26th October 2023
A speedy start to the recovery of the greens was observed and things were on track to be back quickly post renovations. Unfortunately a lightning strike put an end to that, knocking out our wetlands injection bores and other west course bores. Damage we see on greens now has been through the use of bore water without the better quality injection water to shandy down the high bicarbonate levels in the water. Now all bores and amendment systems are up and running we have seen a great response from the greens and they have recovered quickly with some plugging and TLC.
The remedial action taken in the last two weeks has the greens back into a healthy position with the breaking down of the bicarbonate layer allowing water to again push through the top layer, taking with it the sodium deposits. Plugs have been placed in some greens and there will still be ongoing work to recover some areas but we are mostly out of the stress period. With the surfaces now returning to normal we will make a late start on our normal cultural programs of frequent dusting, Verti-mowing and growth regulation to get the greens back firm and running well. Unfortunately, when these issues arise, we are forced to manage the greens based on the worst turf on the green rather than the best turf which means less aggressive practices.
FAIRWAYS, TEES AND SURROUNDS
Our first application of growth regulator has now been applied to fairways which is an indication of their speedy return to playability. Switching scarifying for coring was the main contributor to this and the surfaces are showing little signs of ever being disrupted. Top dressing will continue in the next month to get 400T of sand spread that we had delivered to top dress the couch tees, surrounds and fairways.
Now is the time for seed collection with an eye on propagation for 2024’s planting season. We have seen another good strike rate of the trees, shrubs and grasses we have planted this year although it has been a dry period since their planting.
I encourage everyone when walking around the course during their next round of golf to pay particular attention to the tree lines (even though you’re obviously on the fairway)! When making your way around, pay attention to the amount of new vegetation that has been planted in the last 3 years and look at the growth rates we are seeing. The impact of this vegetation over the next 5 years will alter the look of certain holes especially on the east.
The great thing about revegetation works is the ability to watch an area change over a period of time and transform into a vision that we may have had some time ago. I am often reminded by past volunteers Peter Spence and Ian McPhee of the trees that they had planted and see their enthusiasm in watching them grow and alter the look of our vegetation corridors.
Although sad to announce we will be wishing Jessica Abercrombie all the best as Jess has accepted a position with Active Tree Services. Jess will travel the state and assess areas of native vegetation for their bush fire risk severity and develop plans around bush fire mitigation.
Jessica has been a very valuable asset to the club over her time and has been able to establish the club as a benchmark for native vegetation restoration and revegetation. Her knowledge of the property will be missed greatly and again, we wish Jess all the best in her new role.
Karl Blusi will be joining the team; Karl originates from Sweden and has previously worked on Golf Courses for the past two Swedish golf seasons. Karl has joined us through our international affiliation with Envoy golf. Envoy assist young greenkeepers and other industry professionals to find full and part time work abroad having last year supplied us with Kevin and Robin from Canada and Sweden. Karl will work here from Early November through until early May with the opportunity to be part of LIV golf preparations.
THE NEXT FORTNIGHT
• Commence dusting programs weekly.
• Plugging selected greens.
• Verti-mowing greens surfaces.
• Increase cutting frequency.
• Edging East Bunkers
• Air Injection – All Greens
• Pre-emergent Application to all couch surfaces (Poa Annua)
Lastly, what a buzz it was to be announced as “THE BEST GOLF EVENT IN THE WORLD” for 2023! We on the staff all knew how great the event was and how well organised it was from our end. But to be recognised globally was great recognition for all the teams at the club, it’s members and volunteers, something that we are all exceptionally very proud of.
Bring on 2024!