Greenkeepers Blog

Superintendents Blogs November 2016

Monday, December 28, 2015

Superintendents Report – November 2015

 

We had 56.5mm of rain for the month of November and recorded 9 days of rainfall. Our last recorded rainfall was on the 23rd November. It’s now been 16 days with out any substantial rain. The forecast is for the possibility of a late shower/thunderstorm throughout this week…. Fingers crossed!

The overall condition of the course is still good but showing signs of dryness in some fairway areas. At the moment there are some minor issues re a break down at the Bombo Treatment Works which they hope to have rectified before the weekend. (12-13 Dec) So our current supply of treated water is limited to zero.

We are now into the busy time of the year with the grass starting to grow and with favourable weather condition for weeds, pests and disease. We have a good management strategy in place to eliminate any outbreaks.   

 Greens

 The greens are still playing well with a lot of positive member feed back.  We are continuing our wintergrass program with yet another application of the product “shortstop” and we have increase the rate of the product “primo” to reduce the growth rate with regular fertilization for plant recovery.

We have also now introduced the rolling of greens hopefully twice a week. This should improve green speed and smoothness of ball roll.

Tees

Tees are still being cut once a week but starting to show signs of wear mainly from lack of rainfall. Otherwise we will continue to manage these areas to a good standard.

Fairways

The fairways were being cut twice a week through November but with the lack of recent rainfall we have pushed this back to once a week usually Thursday / Friday ready for weekend play.

The recent application of ‘primo’ has really kicked now so we now have controlled growth. We will continue this scheduled program of application to maintain their high quality.

 Bunkers

We are still trimming  bunkers every 3 weeks.

Most of the larger sands chunks have been removed from the bunkers following the addition of the new sand in mid September.

Bunkers are being raked a minimum of 3 times a week and are playing well. 

Machinery

At this stage all machinery is operating well with no major problems.

Trees and Gardens

We still plan on removing several more problem trees over the coming months. Overall the garden areas are good with the ongoing maintenance of these areas.

Pathways

The overall condition of the pathways is good and no repairs have been required.

Vandalism

 Unfortunately we had our back flow prevention valve stolen off the main water meter near the 12 green. This had to be replaced at an expense.

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

Thank You

Mark Yates / Course Superintendent  

Stuart Miller /  Assistant Superintendent.

 

Superintendents Blog October 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Superintendents Report – October 2015

We had 26mm of rain for the month of October and recorded 4 days of rainfall.

The overall condition of the course is great and continues to improve with favorable weather conditions.

October was a great month for golf with the men’s club championships and the senior PGA Pro-Am.

We are now entering the busy time of the year with the grass starting to grow and with favorable weather condition for Weeds, Pests and disease. 

Greens

 The greens have played well over the past month with a lot of positive feed back after the Pro-Am. We are continuing our wintergrass program with yet another application of the product “shortstop” and we have increase the rate of the product “primo” to reduce the growth rate.

 Tees 

Tees are currently being cut once a week.

We fertilized the tees in mid October and the results have been good with healthy grass coverage on all of the tees.

 Fairways

The fairways are currently cut twice a week.

The fairways received their first application of the growth regulator “primo”,

and liquid fertilizer, this resulted in the fairways looking and playing great for our events throughout October.

A second application is due in mid November.

Bunkers

We are currently trimming the bunkers every 3 weeks.

Most of the larger sands chunks have been removed from the bunkers following the addition of the new sand in mid September.

Bunkers are raked at least 3 times a week and are playing well. 

Machinery

We have managed to source some large diameter rollers to fit into our old greens mower cutting heads, this modification should provide a heavier unit with a greater rolling factor for the greens, these units will be utilized when we roll for the removal of dew and to also incorporate a cut and roll program to improve both the smoothness and speed of the greens.

 Trees and Gardens

We have removed another dead pine tree from the left hand side of the 18th fairway near the new mounding.

We are hoping to remove several more problem trees over the next month.

Pathways

The overall condition of the pathways is good and no repairs have been required since the August floods.

Vandalism

 We have recorded no vandalism or theft during the month of September. 

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates           Course Superintendent

      Stuart Miller         Assistant Superintendent.

 

Superintendents Blog September 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Superintendents Report – September 2015

 

We had 65mm of rain for the month of September and recorded 7 days of rainfall.

The overall condition of the course is great and continues to improve with favourable weather conditions.

The course will be in great condition for the men’s club championships and the senior Pro-Am.

Greens

 We have continued our wintergrass program on to greens.

The use of the growth regulator “shortstop” has reduced the growth of the wintergrass and has caused some yellow discoloration to the leaf. The use of this product will suppress the wintergrass and with the right balance of fertiliser will encourage the more favourable bent grass species.

 Tees

Tees are currently cut once a week.

A selective herbicide was applied to the tees to control the cool season grasses that had established during the cooler months, this application has worked well and a follow up application will occur at the end of October.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut twice a week for the men’s club championships.

The fairways are in great condition and will be fertilised and receive and application of

the growth regulator “primo”.

There are a few small patches of clover in the fairways and some rough areas.

These areas will be treated with a selective herbicide

Bunkers

After the major overhaul of the bunkers in early September, the green staff has continued to remove any larger chunks of sand from the bunkers, this practice will continue and the bunkers are improving after each rake.

The bunkers are raked a minimum 3 times a week.  

Machinery

We are currently in the process of receiving quotes for the repair of our greens roller.

If the repairs are within our budget I would hope to have the machine running efficiently by the Senior Pro-Am in late October, Unfortunately a new roller costs around $13,000-$15,000 however an upgrade is in my future machinery purchases.

  

Trees and Gardens

Helen has planted 20 new trees on the course in areas that have seen the removal of older dead trees.

These trees grow well in this environment and have a nice full canopy that can provide protection from stray golf balls; they also have a deep root system so they will not pose a risk to players. We will be planting approximately 20 plants over the next month.

With the assistance of the garden party in the October meeting we continued the pine tree root covering in the area between the 10th and 18th fairways, this section is now complete and has greatly reduced the risk of injury due to the exposed root systems.

We have also removed a dead pine tree on the right hand side of the 3rd fairway near the old pump shed.

 

Pathways

The overall condition of the pathways is good and no repairs have been required since the August floods.

 

Vandalism

 We have recorded no vandalism or theft during the month of September. 

 

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

Thank You

Mark Yates       Course Superintendent

     Stuart Miller       Assistant Superintendent.

Superintendents Blog August 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Superintendents Report – August 2015

We had 295mm of rain for the month of August and recorded 7 days of rainfall. Most of the rain occurred when we received 288mm in the space of 3 days.

Despite the huge down pour from 10am Monday to 3pm Wednesday we were still open with carts on Thursday morning. All other Golf Courses in the Illawarra were closed until at least the weekend.

The overall condition of the course is still very good.

You can certainly feel that spring is just around the corner and the grass is just starting to green up and grow a little.

 Greens

 Overall I have been happy with how the greens have recovered after the annual greens renovations carried out in early August.

The heavy rainfall has washed some core holes out however the greens will receive another dusting shortly.

Tees

Tees are currently cut every fortnight, this will increase to weekly over the next month as the weather warms up and growth increases.

An application of a selective herbicide will be applied in mid September to remove any cool season grass and to promote warm season grass growth without competition.

Fairways

The fairways are currently cut every fortnight and like tees this will increase shortly.

The overall condition is good with only a small amount of disease scaring present on some fairways, these areas are showing good signs of recovery as we enter spring.

Bunkers

Bunkers have received a major overhaul during the past 3 weeks with all bunkers topped up with fresh sand. This is aimed at making all the bunkers as consistent as possible across the course.

We have used natural sand that unfortunately has some “chunky bits” in it.

We are removing as much of the debris from the bunkers every time we rake them, I do apologize for any inconvenience.

This sand is extremely cost effective and is the only way we can afford to continue the bunker program.

Machinery

All current machinery is running well at the moment.

Trees and Gardens

Helen has sourced some replacement trees similar to the “Brushbox” trees situated on the right hand side of the 18th green.

These trees grow well in this environment and have a nice full canopy that can provide protection from stray golf balls, they also have a deep root system so they will not pose a risk to players. We will be planting approximately 20 plants over the next month.

Pathways

Unfortunately due to the torrential rainfall in August we have had to carry out several pathway repairs.

The retaining wall on the second has moved out of line and this will be repaired over the coming weeks.

 

Vandalism

We have had someone let off an fire cracker of some sort in the cup on the 17th green, this resulted in a burnt cup (we cleaned it off) and the damage to the grass around the hole, this damage is showing some slow recovery and will eventually heal itself, the damage does not affect play but is discoloured compared to the rest of the green

Other projects

     -  Western car park retaining wall

-        Tree maintenance.

-        Pathway repairs.

-        3rd tee pathway.

-        Soil mounding on the 10th.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 

 

 

 

Superintendents Blog June 2015

Thursday, August 06, 2015

We had 75.5mm of rain for the month of June and recorded 5 days of rainfall. The highest reading for 1 day was 43mm.

The overall condition of the course is still very good.

There has been some very heavy dew’s in the mornings but only two small frosts so far.

We have replaced the fence around the practice putting green due to safety issues with the rusty old fence.

 Greens

 We had a small amount of the disease  “Winter fusarium” on several of the greens in early June, however this was treated and has since fully recovered.

Brett our new mechanic has made up a set of roller heads for our old greens mower, this enables us to roll the greens on a daily basis to remove the dew early in the morning, this is both time saving and cost effective because we can operate the machine at a faster pace than when we cut and there is no wear and tear on the cutting cylinders.

The greens are rolling well but there are still quite a few pitch marks on the greens.

A reminder that we have our annual greens renovations due on the 3rd of August weather permitting.

We are currently cutting 3 times per week and rolling every other day if there is heavy dew present.

Tees

The tees are in good condition although starting to show some signs of wear. There has been some Winter grass seed germination in some of the couch tees, this will be sprayed out in July to continue our overall winter grass program. We are cutting tees every 3 weeks.

Fairways

The fairways are in great condition with only slight problems in front of the 1st green where there is some fairway disease.

The fairway disease Fusarium has been treated and is currently not active however there is still some scaring in some areas.

We are currently cutting once a month due to the lack of growth and the success of the winter grass program.

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

There has been major weed removal from the garden behind the 8th green and replaced with several plantings of Salvia and Geranium’s.

We have had a quiet month for tree maintenance although Helen has been able to mulch most of the gardens with some help from other greenstaff and the garden party.

There have been new annual plantings around the practice putting green to bring a bit of colour to the area.

 

Pathways

We have started a major overhaul of the surrounds near the 2nd green, this has included the installation of a timber retaining wall and we will be using plastic grids for the pathway, these grids have been supplied by Geohex through one of our members John Holloway and A+ Plastics.

The Kiama Veterans have kindly donated the money for this project and I thank them for their continued support.

Vandalism

We have recorded no vandalism or bird damage during the month of June

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.

-        We have completed the new fence around the practice putting green.

 

Thank You

Mark Yates

Course Superintendent

 

 

 

 

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