Showing posts from 2012

Irrigation Drama's

Last Sunday (30th) a main line ruptured on the front 9

Due to the nature and location of the break( 10m from bore, another 2m and we would have been OK) we are unable to isolate the pipe which means we cannot irrigate any areas on the front 9 with the irrigation system,  to add to our woes we cannot obtain the correct fittings till at least Wednesday 2nd Jan and then we have to slowly pressurise the system which will take time.

As you can imagine with the heat we are having it is cause for concern, temperatures of 34 to 40 degrees combined with low humidity are effectively cooking our turf areas without water.

The greens are our main priority, we are using 600 litre tanks to hand water greens early morning and late evening some tees are being watered in this manner as well. The front 9 fairways will be worst effected as we cannot water these areas as frequent by hand.

You can expect we will endeavour to keep the greens "alive" as a priority, they will be slower as we alternate…

Xmas Curse and the heat is on

The Christmas Curse struck again on Christmas day as it has done for the past 3 years, either a blow out on the back 9 old system or electrical problem on the Front and this year it was the Front 9 Auto system that decided to play Scrooge.

With temps reaching 33 degrees C (91.4 F for our stateside readers) I thought I would take a leisurely drive to the course Xmas night to water some back 9 greens and check the front 9 system, I am undecided weather I am glad I did or not.
One of the Solenoid heads blew off in the Fairway, low pressure activated and no water going or set to go off as a result. Forced to make some running repairs,  a quick rewire and then reset the irrigation programs and the leisurely drive took a few more hours than anticipated on Xmas night. At least I worked off some of the Christmas stuffing to make room for the pudding and had a quick dip to boot. 

Must have been a sixth sense as I wasn't going in till Boxing Day morning, with the heat we are having and low hu…

Merry Christmas

On behalf of the Course Staff I wish all our members, management and directors a very Merry Christmas and safe New Year. May your festive season be filled with family, friends and great memories.

Twas the Week Before Xmas

How many of you find your mail box is getting trashed with shopping catalogues with headlines like "LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS" conjuring up images of frantic shoppers racing about with last minute Xmas preparations and gift buying? Same every Xmas isn't it ?

Well just like the reliability of those catalogues hitting your mail box and the frantic shoppers, Golf Course staff across the country will be attending last minute Course Preparations with the Xmas New Year period in mind, Not because we forgot some form of maintenance or anything like that, with the following 2 weeks very disruptive with public holidays, more work is being crammed into this week than any other on any golf course you may visit, along with preventative disease applications and other pest and stress concoctions of varied products to help relieve some of the stress and worry thinking about the course over Xmas and New Year, every Course Superintendent knows with less working days over the coming weeks, ti…

Soaking It Up

The rain event during the week had the course soaking up 90mm of rain in 36 hrs, just under 6 times our December average and our wettest December for 11 years, while some areas of Bunbury received well over 100mm breaking rainfall records we will settle for the 90mm with a  sight we never see all that much of in December RAIN! I think this one belongs to the growing list of unusual events for 2012, this time though, one I won't complain about, the back 9 fairways were starting to develop the summer look of the inefficient irrigation system and inadequate coverage, the rain will put that look off for a month or so now.

We had a few bunker washouts to repair along with some paths and soil erosion in various areas but other than that some much needed rain was appreciated particularly after recording temperatures over 30c for the 3 days leading up to the rain.

 Prior to the rain constant 20 to 30 km/hr winds made presenting the course difficult, if anyone wants to know why I don't l…

Saltene and Couch Grass

I thought I would talk about this subject instead of what has been run of the mill course work updates lately, nothing like a bit of variety to keep it fresh...

It is this time of year (summer if you didn't know better) the couch and saltene in the greens become more visible and start to out compete the bent grass. If you have been good students and followed the turf 101's on this blog you would know Bent is a cool season grass preferring cooler temps, Couch and Saltene both warm season grasses preferring hotter temps for optimum growth.

So what happens when the two compete against each other year round ?

During the cooler months,  April through October the Bent grass out competes the Couch and Saltene, the Couch and Saltene are still there just not as pronounced as during the warmer months, thanks to their vigorous rhizomes even tho the bent has control of the top, the couch and saltene are waiting to pounce when warmer temps arrive due to their extensive rhizome systems.
On the…

Another "Unusual Event"

I wish I was talking about a 3 club golf event or some other unusual novelty golfing event, but no the main topic for the maintenance crew this week was another "unusual weather event".

The cold front associated with the deep low sitting off the coast which swept through the region on Tuesday night, Wednesday and Thursday bringing 85km/hr winds has been officially declared an "unusual event" for this time of year, certainly we do not normally experience this type of weather in the last week of Spring to add to the one in ten year event we experienced back in in June and a few other "unusual events" along the way this year......Does this make it an "Unusual" year ?

 (Pictures courtesy of Ben ) yes my camera is still on the blink.

 As for the impact on the course, we escaped any major damage however we did lose another 4 trees, and the small debris over the course was a mess, the main problem course maintenance wise is the loss of 3 days of planned w…

One of those weeks

I should have known it was going to be one of those weeks when my phone I use to take most of the pictures you see on the blog decided to call it a day on Monday, alas no pics this week.

Two back 9 irrigation blow outs, Fairway cutting units heating up, requiring grinding, Staff absence through being sick and then a flat battery on the tractor due to a switch being left on, a power surge shutting the front 9 irrigation computer down not once but twice and yep happy days, was glad to see Friday come and go.

This is the frustration you never see, if you think maintaining a golf course is smooth sailing, your kidding yourself, these type of weeks can and do happen, we deal with it, do the best we can and hopefully by the end of the week your average player cant see what you went through to get the course as it is, hopefully they are kidding themselves thinking it was smooth sailing, because if they are, then you know you have done your job, but more so you know you fixed the problems you …

Works Update

Some quick news from the past 2 weeks. The greens have made a fantastic return from renovations; we have been cutting at 3mm for the last week and a half. A light grooming will be carried out shortly.

The chipper was seeded last week; we should have a green tinge soon. The material from the fairway verti cutting may not take in on the 16th work area, unfortunately there was a considerable delay between verti cutting the fairways and clean up, meaning the stolons dried allot more than we wanted. For a good strike trying to grow from stolons they should not be allowed to dry out. We will allow another week or so, if minimal amounts of stolons take we will turf the area.

The fairways have had wetting agent, gypsum and fertiliser applied. The remainder of this week is being spent conditioning the course for Fridays Ladies Invitation day.

Thank you.

Mutual Benefit and the Crazziness Continues

During the week a perfect win / win scenario, Phil Cahill wanted to turn some of his back lawn into a garden and we needed some turf to complete the mounds on 16, we took our turf cutter, Phil now has an area to plant and we have a mound turfed.

We chalked up yet another crazy busy week, on top of the turfing of the 16th mound and normal course set up etc, the front 9 fairway renovations were completed.
We used some of the material removed to stolons (chaffing) the walkway area on 16, the chipper bank and 3rd mound area rotary hoeing in. Scroll cutting fairways helped remove extra green leaf material.

The greens have come back very strongly from renovations and now being cut at 4mm we should be at 3mm by the end of next week.
Happy to see the weekend but we are not finished the craziness yet, next week we finally put the finishing touches to the chipping green, adding amendments and seeding, the second of the mounds on 16 gets a start and we have a great deal of catch up work to get throug…

Overdue Update

I apologise for not updating the blog over the past 2 weeks and more so not updating about renovations. As I have mentioned in previous posts we are in the midst of a very busy maintenance period and to top it off I have been spending a considerable amount of my own time completing risk assessments. Anyone who has ever been involved with the process knows it can be a lengthy process. I digress and move on with the update.
Green Renovations

Went very smoothly and the greens are coming back in great condition. We gave them the first cut on Wednesday afternoon, we were so impressed we will be lowering the heights for the Friday afternoon cut. This weekend will be the worst as far as pace and smoothness for ball roll is concerned as we are at a higher height of cut and only mowing afternoons so not to pick up wet sand as we mow. Next week we will further lower the heights and commence morning mows.
Practice Chipper
The root zone sand as been loaded levelled and we are watering to help settle,…

Changes Arrivals and Renovations


Capel 3000 organised and flexible


Spring has Sprung