Greenkeepers Blog

Greenkeepers Blog August 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Superintendents Report – August 2017

We received 23.5mm of rain for the month of August and recorded 3 days of rainfall. We received 19mm on the 4.8.17 so the rest of the month was very dry with strong westerly winds.
Talk about a “Dry Winter” with monthly rainfall over the Winter period recording 61mm, 14.5mm, and 23.5 mm respectfully.
The long-range forecast is not looking very promising for any significant rainfall and these drought conditions will place several Illawarra golf courses in testing conditions as we head into Spring and Summer.
The course has held up well during this dry spell.
Overall, I am very happy with how the course is playing and the presentation is good.
We have recently updated our “Toro” computer system and software equipment, the previous system was 10 years old and technology has improved greatly over this time. I would like to thank David and the board for showing complete support for this valuable upgrade.
Greens
The greens recovered well after the early August renovation practices with very little disturbance to the playing conditions.
Greens are playing well and are consistent across the course.
It is usually this time of year where we see a growth spurt from the wintergrass in our greens, however we have started our wintergrass program to reduce the effects of this seasonal occurrence with the application of selective herbicides that suppress the wintergrass and help to promote the more desirable bent grass species.
Tees
The tees have held up well during the winter months and we are starting to see some turf recovery from the general wear and tear of the golfers.
The most notable improvement for this time of year is the amount of Kikuyu present on the tee areas most notably the 2nd and 8th tees. The decision to let the kikuyu to continue to encroach into the tee pad area of the Couch grass tees instead of trying to continually try to control the grass with expensive selective herbicides has seen the kikuyu promotion advance by approximately 50% in only 2 years.
Fairways
The fairways are currently cut once a month.
Our main focus has been on debris removal to improve the aesthetics.
Despite the strong consistent winds throughout August the staff have been able to remove the debris quickly from all playing surfaces.
We have recently fertilized the fairways with a simple mix of Sulphate fertilizer to promote some growth and colour to improve the fairway definition.
The overall condition of the fairways is excellent.
Machinery
General maintenance on all machinery to ensure we are ready to go as the growing season approaches.
Bunkers
Trimming will continue every 4 weeks.
We are in the process of removing some of the overhanging bunker faces, notably the bunkers on the 14th and 18th.
Just a reminder to all golfers to please consider not walking up the steeper bunker faces.
Trees and Gardens
In the gardens, most of August was spent mulching and pruning throughout the course.
The removal of the fountain grass and Dianella from the 9th green area and the 10th tee fence line and the 14th tee gardens.
Our winter tree program continued with the removal of 3 trees.
Trees removed include,
-The large coral tree on the 14th hole.
-The two dead pine trees situated between the fairways on the 5th and 15th holes.
Pathways
We are currently seeking quotes for concrete pathways from several suppliers.
Vandalism
The only vandalism recorded was from the Corella’s but only minimal damage.

Thank You Mark Yates
Course Superintendent