The winds of August have arrived early with the last 2 weeks providing gusty conditions for players and staff. Leaf litter and debris have been a constant battle over this time with our turbine blowers out each morning to clear for the days play. The playing conditions of the course are good at this time with greens performance peaking. Green speeds are in the high 10’s and early 11’s on the stimp speed meter. PGA tour speeds strive for around 12 on the stimp meter.
Fairways are holding good colour and are generally in good shape. There are some problematic areas however where shade and excess moisture is abundant. The upcoming heat will help pull these areas through and encourage growth.
The crew has been busy focusing on tree works along holes Red 1 and now down at Blue 6. This has involved lifting tree canopies and removing unwanted species, Tipuana and Chinese Elm in particular. This work is ongoing and will take up the remainder of the winter season.
We are now gearing up to start our next round of landscape spraying using a pre-emergent herbicide in combination with glyphosate. This will kill off any current weeds under our trees and prevent any new weeds from emerging. This application should give up to 5 months control and will help keep the areas clean and easy to find your ball.
The recent rainfall totals are on track with the yearly averages however the timing and frequency of these rains has been a blessing. Our storage dams are at capacity and hold us in a great position leading into the spring months. Our highest usage times are between August and November, utilising in excess of 2 million litres (2MG) on a single nights irrigation cycle. This is coupled with wetting agents to help prolong the moisture in the soil.
In general my team is travelling well. The recent engagement of two new apprentices has started well and they both bring positive energy. I am currently in the process of bringing on 2 more qualified greenkeepers to bolster our number to 26 which will be an increase of 2 from last summer.
Our focus over the next 6 weeks is to present the course in the best shape possible for the upcoming Club Championships.