Greenkeepers Blog

Superintendents blog May 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

We had 59.5mm of rain for the month of May and recorded 6 days of rainfall. The highest reading for 1 day was 20mm.

The overall condition of the course is still very good. The only minor concern has been the high winds but there has been minimal damage.

 Greens

 With good rainfall for May the greens have been rolling extremely well. Greens are slightly firmer therefore slightly faster.

The algae has decreased with the dryer windy conditions.

Again pitch have reduced with the firmer greens.

We are currently disease free on the greens and they are being cut at least 4-5 days a week.

I am expecting the green speed to increase as the weather gets cooler caused from the reduced growth.

Tees

The tees are in good condition starting to show some signs of wear. We will be moving our markers more regularly to help even the winter wear.

Fairways

The fairways are in great condition with only slight problems in front of the 1st green were there is some fairway disease. There are minor out breaks of Fusarium in some areas but nothing to substantial.

We will be cutting fairways less probably twice per month. This will depend on weather conditions.

Bunkers

During the winter months we will again stock pile some white sand and then top up some of the worst bunkers on the course starting with the front right bunker on the 4th

Practice Chipper

We are still drafting a plan to increase the size of this green.

Trees and Gardens

We have removed some dead pine trees from the right hand side of the 17th fairway. We have also removed several palm trees.

We will be replanting in several areas over the next few months with a variety of plant species.

Pathways

Repairs as required due to storm damage.

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. We have finalized our quote and spoken with Geoff Peters regarding this.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

Thank You

Stuart Miller

Acting Superintendent.

 

Superintendents Blog March

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Superintendents Report – March 2015

 

We had 60mm of rain for the month of March and recorded 7 days of rainfall.

We have had limited water supply available from the Bombo recycle water plant. The plant has had problems with the quality of water since the 5th of March so we have had to monitor our usage.

The overall condition of the course is great as we enter the autumn months.

 Greens

 The previous problems associated with the Argentine stem weevil pest have significantly improved due to our diligent program and the cooler conditions, close monitoring or the greens will continue on a daily basis.

The damage caused by the Corellas birds on the greens has greatly reduced since we placed mirror balls around the greens, the balls seem to deter the birds and we are finding that the damage is more like once a week/fortnight as opposed to daily.

We are currently disease free on the greens and they are being cut at least 5-6 days a week. 

Tees

The tees are in good condition and will receive a good fertilize as we enter the cooler months to help with continual growth and recovery as well as maintaining colour.

Fairways

The fairways are in good condition with very little weeds present and complete grass coverage. There is a small incidence of disease in some heavy traffic areas but this is not yet a problem with the current climatic conditions.

We are currently cutting fairways twice a week however this will reduce as the cooler weather slows the growth.

An application of a pre emergent herbicide is required at this time of the year to minimise the amount of wintergrass from germinating, however with the lack of available irrigation water I will need sufficient rainfall to wash the product into the soil profile for best results so we will have to hold off until more favourable conditions.

Bunkers

All bunkers were trimmed and presented well for the men’s Kiama Open held on the 11th of April.

The bunkers have been in good condition with less compaction due to the minimal use of irrigation via the greens sprinklers.

Practice Chipper

We are currently drafting a plan to increase the size of the practice chipping green opposite the greenkeeping shed. The plan would include the use of the herbicides  Fusilade and Glyphosate mixed together to eradicate the kikuyu and the couch grass at least 2 meters around the existing green. Once the herbicide has taken affect heavily renovate the entire green which would include scarifying and aeration followed by oversowing with bent grass.

Machinery

All current machinery is running well at the moment.

Trees and Gardens

We are currently spraying round up in the garden areas and under the trees to continue to control the weeds.

Helen has planted several Hibiscus plants between the 6th and 15th tee areas  (near the halfway house) this will create a visual barrier between the two areas as well as add a bit of colour to the course.

Pathways

Repairs as required due to storm damage.

Vandalism

The steel pipe barrier opposite the greenkeepers shed was damaged recently, the pipe seems to have been driven into or jumped on causing a large bend in the pipe and the damage has since been repaired.

We have had two flags sticks stolen off the 10th green in recent weeks.

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.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th

Thank You

Mark Yates

 

Superintendents Blog February

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Superintendents blog– February 2015

We had 147.5mm of rain for the month of February and recorded 10 days of rainfall. The frequency and volume of the rainfall has been great for the course.

The overall condition of the course is great and we are receiving some positive feedback.

Greens

 We are still having problems with the Argentine Stem Weevils on our greens. Our treatment program seems to be only just holding them at bay and there has been some surface damage on several greens.

The Corella’s (birds) are becoming a frequent problem on several greens; the most frequently damaged greens are the 10th and the 11th. I will be placing mirror balls around the greens to scare the birds away from the greens, similar devices have proven to work well so I am willing to try anything to prevent this damage.

We are currently disease free on the greens and they are being cut at least 5-6 days a week. 

Tees

The selective herbicide applied to the couch tees has worked well and all tees have good healthy grass coverage.

Tees are currently cut twice a week.

Fairways

The fairways are in good condition with very little weeds present and complete grass coverage. There is a small incidence of disease in some heavy traffic areas but this is not yet a problem with the current climatic conditions.

We are currently cutting fairways twice a week.

Bunkers

We rake bunkers at least 3-4 times per week for competition days, however further maintenance is difficult during this busy growing season; overall the bunkers are maintained consistently week in and week out.

We have completed the removal and turfing of the bunker on the right hand side of the 12th green. Special thanks to the volunteer garden party for helping with the laying of the turf.

Machinery

We have recently purchased a quality second hand greens mower which will eventually replace our aging and unreliable tees mower, the tees mower will be retained for future spare parts for the other 2 mowers.   

Trees and Gardens

We are currently spraying round up in the garden areas and under the trees to continue to control the weeds.

Helen has planted several Hibiscus plants between the 6th and 15th tee areas  (near the halfway house) this will create a visual barrier between the two areas as well as add a bit of colour to the course.

Pathways

Repairs as required due to storm damage.

Vandalism

We have not recorded any problem during February from humans although the birds are continually damaging areas of the course, most of this damage is happening in the late afternoon when there is nobody around to scare them away.

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.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

 

 

 

Superintendent Blog

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Superintendents Report – January 2015

We had 215.5mm of rain for the month of January and recorded 11 days of rainfall. The frequency and volume of the rainfall has been great for the course.

 Greens

 Our Argentine Stem Weevil problem is currently under control and the turfgrass recovery from the previous damage has been good.

During the early part of January the second green was damaged due to heat stress and insect attack, this resulted in several areas were the grass was under stress and the overall health was diminished.

I later applied a wetting agent to help maintain moisture in the stressed areas, this product was applied to 13 greens in stressed areas however this had an adverse affect on the 2nd green and also on the practice chipping green where the grass has died, all of the other areas sprayed have recovered well.

We decided that plugging the worst areas out was the best mode of action and will provide the quickest recovery.  

Tees

Tees have been sprayed with a selective herbicide to control crab grass weeds, the results have been excellent and a follow up spray is scheduled for February. We are currently cutting tees twice a week.

Fairways

The frequency of rainfall throughout January has provided great growing conditions for our fairways and rough areas resulting in great grass coverage across the whole golf course.

We are currently cutting fairways twice a week and we have been spending approximately three days a week cutting rough.

Bunkers

We have just completed a full trim of all the bunkers as well as sand relocation in several of the bunkers.

We are trimming bunker almost every 2 weeks.

Trees and Gardens

We are currently spraying round up in the garden areas and under the trees to continue to control the weeds.

I will continue with the dead tree removal with 4 priority trees surrounding the 17th fairway and green.

Pathways

Repairs as required due to storm damage.

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.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th

 

Thank You Mark Yates

Superintendents Blog

Friday, December 19, 2014

Superintendents Blog – November 2014

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

We had 52mm of this rain in 1 day.

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

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

Greens

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

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

Tees

The tees have recovered well after a dry spring.

We are currently cutting the tees twice a week.

Fairways

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

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

Bunkers

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

Machinery

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

Trees and Gardens

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

Pathways

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

Vandalism

We have not recorded any problem during November.

Other projects

          Western car park retaining wall

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

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

 

 

Superintendents Blog September

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Superintendents Report – September 2014

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

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

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

Greens

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

Tees

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

Fairways

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

Bunkers

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

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

Machinery

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

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

Trees and Gardens

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

Pathways

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

Vandalism

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

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

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

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

Other projects

          Western car park retaining wall

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

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Timber screen fence on the 4th tee.

 

Thank You Mark Yates

 

Superintendents Blog July

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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

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

The forecast is for light showers over the coming weeks

Greens

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

Tees

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

Fairways

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

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

Bunkers

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

Machinery

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

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

Trees and Gardens

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

Pathways

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

Other projects

-          Western car park retaining wall

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

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.

-          3rd tee pathway.

-          Timber screen fence on the 4th tee.

 

Thank You / Mark Yates

blog update

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

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

Superintendents report June

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Superintendents Report – June 2014

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

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

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

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

Greens

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

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

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

Tees

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

Fairways

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

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

Bunkers

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

Machinery

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

Trees and Gardens

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

Pathways

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

Vandalism

Just the usual stick thrower on the 10th.

Other projects

 

-          Western car park retaining wall

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

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.

-          3rd tee pathway.

-          Timber screen fence on the 4th tee.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

Superintendents blog January

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Superintendents Report – January 2014

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

Greens

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

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

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

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

Tees

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

Fairways

 Fairways are currently being cut twice a week.

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

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

Bunkers

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

Machinery

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

Trees and Gardens

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

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

Pathways

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

Vandalism

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

 

 

 

 

Other projects

-          Western car park retaining wall

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

-          Tree maintenance.

-          Pathway repairs.

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

-          3rd tee pathway

-          Repair the drainage problem behind the first green

                        

Thank You

 Mark Yates