Greenkeepers Blog

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

 

 

 

June Blog

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Superintendents Report- June 2013

For the month of June we received 302mm of rain. 276mm of this fell in 10 days to end the month. The course held up extremely well. The worst impacted area was the bunkers which we had to make GUR for 4 days to give us time to fix the washed out areas and to allow the remaining water to drain away.

Greens

I have started a dusting program for the greens which has seen two applications of sand this past month. Dusting is an on going program and the most important practice for optimal green health. The benefits are a break down of the accumulating mat and thatch layer (over extended time) which improves root growth, pest control and fungal pathogens as a direct result of a healthier plant. Dusting also causes little to no disturbance to playing condition as it requires light frequent applications rather than heavy infrequent.

All other greens maintenance has remained the same with fungicide applications as required and greens being cut 3 times a week before competition days.

Tees 

Tees mowing has been reduced to once a week. We over sowed the couch tees with rye grass which has seen an improvement in colour. Now the rye has had time to establish we will resume with applications of drive to help with kikuyu control.

Fairways

Fairway mowing has considerably reduced. Currently it is around once a month. This is due to successful control of winter grass. The cutting performance of the machine has also improved with a changing of the front rollers and bottom blades. Due to the large volume of rain we received some of the fairways have winter fusarium present. This is easily controlled and should not affect play.

Bunkers

Bunkers suffered the most due to the large amount of rain we received. After being GUR for 4 days we were able to repair all wash outs and maintenance has resumed as normal. The renovated bunkers on the 11th and 17th have grown in well and we will look at removing the black mesh supporting the turf soon.

Machinery

Machinery operations have decreased due to the cold weather and lack of growth of the turf. Our cylinder grinder requires a new cylinder drive. This part is $1000. Once replaced, the grinder will be fully operational.

Trees and Gardens

We removed four corals trees near the net on the 14th. These trees were a risk of falling and damaging the net. Two dead pines trees have also been removed at the 12th tee. This area is priority number one with only one more pine needed to be removed before the area can be leveled and planted. Helen has continued her work on the gardens around the course which are coming along nicely.

Vandalism

Two flags sticks have been stolen from the 10th green and thrown over the fence. Both times they were recovered. This is why we continue to leave old flag sticks on the 10th green.

Other Projects

-          Trimming and mulching

-          Round up spraying under trees will commence again soon

 

Thank you, Dave Sutherland, Assistant Superintendent

 

Superintendents Blog - May

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Superintendents Report – May 2013

We had 97mm of rain for the month of May and recorded 4 days of rain.

All the rain fell in the last week of the month and between the end of April and the middle of May we had a stretch of 31 days without rainfall.

The course is in good condition although I would like the greens to be a bit firmer.  

Greens

We will be aerating the greens with solid tines on the 17-18th of June, and we will be using mini hollow tines on the 1st and 10th greens. There will be some surface disturbance; however it is important that we carry out this work.

In early June we applied the second application of the selective herbicide to control the Kikuyu encroachment onto the greens; this has been very successful with no damage to the desired turf grasses.

Tees

The couch tees have been oversown with rye grass seed, and due to a slow germination of the seed we have stopped cutting them for a couple of weeks the cutting will resume shortly.

Fairways

Fairways are being cut every 3 weeks. This is mainly due to the success of the wintergrass eradication program and that the kikuyu growth has significantly reduced due to the cold weather.

Bunkers

With the assistance of a dedicated garden party, we were able to reshape the bunker entry points on the 11th and 17th bunkers. I would like to thank all the volunteers for the continued support. (Photos of the re shaping will follow shortly.)

Trees and Gardens

The gardens are all looking good and all the hedges have been trimmed and mulching and weed spraying will continue.

Pathways

No pathway work has been carried out.

Vandalism

We have had very little damage to the course, maybe it’s to cold at night for the person/people.

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