Reno Update / Weeks News

5 Days since renovations and the greens are making a strong recovery, during this week we topped up some greens with a little more sand to cover some holes left over.

 I expect to give them their first cut next Monday afternoon at 5.5mm, once we are happy with minimal sand pick up we will commence the process of gradually lowering them to our normal height of cut.
We rest the greens after renovations for two reasons, importantly for the health of the bent grass to grow new roots and shoots, plus we don't want to take heavy triplex mowers on them to soon while they are soft and moist, generally tho to recover from the intense practices they go through during the year,
Secondly with so much sand about, cutting them would make sure the cylinders go blunt on the first green, tearing and ripping every subsequent green cut and adding to the maintenance bill trying to sharpen the blades and cylinders again.
Normally a 4 to 5 week recovery time before they are back to normal conditions with the height of cut starting high and gradually lowered, this year the greens went into renovations in very healthy conditions and the timing of the critical first cut and subsequent lowering of heights will mainly depend on how quick the sand disappears under the canopy.
Generally just prior to renovations we treat the greens for weeds such as crab grass, couch encroachment and Saltene, unfortunately a nationwide shortage of the product used meant we could not achieve this as planned. The higher temperatures we have been having maybe a blessing in this case as it looks very likely we won't have access to the product til April, these weeds will persist for little longer than normal.

In other news for this week we modified the 17th green bank after being asked by the course committee to solve the long time problem of balls trickling to the edge of the green only to disappear down the sharp embankment to the non irrigated sandy area. This was an increasing problem as we firmed and had the greens at a faster pace where some balls were putted off the green and then into the same non irrigated area as the bank and slope of the green were just to steep to stop a ball even just trickling over the edge. ( pictures and work in next post).

There was no clearing of debris or rough cutting this week, as the focus was on recovering the greens, added that sand, and the construction process of the 17th green, it is where our staff numbers feel the pinch when major work is on something has to give.

Next week we will be returning some of the focus back to course conditioning, setting up the greens mower for the first cut as well as putting the finishing touches on 17. We may even get time to clean the staff amenities area something that has been neglected during the busy summer season.

The Summer green speed trial results are in, once I have presented the findings to the course committee, and worked out a way to shorten a large volume of information so that it can be posted here I will.

This week I will be commencing our biennial review of course operations, a process of highlighting what worked and what could be improved or thrown in the trash for next season, I undertake this after renovations in Spring and then again in Autumn and basically looks back at the period between renovations covering the winter and summer season respectively, a hefty process which I mainly do in my own time covering every maintenance programs for each turf area, staff, equipment, safety and environment and so on. From there I balance that against what we can afford within the budget, and this is where the head scratching starts trying to fit everything in, it never does so the evaluation of cost against benefit begins.

During the week I hosted a small Horticulture Class which toured the course as part of their Sports Turf syllabus in their Hort certificate. I took them on a tour around the course explaining the reasons we use the turf types we do in different areas, construction techniques, maintenance practices, safety measures implemented and so on. For some their first look at the inside running of a golf course and for that manner any sports turf facility and a few eyes were wide open when they realised just how much time effort and money goes into producing the surfaces we do.

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