Green Keepers Blog

Superintendents Report – May 2019

We received 11mm and 2 days of rainfall throughout the month of May. April was a particularly dry month with 45.5mm and followed up in May with only 11mm, although we have had a good start to June with 99mm falling in the first week.

As is the case each year, when we enter the cooler months of the year the course undergoes some significant changes. What impact these changes have on the condition of the turf is affected by a wide range of environmental factors and available resources. Over the coming months I’m going to post a series of videos (like my recent effort on the 11th) that will attempt to address some of the more regular issues we get asked about. I’m also happy for these videos to be member driven, so if you have a topic (Golf Course/Turfgrass related!!) you’d like to hear more about please leave a question in the comments below the next video.

As a quick reminder, turfgrass is a living, breathing thing, just like you. If you get rundown and stressed your health will suffer, it’s the same with the grass.

Greens – Greens are running well at the moment. As the temperature has decreased so has the turfgrass growth and the need to irrigate, resulting in a consistent surface.

We have recently mini tyned the greens with 8mm tynes at a depth of 30mm, the aim was to remove a small amount of matt and thatch to break the surface tension and to improve the water infiltration rate into the turf surface, the use of the mini tynes is to minimize surface disturbance and a faster recovery.

We have our major renovations scheduled for early August; this will be our first major renovation in 3 years. This will involve the use of 16mm hollow tyne’s to remove existing vegetation from the greens and to give us improved infiltration and root development plus many more benefits.

Tees – Tees are being cut once a week. We need to rotate the marker placement more often in the cooler months as turfgrass recovery is slower and we need to distribute the wear on the tee area.

Fairways – Unfortunately we have taken a hit with several areas affected by disease, this disease hit quickly and although it is not uncommon across many turf playing surfaces, it is disappointing to have it occur, we have applied a chemical to reduce the disease (with great results) however the damage has been done, we will continue to monitor these areas. Due to the cooler climate we will not see any considerable recovery until Spring, we will endeavor to GUR these areas although I can’t do all the thin areas and it must be accepted that a poor lie on occasion is just the “rub of the green”. As a percentage, the areas affected by the disease is minimal. We will record this disease and take preventative measures in the future.

Machinery – We have recently received the approval by the board of directors for the purchase of a stump grinder attachment for our skid steer machine (bobcat)

This machine is a long-term investment and extremely cost affective for future stump removal. I have approximately 115 stumps on the course in need of removal and this will increase with the current tree removal program in full swing.

The purchase of this stump grinder has been very well supported by our veteran members with a large portion of the purchase price donated by them. More details to follow in my next report.

Bunkers- Due to the recent heavy rainfall we were forced to relocate several tonnes of sand in the bunkers from the edges back into the playing zone of the bunker, this process took 3 staff 2 days to complete.

We have also topped up the two bunkers on the 16th with new white sand.

Trees and Gardens – We have removed 5 large dead pine trees from the course with two removed from the LHS of the 2nd fairway, one removed between the 7th-15th fairways, and two from the LHS of the 7th fairway and the practice area.

Pathways – We will continue the improvements to the 3rd tee walkway with the use of the GEOHEX plastic grids.

Work has started on the construction of the timber screen behind the 8th tee.

Vandalism – We had 15 flagsticks stolen from the course and they were later returned to the front yard of a house on Golfers Parade, we were fortunate they were returned as the replacement cost for a set of flags and sticks in in excess of $1000. Police were notified of the initial theft.

Regards Mark Yates