Greenkeepers Blog

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

 

 

Superintedndents Blog - March

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Superintendents Report – March 2013

We had 36mm of rain for the month of March and recorded 4 days of rain.

As I write this report we have come to the end of daylight saving, we are having cooler mornings and nights. There has been a decrease in turfgrass growth although our cutting frequency has not changed.  

Greens

Greens are running ok at the moment, they are a bit softer than I would like.

Towards the end of April I will verti- drain the greens with a solid Tyne followed by a light top-dress and fertiliser, this should give us good surface drainage and grass coverage going into to the winter months.

Tees

We are cutting tees twice a week.

The round up trials are continuing  with more work on the 2nd and 8th tees and most noticeable on the 9th tee where we seem to have found the right chemical rate for the control of the kikuyu in the couch tees.

Fairways

Unchanged from last month

Fairways are being cut twice per week.

There is a small amount of disease in the heavily trafficked areas, and these areas have been treated and traffic controls are in place.

There has not been any wintergrass germination as yet and I will be applying a pre emergent herbicide to all closely mown areas of kikuyu, this includes fairways and green surrounds.

Bunkers

Bunkers have all been trimmed in preparation for the Kiama Open.

Bunkers are being raked on Wednesdays, Thursday, Saturday and other competition days including Veterans golf days, pennants and corporate days.

Machinery

The machinery cylinder grinders that were donated by the veteran golfers have been delivered and installed and we are now just awaiting some specialist training for the operation of the machine.

We have recently purchased a set of second hand greens mower cutting cylinders, these will be used as a back up set for the greens mower and the tees mower and will be beneficial when we start a regular greens dusting program.

Trees and Gardens

Helen has been busy planting several species of plants around the clubhouse and first tee; the majority of these plants have been donated by members.

Roundup spraying under trees continues when time permits.

Vandalism

The main problem on the course is the Corella birds with a recent attack on the 10th green on Wednesday 3.4.13. Green staff repaired the damage the following morning and the recovery has been good. This problem is very difficult to police and I would ask all members to help in scaring the birds away from the greens or any closely mown surface.

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

 

Superintendents Blog - Feb

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Superintendents Report – February 2013

 

We had 131mm of rain for the month of February and recorded 9 days of rain.

We had a damaging storm the 24th of February, resulting in a lot of debris and tree branches down on the golf course. It took approximately 5 days of solid chain sawing and wood chipping to get the debris cleaned up, this along with general maintenance has taken up all allocated time.  

Greens

Greens are on the slower side due to consistent rainfall and growth.

There has been some disease “dollar spot” present on the greens, however this disease has been treated and is under control.

 Tees

We are cutting tees twice a week.

The roundup trials on the 12th tee, showed some goods results but the Kikuyu recovered over a 3 week period, due to the storm clean up no further trials have been conducted.

Fairways

Fairways are being cut twice per week.

There is a small amount of disease in the heavily trafficked areas, and these areas have been treated and traffic controls are in place. There has not been any wintergrass germination as yet and I will be applying a pre emergent herbicide to all closely mown areas of kikuyu, this includes fairways and green surrounds.

Bunkers

The storm damage forced me to reprioritize the bunker maintenance.

We refaced several of the bunkers and relocated approximately 20 tonnes of sand back into the playing zones of each bunker, this job alone took 2 staff 2 days to complete.

Machinery

The machinery cylinder grinders that were donated by the veteran golfers have been delivered and installed and we are now just awaiting some specialist training for the operation of the machine.

The cutting units on the greens mower have just received a complete overhaul.

Trees and Gardens

As a result of the storm damage from last month we have removed several trees on the course, including a coral on the left hand side of the second fairway and the tea tree on the 9th tee, Roundup spraying under trees continues when time permits.

Pathways

With the assistance of the garden party at the beginning of March we were able to top up some problem areas on the pathways on the holes 6, 7,10,13,15, and 17. Thank you again for your help.

Vandalism

The main problem on the course is the Karrela birds that are digging up the fairways and the occasional green in search of food. If possible could the golfers please take the time to scare the birds away from the playing areas.Also we have had several of the small white stakes that I use for traffic control stolen from the 7th and 16th holes, these stakes cost $11 each to replace.

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

Superintendents Report - December

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Superintendents Report- December

We had 42.5mm of rain for the month of December and recorded just 4 days of rain. The total rainfall recorded for the year was 992mm. The dry summer is continuing however the course is holding up well considering the dry warmer weather. As I write this report the mercury is tipped to surpass 40 deg

Other courses in the Illawarra are struggling with the drought conditions and a lack of water to keep the grass healthy; this includes Port Kembla who has turned off all fairway irrigation for the past 6 weeks.

We are now 20 weeks into a period were we have had minimal rainfall, including the last 11 weeks were we have recorded just 66mm of rainfall. I have spoken to many members that make the comment, “I have never seen the dams this empty in 30 years of playing golf here at Kiama”. 

Greens  Greens have been on the slower side, however nearly all the comments I receive are that they are still smooth and consistent.

Unfortunately we need to irrigate regularly to ensure the health of the grass over green speed. My growth regulation is continuing well and we are applying the chemical every 3 weeks. We are definitely in the peek disease season and my programs are working well and we currently have no disease problems on greens.

Tees  We are cutting tees twice a week, the Kikuyu encroachment on the couch tees has recovered from the herbicide applications however we have eliminated a lot of the kikuyu from the actual playing area. This control will continue.

Fairways We are cutting fairways twice a week; the growth regulation program is working well and giving the golfer a nice tight lie. I will take this opportunity to suggest that the fairways are in their current healthy condition even in these drought conditions mainly due to my wintergrass control program that I started nearly 3 years ago, the kikuyu is healthier and has less competition, and also the wintergrass would have been struggling in the summer heat.

Bunkers We are currently relocating the sand back into the playing part of the bunker, we try to achieve a flat base with steep sides, I will be making entry and exit points in the bunkers to allow easier access for our golfers, this will continue over the next few weeks, please do not walk up the steeper faces of the bunkers.

Machinery Our new Jacobsen Fairway mower has arrived and we are very impressed with all of its operational features, including easier setting adjustments, easier cleaning, cruise control and overall a better cut.

Trees and Gardens We have removed two large corals and one large pine tree from the right hand side of the 12th fairway, this is a very time consuming job and is not always a maintenance priority.

Pathways We have enough road base to top up one more pathway, and again this is not a maintenance priority at the moment.

 Vandalism There are only a few burn marks on the 10th fairway after the New Year fireworks, apart from this we are going well considering we are in the holiday period.

 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