Greenkeepers Blog

July Newsletter Quiz

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Captains Chatter from July Newsletter

RULES QUIZ

  1. A player’s ball comes to rest close to the putting green and he wishes to putt his next stroke. However there is a divot hole just in front of his ball on his line of play. May he replace the divot in its hole before putting?
  2. In a singles match play round, A concedes B’s next stroke and knocks B’s ball away. B’s ball in motion moves A’s ball. What is your ruling?
  3. A player dropped a towel onto the ground. The wind blew the towel onto the player’s ball causing it to move. You are called to adjudicate.
  4. Is a member of the Committee or a fellow player obliged to inform a player that her original ball has been found, even if it is clear that the player does not plan to search for it because she would prefer to continue play with her provisional ball?

ANSWERS to RULES QUIZ

  1. Decision 13-2/6. No. Rule 13-2 prohibits a player from improving their line of play by eliminating an irregularity of surface.
  2. Decision 18-2/18. As A caused his own ball to move, he incurred a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2 and must replace his ball.
  3. Decision 18-2/17. As the player’s equipment caused the ball to move, the player incurred a penalty stroke and must replace the ball.
  4. Decision 27-2/2. Yes.

Greenkeepers Blog May 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Superintendents Report – May 2017

We had 57.5mm of rain for the month of May and recorded 7 days of rainfall.

The volume and frequency of the rainfall over the past two months has been very favorable for turf grass growth and recovery considering the volume we received in February and March.

Year to date rainfall currently stands at 737mm and our average is around 1100mm.

Overall, I am very happy with how the course is playing and the presentation is good.

Greens

We recently solid tined the greens to a depth of 200mm to increase the aeration in the greens soil profile, we then rolled the surface to reduce the impact on the playing conditions.

Stuart and I have been further researching different fertilizer and soil conditioning product to help with better root development and in conjunction with more frequent aeration we hope to improve the overall health and consistency of the playing surface.

We will be changing a few of our normal cultural practices and this will include our normal renovations in early August. Instead of the usual ½ inch hollow tyne once a year we will try to aerate the greens more frequently but with less surface disturbance and quicker recovery for the players.

Tees

Tees are being cut once a fortnight.

Tees are in good condition as we enter the cooler months.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut once a week.

We applied the Pre-emergent herbicide during one of the rainy days in May, this allows the rainfall to wash the product into the soil profile where it helps to prevent the germination of the wintergrass seed.

This exercise has been carried out at this time of the year since we established our wintergrass program way back in July 2010, with consistent results each year.  

The overall condition of the fairways is excellent.

Machinery

Currently all our machines are working well, with only general routine maintenance being required.

Bunkers

Trimming will continue every 2-3 weeks.

Just a reminder to all golfers to please consider not walking up the steeper bunker faces.

Trees and Gardens

The staff have been busy with weed spraying throughout the tree lines, boundary fences and gardens.

This month in the gardens the focus has been on hand-weeding, spraying glyphosate and mulching.

Once again, the Kiama Veteran Golfers have made a kind donation to the purchase of approximately 50 plants for the beatification of the area west of the green keepers shed, the mound area has been planted out to create a better outlook (vista) from the 18th tee. The Garden party helped with the planting during their monthly get together, and thank you all once again for your support.

We have recently removed a Coral and a Willow tree from the 2nd hole and removed a large dead pine tree from behind the 7th green.

We would also like to consider the removal of the Fig tree on the right-hand side of the 13th fairway, this would open up the view of the hole and also allow us to position the markers so we can use the entire tee area, also the root system on the Fig tree is starting to become troublesome for our mowing operations.

Helen has been very busy with the hedging and gardens around the clubhouse.

Pathways

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

No other repairs have been necessary.

Vandalism

The only vandalism recorded was from the Corella’s.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

     Course Superintendent

Greenkeepers Blog April 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Superintendents Report – April 2017

We had 73mm of rain for the month of April and recorded 7 days of rainfall.

As I write this report we have only received 1mm of rainfall since the 20.4.17, this has certainly allowed the course to “dry out” over the past month and aid in the turfgrass recovery after the frequent rainfall we sustained in the months of February and March.

The overall condition of the course is good as we enter the cooler months and the turfgrass growth will greatly reduce.

The month of May is a busy time as we host our ladies club championships and our men’s foursome’s championship, the course should play well for all competitors.

Greens

The health and recovery of our greens has improved since the rainfall frequency has reduced, however we are constantly repairing unrepaired or poorly repaired pitch marks on our greens, golfers must understand that almost every approach shot to a green will result in some sort of damage to the surface.

This has a great impact on the health, recovery and playability of the greens, please take the time to not only repair your pitch marks but ensure they are done correctly.

Greens are being cut 3-4 times per week.

Overall the greens are playing well despite the wear and tear.

Tees

Tees are being cut once a week.

Tees are in good condition as we enter the cooler months and divot recovery will be slow.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut once a week.

We will be applying a Pre-emergent herbicide to the tees and fairways as a part of our ongoing wintergrass program, this application in previous years has proved pivotal in the fight against this annual “weed”.  

The overall condition of the fairways is excellent.

Machinery

Currently all our machines are working well, with only general routine maintenance being required.

Bunkers

Trimming will continue every 2-3 weeks.

Bunkers are currently raked 4 times a week due to the ladies’ club championships and they are in good condition with our emphasis on consistency and debris removal.

Just a reminder to all golfers to please consider not walking up the steeper bunker faces.

Trees and Gardens

The staff have been busy with weed spraying throughout the tree lines, boundary fences and gardens.

This month in the gardens the focus has been on hand-weeding, spraying glyphosate and mulching.

 

The Garden Party once again helped in clearing out and mulching the gardens around the 1st, 8th,9th and 18th gardens and once again with the plants trimmed and the weeds removed and a fresh layer of mulch applied the areas look great!

All garden areas are in good condition and we are still receiving lots of positive feedback.

**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.

 

Vandalism

The five flagstick sticks stolen last month were recovered in the Minnamurra river by one of our local residences this is greatly appreciated and it is good to know that our “locals are keeping an eye out for the club.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

     Course Superintendent

Greenkeepers Blog March 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We had 197mm of rain for the month of February and recorded 13 days of rainfall.

Wow what a month, after battling hot dry conditions over the past 4-5 months, February saw a welcome reprieve with consistent rainfall throughout the month, several local golf course superintendents reduced their stress levels considerably.

The rain has continued into March and the overall condition of the course is great.

Greens

Greens are being cut 6 days a week.

The greens are consistent however a little on the slow side due to the frequency of the rainfall and the growth rate during this time of the year.

There has been an incidence of “Dollar Spot” disease in the greens after the rainfall, the disease was treated and the disease is now under control.

The drainage behind the 8th greens has progressed over the past few weeks and is near completion.

  Tees

 Tees are being cut twice a week.

Overall the tees are in good condition.

 

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut twice a week.

Well once the drought broke we were in a great position to recover quickly from the previous heat and drought stress.

We were able to apply the growth regulator to the fairways in mid-February to help control the initial growth after the rainfall and to “tighten” up the grass, this has resulted in all the fairways being consistent with complete grass coverage across the course.  

The overall condition of the fairways is excellent.

 

Bunkers

Trimming will continue every 2-3 weeks.

The bunkers are in great condition and are very consistent across the course, i.e. no complaints.


 

Machinery

Currently all our machines are working well, with only routine maintenance being carried out.

We were fortunate to demo the latest “Toro” fairway mower, this machine is a diesel hybrid mower, the machine performed well and the quality of cut was excellent. Our current “Jacobsen” fairway mower is just over 4 years old and is up for replacement in early 2018, the Toro will certainly be considered as a future replacement. 

 

Trees and Gardens

A large Coral tree fell down on the 8th fairway, the tree and surrounding areas were placed under GUR. The tree was removed within 2 days and the stump removed a week later. We have continued with our gradual removal of Cocos Palms.

This month in the gardens the focus has been on hedging and other pruning.

Weed control of gardens has still been a major task throughout the summer months. An herbicide called Associate is being trialed to eradicate the invasive weed, Slender Grape. Fingers crossed. Pest oil was applied to our Lily Pily hedges twice over February to control the scale insects. Good results. The welcome rain was also the perfect opportunity to continue with fertilizing the small trees and garden areas.

The Garden Party got stuck into clearing out the gardens in the western carpark. It looks great!

All garden areas are in good condition and we are still receiving lots of positive feedback.

**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.

Vandalism

The only damage to the course was caused by the Corellas.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates Course Superintendent

 

 

 

 

 

Greenkeepers Christmas blog

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Blog

First of all, the green staff would like to wish all the members and guests and their families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We were delivered an early Christmas present of 40mm of rain over 3 days in mid-December, this was on the back of almost 13 weeks of hot, dry weather with minimal rainfall since mid-September.

The course is in great condition as we enter one of the busiest times of the year both in playing and the growing season. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of closing the doors for a well-earned Christmas break as the grass continues to grow regardless of the public holidays.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members for their positive feedback on the consistent condition of the course, also the support from David Rootham and the board of directors, I would also like to wish all the staff of Kiama Golf Club a safe and merry Christmas, and to my crew who continue to do their best all year around even in adverse weather conditions to produce the best we can for the members.

Regards Mark Yates


 

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