Answers

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CAPTAINS CHATTER

September Newsletter Answers

Golf Club members are being asked to observe club dress rules, especially on the course. This means collared shirts for men and appropriate dress for ladies. Staff are doing their best to ensure dress regulations are adhered to by social players. Emphasis is on neat and tidy dress at all times in all areas of the club.

Golf players are reminded to look at the notice board area adjacent to the Pro Shop for “Local Rules” and “Conditions of Play” before hitting off.

Rules:

1.         Q: May a player brush dew or frost from his line of putt?

            A: No.  Rule 16-1a prohibits touching the line of putt except in removal of loose impediments, repair of ball marks etc. Dew or frost are not loose impediments.

 

2.         Q: A player places a club on the ground parallel to the line of play to assist them in aligning their feet properly. Is this permissible?

            A: Yes, provided the player removes the club before playing their stroke. Otherwise a rule breach has occurred and a 2 stoke penalty applies.

 

GreenKeepers Blog June 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Superintendents Report – June 2016

We had 304mm of rain for the month of June.

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 its usual high standard.

Unfortunately, our mechanic Brett Heeley has been offered a machinist job in a high end motor dealership in Sydney, he has accepted the position and will now be working on Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini’s etc, a bit of a step up from Toro and Jacobsen mowers, Brett has been a fantastic employee during his time with Kiama golf club and I wish him and his family all the best for the future.

Greens

Our annual greens renovations are coming up in early August, we have them scheduled in for 1.8.2016. The renovations should take 2-3 days to complete with favorable weather.

We have recently taken soil tests from greens 1, 5 and 14, these test results showed a deficiency in Calcium and Magnesium, and a very high reading in unavailable Phosphorus brought about by high accumulated bi-carbonates (Sodium Na), we will start a fertilizer program to slowly rectify these problems, starting with the addition of gypsum during the greens renovations.

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

The greens have been consistent throughout the month.

Tees

 Tees are being cut once a fortnight and are in good condition for this time of year.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut once a fortnight in a 50/50 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 are in good condition and are raked on competition days, there is a good consistency across all bunkers on the course.

Machinery

We have selected the Jacobsen 322 Hybrid diesel greensmower as the next part of our machinery replacement program, this mower offers hybrid technology and ease of operation with fuel savings of around $1500/ year on this machine alone.

The new machine will be delivered in mid-July.

We have recently replaced the bottom blades on the fairway mower, this is generally completed during the winter months so that the machine in great cutting condition as we enter the growing season in October.

Trees and Gardens

The removal of several problem trees along the fence line on the 5th has been rescheduled for late July due to a back log of work for the arborist due to the storms in early June and frequent wet weather in early July, this tree work will result in the closure of the 5th and 13th holes while the maintenance is carried out, the removal should take two days.

We have been busy with our own tree maintenance with the removal of seven dead/ problem trees on the course, the removal has taken place on the LHS of the 7th fairway with four trees removed, RHS of the 12th fairway (two trees) and one big pine from the practice tee area.

Pathways

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

We have cleaned out the blocked up pipe on the old foot bridge on the Eastern side of the 10th dam, this has relieved some of the problems with the flow of urban runoff from Charles avenue.

A new pedestrian bridge will be built in the coming future.

Vandalism

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

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 

 

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