Showing posts from 2013

Merry Xmas 2013

On behalf of the Greenstaff I extend our best wishes for Xmas to all our Members, Management and Directors.
We hope everyone has a safe and happy Festive season with their loved ones.

Summer is Here

The temperatures remained over 30 and into the mid 30's for the past 8 days announcing the official  arrival of Summer, staff were kept busy nursing the putting green seeded area and on our toes for other heat related issues that might have occurred on course, a few dry patch issues in the fairway as a result of wind interference to the irrigation system was the only effect and will soon recover. With more extreme weather to come for the remainder of summer staff will be kept on our toes.

It is also a perfect opportunity to remind all our players of a few Summer conditions

Through Summer you will notice, except for special events, the greens will run slightly slower, only marginally as we raise the heights slightly by less than 1/2mm as a protective measure for the Bent surfaces through the added stress of Summer Heat. As explained HERE...

Manual Irrigation of the Back 9 Fairways is in full swing, …

Long Overdue

Has it really been that long since I updated the blog ? How time is flying by, extremely busy on course these past 5 months, my apologies for the tardiness.....

 Before moving forward, A recap of some of the works these past 5 months.

Our two main winter projects, Front 9 tree pruning and Bunker base levelling were completed successfully judging by the great comments we have had about the work. The back 9 will targeted next winter in more of the same in preparation for the 2014 Vets Next November.

As you would be aware, unless you live under a rock, the Practice Bunker and Chipping Green were brought into play and now provides the membership with a great new practice facility.

September rain impacted on course conditions and maintenance work however 20 mins after this picture was taken the rain stopped water drained and play resumed.

Renovations were successfully completed in October, sticking with our program of alternating solid and hallow tines which has proved very successful these pas…

Trees, Bunkers and Bad Lies

Sounds like a bad round doesn't it, better see Jim for a swing check, in really it is only our winter works program in full swing.

We have commenced pruning trees, we are focusing on the first line of trees along fairway edges and trimming low lying dangerous branches along with unhealthy suckers and damaged limbs. This type of work is very subjective, I can assure you we are taking a conservative approach, only removing branches posing a risk to staff on equipment and cart users and only trimming trees in the first row, the inside area or bush will be largely untouched.
It will result in a safer work environment, a healthier turf cover on the edges of Fairways with reduced shading and a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Works will progress in sections as we have a limited stockpile area and we need to dispose of these before continuing.

The other major winter work project, levelling Bunker Bases, this work will be alternated with the above on a rolling basis through winter. The…
One question that has been popping up a lot lately, "Will the greens remain at the same pace they are now for the rest of winter "?

Members are obviously relishing the pace of the greens at the moment, they are running pretty slick and the stories of just how quick are being added to daily, so what's the answer to the question on everyone's lips.

The simple answer is yes, we plan to have the greens at present pace or there abouts for the rest of winter.
For the more complicated or should I say detailed answer, read on

Factors in our control are our maintenance inputs which effect green speed like Green mowing heights and cut frequency, moisture management, nutrient management, winter grass suppression techniques and a wide variety of other maintenance practices which directly effect green speed will be or are planned to be similar for the rest of winter, this equates to the greens being of similar pace for the rest of winter.

Factors out of our control, rain events, humi…

Chipper Progress

Its been 4 weeks since we seeded the chipping green, time for an update to inform you of the progress to your new practice facility.

The green is where we had planned it to be despite the heavy rain recently causing some wash out areas which will require reseeding, Believe it or not we are cutting the green at 10mm presently and with healthy growth continuing we  will be lowering the height to 8mm by the end of this week.
The washout patches will be reseeded and the whole green given a light top-dress in 2 weeks by which time the young seedling grass will be strong enough to withstand a light sanding. From there we will be regularly lowering heights and giving light topdressing until the green is open for practice, baring any unforeseen events that should be in approx. 8 weeks.

This week is a huge week for the staff and the club, We have the Pro Am on Wednesday, followed by the 2 day Capel Cup major event, all our efforts have been focused on these events for the past few weeks to have …
The first 2 weeks of May has brought a little over 100mm rain, 67mm falling last Tuesday night, the rain was very welcome as a start in recharging water aquifers etc. and lets face it no mater how much water you irrigate with, you just can't beat the rain for results, the downside is as it fell in short bouts of heavy downpours it did cause washouts which kept us busy.

Another concern is the effect the heavy rain has had on the germinating seed on the chipper, some washout is expected to impact on results.

In the coming 2 weeks our focus will be solely on preparing the course for the upcoming Pro-Am and Capel Cup, we take great pride in maintaining a high standard of course year round but we do strive to take the course up a few notches for our major events, this requires attention to the 5% jobs which we generally do not have time to get to in the normal operation of the course with low staff numbers, examples of the % jobs I refer to are things like whipper snipping around sand bi…
Hello and welcome to this weeks update
The ladies invitation day hit off Friday under fine skies and course conditions, which wasn't looking likely the day before with 33mm of rain effecting the course conditions and what could be done on course, a busy Thursday afternoon and Friday morning  managed to have the course ready for play, and with 1 staff on leave for the week, it was no mean feat.

Disease conditions I spoke of last post have eased slightly and you will notice subsequent improvement in the fairways, tho flair ups are to be expected. Those conditions are not only favourable for disease incidence but also are perfect for seed germination, the chipping green was re seeded last week under much better conditions for success than the 35 degree days we had late last year, we will be monitoring the progress closely as we start to see the green hue develop over the next few days.
These conditions have also contributed to the continued extended growth period we are experiencing wit…
Conditions have been ideal for the rampant spread of 2 diseases over the past 3 to 4 weeks, warm days cool nights, very high humidity, little wind / air movement and heavy morning dew containing leaf exodus (Guttation) rich with nutrients create conditions perfect for disease infection and spread.
The degree of humidity and calm winds along with the length of time we have experienced these conditions is unusual for us, while we usually have a few days at a time, the past few weeks have consistently been very Humid with little to no wind, this has contributed to the unusual severity of the disease, namely Dollar Spot in the fairways.

Dollar Spot is so named because of the initial dollar size spot, symptoms start as, as these spots enlarge they can coalesce developing into much larger irregular shaped patches, this is what you are seeing in the fairways at the moment, they may look like large dry areas but these straw coloured patches are damage caused by the dollar spot disease.

Last time I posted I mentioned the weather changing quickly, and yes March was one of our coolest and wettest for a few years, since 1997 to be exact, Mother nature has had very different ideas since with our Warmest start to April on record, recording summer like 30 degree temps, today as I write we are finally getting wet with 7mm falling so far and hopefully a bit more on the way. I digress, before I start sounding like a channel 7 weather reporter. 

The greens have continued to improve since renovations, they would have been slightly slower the week following the Easter Medley as we rested them, applied follow up fertiliser applications and allowed them to "breath" a little after pushing them a little harder than normal for the 3 weeks after renovations in order to have them running reasonably well for the Easter Medley. Normal greens maintenance has resumed this week, double cutting and a slight H.O.C reduction will have them running at a much better pace.  

Today we are …
Course staff have been busy preparing the course for this weekends Easter Medley, difficult task this week due to the Good Friday public holiday effectively having a 4 day week to prepare the course. I think we achieved what we set out to and the course is in great shape heading into the weekend.

The greens maybe a little slower than previous major events but you have to keep in mind the greens were only renovated 3 weeks ago, looking at them you wouldn't know it has only been 3 weeks, I m very pleased with the way the greens have come back, we knew it was always going to be a race against time to have them remotely close to condition for this weekend, while another week would have been nice, I think we won the race in the end. The greens are only 1/2mm off our usual major event height of cut being cut at 3mm, a fantastic response only 3 weeks out from renovations, we are only single cutting and this will contribute to slightly slower greens than normal major events.

Fairway Definitions and Green Update

Under instruction from the Course Director the fairway definitions will be changing slightly, in most cases the fairway will now stop short of the green, some fairways will be re shaped and others narrowed to get a definitive edge between the fairway area and rough. In some cases the fairway definition is difficult to obtain due to a number of reasons, the main being, the rough area not receiving adequate irrigation, shade and  tree roots, by narrowing some of the generous fairways we hope to have a better fairway definition.
The other reason for this work is to make subtle changes to increase the challenging nature of the course without adding labour intensive bunkers etc.

You will notice blue lines around the new fairway cut area, this is to assist the fairway mower operator hit the line, until the distinction has grown in. Some scalping of areas will occur where the cut has been taken outside the existing line, these areas Will recover quickly with a little assistance from the crew.

I apologise for limited blog updates lately, as many know my wife has recently had back surgery and during her time in hospital when not staying in Perth, I was making the 4 hour round trip, as you can imagine, organising course work, family at home and taking care of the wife has kept me busy and will do so for some time yet so bare with me until some form of normality returns.

Over the past few weeks we have successfully held the Capel Classic with the increased maintenance and grooming that entails, and of course our Greens renovations this past weekend.

Renovations went very well, all greens solid tinned (this was due to the close proximity of the Easter event and needing to get the greens back quicker than we would if pulling the cores out). Fertilised and all the goodies applied, prior to this, the greens were verti cut and the couch areas heavily scarified and also undertook crab grass, Saltene and Couch chemical control.

The race will now be on to get the greens back to normal by…

WA Golf Industry Gala Dinner

For the past few years, Golf WA has joined with the PGA and GCSAWA for a combined awards night for the various organisations within the WA golf industry, one of the awards is the Toro Apprentice of the year Award.
Anthony had the privilege of attending this years Gala as he was 1 of 4 candidates nominated for this award, while he didn't eventually win the award we are very proud of him and his efforts to be nominated.

Congratulations Anthony, well done and as I said to you earlier, Tho you didn't take out the award, it is an achievement in itself to be nominated and one you should be proud of, we are, just rewards for all your efforts. 

On a personal note, it is very pleasing when an apprentice you have been responsible for with their training achieves to a level considered worthy of nomination for awards as these, I was hoping it would be 3rd time lucky as this is the 3rd time round for me with 2 past apprentices from over East who also achieved to this level, it is very satisfy…

Summer Cup

It is nice when all the hard yards have been made and you achieve the results you were after. The course is set up in great condition for this weekend's Associates Summer Cup and with 180 ladies expected it sure is going to be a big weekend with very early starts and some late evenings to keep the course and the ladies happy following the Summer Cup we also have the Vets day on Monday which brings another big field.

Sorry but no pics yet trouble with loading.

The weekend will also be a good test for the greens recovering from the 8 day no irrigation period, the faster root recovery than expected leading us to resume normal summer maintenance programs earlier than expected. We have lowered the cut to 2.5mm, double cutting for the weekend and are rolling 11ft but we are concerned as temperatures are set to soar over the next 5 days with temperatures between 38 and 40 degrees expected. They will be closely watched over the weekend and once past the major event we will back off and allo…
Hello and welcome to this weeks blogs installment for the week ending 26th Jan. Happy Australia Day I hope all enjoy the Australia day long weekend. Or should I say..
Gday mate, av a bloody bonza Aussie Day and your weekend is beaut..... (Cliches couldn't resist)

News from the course this week is all positive as we continue to achieve strong recovery growth as condition improve to where we want them to be.

As can be seen in the pictures and a casual round of golf all areas are recovering well.

Thanks to some lower than expected temperatures over the past 2 weeks, high 20's low 30's combined with management practices during this time the greens are also making a faster recovery in terms of root growth than initially expected, so much so we are starting to re introduce normal maintenance practices for the time of year and recommenced herbicide control for Crab Grass, tho we are using the lower rate with split applications over a 3 week period to overcome any potential injury to …


Recovery Work Week!
The past 2 weeks has all been about providing conditions for turf grass recovery as much as we can control along with of course normal routine maintenance and course mowing etc.

All front 9 surfaces have had wetting agents applied, Green Surrounds cored in addition the 8th and 9th Surrounds scarified and seeded with Rye grass.
I am not a big fan of Rye grass, however decided that as it was the turf established in the area and does germinate relatively quickly it would give us some quick grass cover considering the Ladies Summer Cup is only a few weeks away.
Some light fertiliser applications to all areas rounds up the broad scale turf recovery.
8th Surrounds cored, scarified, seeded and sanded
For the Fairways, Tees and Green surrounds we have done all we can to assist in recovery the rest is up to the turf, time and patience, our goal is to have close to all areas recovered by the Summer Cup.
Fwy Dry patch recovering
The greens remain a different challenge altogether, I i…

Pipe Break Q & A

As promised answers to the most common non turf related questions about the recent main line break I have received.

1/ Why did the break occur ? 
After inspection it appears the contractors who installed the main line did not install the thrust blocks as specified. With set speed pumps cavitation, water hammer is a serious issue with correct thrust block installation critical. Variable speed pumps are the most favoured but the system design took into account our set speed pumps.

2/ Why was water off of so long ?
Due to the holiday period and most manufactures and suppliers closed there was difficulty in obtaining the correct fittings, our irrigation supplier did not have parts on hand had to source parts from various areas across WA. The location of the break only 10m from the bore head could not be isolated.

3/ Why didn't we have parts on hand ?
At the time of installation we were advised due to our limited shed storage area we would only need to carry Toro specific spares, IE sprinkle…

And on the 8th day he flicked the switch

Finally after the longest 8 days of my career we can irrigate!!!
The pipe repaired, the concrete set, some issues with repair sorted, the system flushed and pressurised, tested and monitored...... now we bloody water everything!!!!!!!

I am not ashamed to admit the past 8 days probably rank up there with the most stressful periods of my professional turf career. Many thanks to Peter Dillon for his assistance handwatering and Mick Templemen for chasing up the phone calls which left me free to attend the course. Also to the staff for the great job they have done altering work hours etc to make sure we got through this in the best condition possible.

All things considered the course has held up well, the Tees remain healthy, Fairways have quite a few dry patch areas but should recover quickly, and the most important we haven't lost any area of greens, however they will need to be closely monitored and maintenance practices altered for the rest of summer as will be explained below.
The gre…

Irrigation Progress

Well after some difficulties obtaining the correct fittings and other frustrating delays out of our control, the main line break was fixed late this afternoon, (Friday) but we still cant use the system until the concrete used for 'chocking" the pipe cures, best case scenario Sunday morning, the flushing and gradually building pressure up will then commence.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is D Day for the greens, so far they are hanging on with the limited water from handwatering from tanks however they are under moisture stress and tinkering on the edge, we continue to do everything we can to avoid loss of green areas.  Saturday will see a rise in temperatures back to the mid 30's and will place added heat and moisture stress. My concern is not the immediate impact but the knock on effect this will have on the turf weakening and reducing the root depth, hence the turfs ability to tolerate other stresses that will become obvious in the next few weeks, more on that once we get the irri…

Irrigation update

Just a quick update on our irrigation problems on the front 9 -
We have been advised the necessary fittings are in transport, likely to be delivered sometime Thursday with a hopeful resolution on Friday.
In the meantime hand watering greens and tees from mobile tanks continues.
Cooler weather at present is being appreciated by staff and turf alike as we continue to protect the greens and critical play areas during this difficult time.
The fairways are browning in patches as expected but are holding up well considering, recovery will be relatively quick once water is available.

Thank you for your understanding.