Superintendent's Reports


22nd May 2020

I will have to keep this report pretty brief as this week has been an extremely busy one, leaving me a little time poor.

With the last few days of overcast weather, our seeded areas on greens haven’t responded as quickly as anticipated. So for this weekend we will continue with the same cutting procedure used during the week over the past fortnight. Unseeded areas will be cut and the hole location will be in the cut area.

The exceptions are the 7th,9th,10th,14th and the practice putting greens as they have been seeded entirely and can’t be cut at all.

Whilst unfortunate, as this weekend is the start of the qualifying rounds for club championships, it is imperative not to rush the first cut after seeding.

Thank you for your understanding.

The new path running down the left side of the 17th is now open. The majority of the turfing was completed on Thursday, leaving  just a bit more turf to finish off the area early next week. Freshly laid turf needs to be kept moist until it establishes, so needless to say, its going to be a little damp down the left side until we are happy the turf is established, then we will proceed to back the water off.

Please follow cart directional signs in place to give the surrounding turf the best chance of establishment.

You may have noticed a bit of work going on in our compound area down at the maintenance shed beside the 8th tee. This is all in preparation for the new shed build to begin. We are currently putting together what will be our temporary mechanics workshop. For this, we are utilising the shipping containers behind our sand bays and will poor a concrete slab for us to safely work on our fleet of machines whilst staying well clear of the construction of the new facility.

Good luck to all attempting to qualify for this years club championships, play well and go get em..!

Jai Rochfort
Course Superintendent

15th May 2020

I have been asked a few times in the past couple of weeks about the wetness of green surrounds. Due to the excessively high levels of salts and chloride in our water, last week I spoke about the importance of flushing the greens with the stand-alone freshwater sprays, and also the strategic placement of products to help rectify the situation at hand.

As per the manufacturer's recommendations and also the advice given by the product's representatives, they require us to perform what we call  'DEEP AND INFREQUENT' irrigation cycles only. This means watering heavily less often, rather than watering lightly more often.

By doing so, allows the products used, to strip and drag any unwanted elements, in our case salt and chloride, from the root zone, which is the top 150mm below the greens surface, dispersing it 'out of harm's way' where the plants roots cant access it.

Watering light and often at this stage and into the future will only exacerbate the issue rather than alleviate it, as you are just 'feeding the problem' by only watering into the root zone and not through it, leaving all the unwanted 'nasties' where you don't want them- Around the roots.

One of the unfortunate downsides to the 'DEEP AND INFREQUENT' irrigation cycles is the wetness of the green surrounds. The push up style of our greens, along with some poor drainage in areas, isn't doing us any favours in shedding some of the excess water away, but I can assure you we are working hard at 'DIALLING IN' our 'DEEP AND INFREQUENT' watering technique, to achieve what we need to achieve, without leaving it to wet around the fringes.

Already this week we have seen improvements in this area, with these areas drying up more and more by the day.

Again, thank you for your understanding, and I hope this has answered some of your questions.

As previously mentioned, we have seeded some greens entirely and the thin areas on others. These areas must not be cut until we see a 'good strike' in the coming days. Whilst we have been cutting the un-seeded areas periodically during the week, we plan to 'spell' the greens this weekend and not cut. This is to minimise traffic, giving the seed the best chance to do its thing, so we can have the greens in the best possible position coming into the Club Championship Qualifying rounds next weekend.

Finally, the tarmac path has been laid at the 17th tee but WILL NOT BE OPEN FOR TRAFFIC until next week. We need to ensure the edges of the path are stabilised before we have any carts use it, as it would be a shame to have the edges crack away due to an early opening. Please follow the cart directional signs we have in place and avoid driving on or over the new path for now. Thankyou.

Until next week, stay safe and play well.

Jai Rochfort
Course Superintendent

8th May 2020

After a little break I'm back on deck. I would like to thank Peter and the team for their efforts whilst I was away.

As mentioned in last week's report, you may have noticed the odd standalone sprays on some of the greens. This is town water and is of no harm, and although we are trying to not interfere with golf and keep this out of your way, the early morning groups before competition may be affected from time to time.

This needs to happen due to the large amounts of salt and chloride found in our latest water tests. There is no doubt the levels of chloride and salt in our irrigation supply is affecting the new growth coming back after the disease issue we have been battling in recent times. By flushing with freshwater and applying products to lower the levels of these two elements in the soil, will aid the recovery of the unsightly areas left behind by the fugal disease.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

Also, as spoken about previously, we will be over seeding the worse areas hit by the disease with a cool season grass to get through the winter as the couch grass has slowed down growth wise.

This will consist of a light groom to allow the seed to bed into the profile rather than sitting on top. We will then give the areas a heavier than normal top dress and NOT MOW until the seed pops (about 5-7 days). So needless to say, the greens will be a little slow and bumpy for a week or so.

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding.

'Hot Driveways' will be back on Friday 15th May to lay the tarmac for the new path at the 17th tee. The tee markers will be moved forward for safety reasons, but the rest of the markers on course will be pushed back to compensate for the distance lost.

Until next week, happy golfing and go get em...!

Jai Rochfort 
Course Superintendent

1st May 2020

This week we have spiked the greens, this was to open up the soil structure and allow air and water infiltration into the soil profile. As we have just had a water test done and have found excessive high levels of chloride and sodium. Some of you may have seen stand sprays on the greens this week, these sprays are using town water to help flush the greens. I would like to thank the golfers for their cooperation and inconvenience that causes. 

Also, the 17th path is under construction this week and will be finished next Friday and will be a great improvement to this area especially when it's wet.

Parking of motorised carts next to tees it has come to the attention of management committee that some members are not following the cart paths at certain tees and parking on the grass.

Tees in particular are -
7th parking on the right hand side of tee on the grass and not left on the bitumen path.
9th Parking on the left hand side of the tee on the grass and not the right on the bitumen path.
13th Parking on the right hand side on the tee and not the left on the bitumen path.

We have been going to great deal of expense to put these bitumen cart paths in to help protect the course and with people driving on these particular areas are having a detrimental effect on the grass in these areas. Unless you have an orange ME (medical exemption) sticker on your cart you are asked to please stay on designated cart path. We all need to do the right thing to keep these areas in pristine condition.     

Peter James
Acting Course Superintendent

24th April 2020

It has been a good week of weather and the course has been busy with golfers.

The patchiness that has been visible on our greens has started to recover, we hope to see more improvement before winter sets in and nights get colder. The nursery trial is going great with plenty of green shoots visible. The only problem we had this week on the course was a leak on the main line in the 11th rough. We have replaced the o ring on a tapping saddle.

Happy golfing 

Peter James
Acting Course Superintendent

17th April 2020

This week saw myself and Mark Ecott (our newest employee) who has spent a lot of his greenkeeping journey running turf trials overseas take a trip out to Twin View Turf Farm to pick up the latest edition to our 'turf family' here at Redcliffe. We picked up the 'tif eagle' stolons for our Greens trial for the pending construction phase in the not too distant future. I spoke about 'tif eagle' in my previous report, so I'll just quickly brief you on 'what is a stolon' - A stolon is simply a name for an individual plant that consists of a single stem, root and leaf of turf varieties used in our industry. Imagine your usual rolls of turf shredded to bits.

We then spread these out over the area and keep it really wet until we get a 'strike' and see new roots forming. It's then just a matter of time until these stolons spread and give complete coverage to the area planted, we call this 'the grow in'... 

'The grow in' time varies for a few different reasons, one being, the weather. Higher temperatures will be much faster than cooler temperatures.

The other is 'plant rate' - Meaning how many stolons you put out across the area you are stolonizing. The standard rate is about 3%, our trials area is planted at 6%. Higher percentage per square meter the faster the grow in.

The main reason you should 'stolonize' rather than 'solid turf' like you would in a backyard, is to allow the green to form its own grain naturally as it grows in. If you solid turf with rolls cut at a turf farm, you're stuck with slabs of turf with grain running every which way, and the finished product resembling a chess board, with dark and light squares right through it, rather than the nice even colour with predictable grain changes a stolonized green gives you.

Think 'Royal Pines' on the gold coast. They solid turfed their greens years ago between tournaments and still to this day you can clearly see the random patchy grain changes throughout and will be for many more years to come.

You may have seen the Blue 'Air2G2' machine out on course this week. This machine plunges 3 tines deep into the greens profile and releases an explosion of compressed air which shatters the heavily compacted ground beneath the surface and injects much needed oxygen into the root zone which promotes plant health and root development.

I'm on leave for a few weeks, leaving the course in Peter's capable hands. I'll see you all when I return on the 5th of May.

Stay safe and go get em..!

Jai Rochfort 
Acting Course Superintendent 

9th April 2020

It's something I addressed a few weeks ago now, but have been asked about it a few times since, so I'll revisit the issue to clear it up.

The patchiness that has been visible in our greens since "the big wet" is a result of the turf finally giving in to the perfect conditions for fungal disease. When you think 'fungal' infections they almost always thrive in a warm moist environment, which when you think about it, is exactly what we have been enduring for months now.

With all the rain we have had (706mm) since the 13th January, been broken up by 30+ degree days with the humidity most of the time in the 90% range, it was only a matter of time before such a problem was going to arise.

Yes, there is products to prevent such problems, and we had applied everything we could as a part of our fungicide program. But unfortunately, when you get the monumental amount of rain we received. These products get pushed through the soils profile a lot quicker, rather than being suspended in the root zone where they need to be. Therefore, leaving the plant unprotected and susceptible to disease.

You might think "why not just apply more fungicide"

Well unfortunately like a lot of things, grass can build up resistance to fungicides, insecticides and even herbicides to a degree. So, if we were to just keep applying the products, they 'may not be there for us' next time we need them. It's a fine line sometimes, and unfortunately this season has been an extremely tough one, not only for us, but everyone in the turf industry.

I was lucky enough to have a chemical rep bring out a scientist to do an onsight analysis of our turf, and he has given it the 'all clear' for both pest and disease. So, it's comforting to know that the actions we took to pull the disease up has been successful, even under such circumstances.

Preliminary testing was undertaken when we first noticed the problem, but in a 'strike of luck' (said in complete sarcasm) the science lab was shut down whilst my sample was in the post. Due to.... You guessed it - The scientist had tested positive to Covid-19.

The good news is that we are already starting to see recovery in these areas, and we are heading in the right direction. Now we just have a race on our hands, with the cooler months ahead. The growth rate will slow, meaning we may have to seed some of the worst areas with a cool season grass (as we have done in previous years). This will then die off when we start warming up again, revealing a much healthier couch grass as it bounces out of dormancy.

I hope this has given everyone a bit more of an understanding of the trials and tribulations of greenkeeping, and I'll keep you all informed on the progress.

Until next week, have a Happy Easter and stay healthy.

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent

3rd April 2020

Let the trials begin...

Some may have noticed the work going on at our nursery green near the irrigation dam. This is the start of a few different grass trials we will be conducting, in the lead up to a bit of construction taking place in the future.

We have removed a section of the nursery green, installed drainage, and on Monday have the sand arriving that we as a team decided would be ideal for such a trial. If you think 'sand is just sand' it's not. We had six different types, all varying in granular size, shape and some even amended with different products. Most importantly if it's 'too fine' you risk organic matter over time locking up the profile which results in poor drainage and ongoing issues, or if it's 'to coarse' you can't retain any moisture or any of the products applied for that matter, as it leeches through the profile to quickly and goes to waste.

So, a happy medium is the way to go and we found just that.

'Tiff Eagle' will be our trial grass for greens and is used all over the world including some of the top courses in the United States and on the USPGA tour. 'Tiff Eagle' is also perfectly suited for our climate here in S.E QLD, making it a "no brainer" for us moving forward.

The second trial that we have in place is for our tee tops and will be carried out on the middle (white plate) tee's at 7 and 16.

We chose these two tee tops as they will give us the best idea for such a trial, 16 has always had shade issues and struggled, and in the case of 7, it is quite small and cops heaps of wear due to it being a par 3. Just the things we need to be sure of before making a big decision on a grass type here at Redcliffe.

These two tees have been sprayed out with round-up to kill the existing grass before removal. I have roped off these areas and will ask if you can please NOT ENTER the area, as it is possible to track the round-up on your shoes to other parts of the golf course. Thank you.

'Tiff Tuff' is the trial grass we will use in these areas and is the newest Couch grass variety to hit the market. It has already proved successful in a golf course situation as it is tuff as the name suggests along with being more shade tolerant than the more common names like 'winter green' or the 'Greenlees Park' we currently have here out on course.

The final trial will be just some small sections in the areas heavily affected by salt on the 17th fairway. 'Tiff Tuff' will again be trailed here along with a few types of 'Zoysia' to see if we can find something to combat the salt issues that are visible at 16, 17, and the start of the 18th fairway.

Finally, as the nights get cooler we need to raise the height of cut on all our surfaces to get through the winter. As a result, you will notice a decrease in green speed and a little less 'run' in the fairways. This will be temporary until it really cools down then they will naturally quicken up as the growth slows.

Until next week, enjoy this privilege that is golf at the moment, happy golfing and go get em!

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent

March 27th 2020

Firstly, welcome back after our little one day hiatus, and let's hope that is the last one we see.

I think last Tuesday was a reminder to all of us about how serious this covid-19 epidemic really is, and how quickly it could interrupt the game we all love.

We are doing everything we can to do our part with the removal of those items that could cause the disease being transmitted, and from what I'm seeing so are you out on the golf course, which is much appreciated, so thank you!

One of the more interesting things, and I'm sure it's left a few of you pondering at home, is the cut off 'pool noodle' in the cup. So, I shall explain ... A small piece of pool noodle is cut off and slides down the flagstick to the bottom, and sits inside the cup, but below the surface of the green. This allows your ball to drop in the hole, but it doesn't fall to the bottom. Allowing you to grab your ball with just your finger and thumb of your gloved hand, plucking it out without pulling or even touching the pin. So just for now... It's 'pin in' for everybody, which is again appreciated and thank you for your understanding.

As mentioned in last week's report, stage 1 of the new path at the 17th tee went ahead with no issues.

Drainage has been installed to catch the water coming off the hill, and we have extended the surface drain to wrap around toward the base of the 4th hill. 

TAKE NOTE - The hazard pegs have been moved slightly to include this area.

On Monday, and weather depending, the tree loppers are booked to remove the dead trees on the 3rd and left hand side of the 1st, that have been affected by termites. There might be a few alterations to the course in this area for safety reasons, all will be well signed. But also keep an eye out for either myself or a staff member to call you up, particularly hitting your second shot into the 3rd due to the position of said trees. Again, thank you for your understanding and patience while we carry out this work

Finally, Redcliffe Golf Club are the proud new parents to Quintuplets after we took delivery of 5 new machines- 2x 5510 fairway mowers, 1x 3400 greens mowers, 1x 3250 tees mower and a Proline H800 Vacuum mower. This equipment will improve the cut on our surfaces, save us on repairs as the old equipment was starting to cost us, and will keep us in a good place for years to come.

Thank you to the board and all involved in the process, including Matt Coles from Toro Australia who has been a pleasure to work with, and has gone above and beyond over the last month with an array of options along with bringing us demo mowers and even loaning us a mower and rushing it out to us when one of ours went down late in the week.

Stay Safe, play well and go get em!

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent

20th March 2020

As we can all imagine this week has been a different one, as it has for been for everyone....

With the hype of COVID-19 (coronavirus) sweeping the country a lot of mine, and my staffs time has been taken up by implementing all the recommendations put in place by the government and or the club to ensure we are doing everything possible to prevent our members, guests and staff from contracting or spreading the disease. As a precaution and after a meeting with the board last night, we have decommissioned ALL bubblers and the water cooler at the halfway house until further notice. So please bear with us and make sure you have sufficient water with you before you head out on course, while we work our way through these difficult times as I am sure, we are all already looking forward to a bit of normality again.

Anyway, let's talk Golf Course!

The big job on next week is the foundations for a new path that will run off the existing concrete path at the 17th tee to get us through the unsightly bog that has developed at the base of the hill.

The first step of this project is to ensure adequate drainage is in place to catch the water coming off and out of the hill as it could cause issues with the path moving forward.

We will have an excavator working in conjunction with our truck on Monday, so markers will have to be shuffled up to the start of the fairway to keep everyone safe and out of harm's way. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience, and thanks for your understanding.

While the excavator is in this area we will be extending the grassy drain that currently wraps around towards the 4th fairway to catch any excess water running from this area, and across the 17th fairway before the first lake as you play the hole.

A few new arrivals.....

This week we took ownership of a new Kubota RTV utility vehicle which replaces our old green John Deere Gator that had long past its used by date and had been deemed unsafe for use. I would like to thank Mark Barnett, the board and the club as a whole for their commitment and help during the process. This vehicle will serve us well for many years to come, is a lot more robust for the bigger jobs, and even comes with NO holes in the floor. So thanks again from all of us down here in maintenance!

And what do you need to go with a some shiny new wheels... A shiny new outfit of course. Our new uniforms arrived late this week. So come Monday, look out for some handsomely dressed ground staff, they are bright, so you won't miss us.

Until next week, good luck, play well and happy golfing!

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent

March 13th 2020

It just keeps coming...

Another 142mm of rain has fallen over the course this week, making it a very tough week/month/year to be a Greenkeeper.

This week alone we have pumped bunkers out twice to try and get them back in play, but to no avail. So this weekend the bunkers will be G.U.R and preferred lies will be in place tee through green.

With the turf being under so much stress due to how wet we have been, along with very minimal sunshine it is obvious in some areas it is starting to struggle. We are doing everything possible to try and combat the conditions including aerating greens to help push the water through the profile and also testing/unblocking all our drainage points to ensure the water can escape.

The wind is great as it helps with the drying out process. But we really need some good clear fine sunny days to help us out over the next few weeks as turf requires a good 6 hours of sunlight for premium growth and recovery.

Due to the weather there is a bit of a delay on the tree loppers being able to remove the termite affected trees on the 3rd hole. Currently we have them booked in for Monday the 30th of March. We will have pest control onsite to treat everything beforehand to prevent any spreading to other nearby trees.

The roped off area remains compulsory G.U.R until further notice.

Given the perfect conditions for termites, an inspection of other trees that play an important role in the courses playability and also those that are important in the way of protection from neighbouring holes and wayward golf balls will be conducted to minimise the loss of anymore in the time to come.

It goes without saying, but please can we stick to all cart signage over the weekend to minimise damage and help with recovery moving forward.

With not a great deal more to report on, I hope we all have a good weekend out on the course, and let's pray for some sunshine and get this place drying out for all involved!

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent

March 6th 2020

Keeping with tradition here at Redcliffe and in South East Queensland as a whole, the last few weeks including this week are the biggest weeks for 'thatch production' that we see all year, with this year being even more successful due to the recent conditions being absolutely perfect..! Rain, Sunshine and of course the humidity..! Basically, the more growth you get on the top of any grassed area, the more 'thatch' you are producing underneath... There is nothing more important and particularly in the case of our greens, that we remove as much of this as possible leading into a big season of golf..! 

So come Monday and just for this week our usual weekly grooming practices will need to be a little bit more aggressive to keep up with the thatch the plant is producing.

All this means for you as our members is our greens might not look as aesthetically pleasing as they have been, but the ball roll will be a lot better the day or two after we finish the grooming practice than they were the day or two before...

They will be flatter and firmer your ball will be less 'grain affected' and above all, the plant will be healthier and in a much better position coming into winter, which is extremely important given that this time of year is the toughest time of year for warm season grasses that we have on course here at Redcliffe..

Some of us may have noticed the rapid decline of the handful of 'Tallowwood' trees 'eucalyptus microcorys' on the right side of the 3rd hole at the drive off to the 4th tee...

These trees have the heaviest infestation of 'white ants' I've ever seen and are solely responsible for their death... 

As a consequence and for the safety of all involved over the weekend, we have made the decision to make the roped off area 'COMPULSORY G.U.R' as it is an 'EXCLUSION ZONE' that is in place to protect everyone in the event of any falling limbs or a whole tree going over... Please don't put yourself in the position of being caught out trying to retrieve a golf ball..!

Arborists will be in on Monday to quote on removal, and the job will be done as soon as possible for everyone's safety. 

Happy Golfing...

And go get em...

Jai Rochfort 
Acting Course Superintendent 

February 28th 2020

30 more millimetres fell early in the week this week, wetting everything up again and leaving a few bunkers full of water and possibly G.U.R for the weekend.

Despite the rain we still managed to get everything on course cut and all is looking good and will continue to improve as we hopefully dry out next week.

I would like to thank everyone for their commitment to sticking to the cart signage that has been in place over the last few weeks.

I have no doubt it is due to your co-operation in this department that has enabled us to allow carts on course when many other courses haven't. Some for up to a week I hear.

Other courses have even been closed for a number of days, with members of such clubs playing here at Redcliffe.

Goes to show how lucky we are here as we have not closed and only lost 1 day to the 'no cart rule'.

We groomed greens early this week as the inclement weather had held us back for a few weeks. Unfortunately having the greens so wet, also puts them under stress and it can be a little dangerous to groom during this time, as the process can leave them a little 'open' to disease and other nasty's. 

They might just feel a little softer under foot and be a little bit more receptive of the golf ball in the week to come... All this means is you can probably get away with playing 'pin high' with the wedges in your hand...

Good luck to all playing over the weekend and in the Oxenford Plate on Sunday... Go hunt some pins and I hope the putts drop for you..!

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent

February 21st 2020

A pretty straight forward week this week, with cutting grass being the priority. 

As the course slowly dried out we were able to get our mowers out and have managed to get a cut on just about all of the areas across the course.

As of today all bunkers are back in play and the G.U.R stakes have been removed. Please keep in mind it will take a little bit more time for the sand to properly dry out. With this, the sand becomes more workable and with the daily raking of bunkers the bases will flatten out, making them more and more playable if you find yourself "on the beach" during your next round.

Although avoiding bunkers all together, will always serve you better in the long run! 

This week also saw us begin treatment on the large 'Bluegum' that blocks out the green from the 16th fairway... A lot of the 'dead wood' in this tree was infested with termites and subsequently treated and removed, with a follow-up treatment booked in 4 weeks time.

We are certainly doing everything possible to protect the structural integrity of this tree, as we know the the importance it plays in one of our signature holes here at Redcliffe. 

Lastly I have to say a big thank you again, to Peter James and the team for holding fort this week as I have been hit hard with a few different illnesses, keeping me house bound and slowly going crazy with cabin fever. 

Safe to say... I look forward to returning on Monday.

Happy Golfing and I hope a few drop for you this week. 

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent

February 14th 2020

After a short break I'm back on deck, and hasn't it been some sort of a welcoming party on my return!

A massive 330ml of rain has been dumped on the course in a little over a week! This bumps us up over 550ml already this year, which is only a month and a half old. Last year we totalled only 719ml for the whole of 2019! 

Goes to show how poor of a year we had last year in regards to rainfall on the peninsula.

But as wet as our feet may be and how much work has to go into repairing our course after such an event..... We shouldn't complain, remembering it was only a few weeks ago the whole country was a blaze with hundreds of fires burning everything in their path.

Now only a few weeks later, I heard one of the fire relief concerts had to be cancelled due to flooding and the government has released disaster relief funds for flood damage in some of the fire zones.

It's some country we live in isn't it!

Given the weather conditions it's obvious the course is going to be wet, but I'd like to highlight a few of the less obvious reasons why we are a bit wetter in some unusual areas that usually are dry even after a decent rain event.

5th fairway and bunkering at the 1st/3rd. In the case of the bunkers still being full of water, this is all due to the excessive amounts of storm water along with the ground water draining into our lakes and the lakes being so full it's backing up through the drainage systems leaving the water nowhere to go until the lake levels drop. 

In some other cases like the left bunker on 13 and also the 5th,15th,16th and 17th fairways, which all drain to the marsh or creek bordering these holes, it's again a matter of lake levels and groundwater, but also the tide levels of both the creek and the tidal marsh area.

We have had king tides of up to 2.70m this week, that has been reeking havoc on the drainage of the course.

With all of the above considered it's understandable why we have been unable to cut rough entirely and only been able to get on some of the fairways later into Friday.

Another area of much needed repair is the deco paths on course... This will be an area we will be addressing early next week as it only makes sense to start repairs when all the rain and storms have finished doing their thing.

So on that note please take care when moving around during your round this weekend or early next week... 

Despite the rain we have managed to aerate and apply a granular calcium product to all the greens which has already helped with the drying out process of the greens, and with a little help from everyone's best friend "the ibis" which have been tirelessly working away aerating fairways by driving their beaks deep down into the profile extracting bugs and grubs, it has proven to be quite a productive week!

See despite their reputation, 'Ibis' aren't all as bad what we think they are at times...

Lastly we made the decision that all bunkers will be out of play this weekend and will be repaired early next week when they dry out and the sand becomes a bit more workable.

Please follow all cart signage on course and happy golfing!

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent 

February 7th 2020

Hello all,

This week has been very wet, we have received 163mm of rain since Wednesday morning so we've been trying to maintain the course to our best with minimal staff this week.

We have tried to keep on top of mowing the best we can this week and also have edged bunkers, sprayed runners and weeds in bunker faces. Wednesday morning we sprayed primo on the greens because of the excessive growth of the course, so hopefully we'll slow the growth down during this wet period.

Please note all bunkers with white stakes in them are out of play and all without stakes use the nearest point of relief inside the bunker. Please can all members remember to follow all cart signage and rope barriers around the course.

Be aware of wildlife on the course, a carpet snake with a full belly was found on the course by our staff this week.

Chris Walk
Acting 2IC

24th January 2020

We Can Hear The Grass Growing Behind Us..!

Given the perfect growing conditions with the recent rain, followed by hot humid weather, cutting grass was a priority this week.

This time of year usually will have us cutting greens daily, tees and fairways twice a week, with the rough being an all day, everyday scenario (weather/time permitting)...

This week we could have doubled that..! And in some areas we did...

Which brings me to the hot topic of Green Speeds...

On average and "in the perfect world" we try our best to keep a consistent green speed of 10 -11ft with this measurement taken straight after a cut or a cut and roll.

But this isn't a perfect world... I'll run through just a couple of the main reasons battling against us, as we try to maintain the consistency that we as Greenkeepers strive to achieve and that all golfers hope for when arriving for their tee time...

1. What time you play:  First group to last group typically sees a difference of about 7 hours between tee times, which is a very long time in the grass growing world in these conditions. We cut our greens at 3mm starting at say 5am, by 12pm they would have grown approximately 1mm and by 4pm 2mm+ constituting a difference of 1- 2ft of green speed to the negative.

2.Weather: Overnight rain/irrigation will slow down the ball roll as the ground is heavier and so is the plant as it enjoys the benefits of a well earned drink... Generally <1ft slower.

3. Maintenance Practices:  

Grooming and Dusting with sand is one way we can combat the above with the groom giving a faster, firmer surface by thinning it out and removing some of the dead material underneath the surface, and the dusting also helping with firmness and therefore speed as well as smoothness.

We currently lightly groom and or dust once a week which will see an increase in green speed of 1-2ft on the day we do it, with that number rapidly decreasing until we repeat the process...

"Perfect world" we would just about be lightly grooming daily, but it's just not practical as it would interfere with the whole purpose of the golf course... Which is for everyone to enjoy with minimal interruption.

 4. Chemically Treating:  

Always the last "go to", but in most cases always needed in our climate are the products that slow down the growth rate of the plant. Widely known as "the greenkeeper's best friend" due to numerous beneficial aspects including...

- Slowing down growth rates which means less mowing and more time for projects/improvements.

- Less growth means less 'thatch' being produced which decreases our chances of fungal diseases that can decimate greens completely. 

-Also with less thatch you get that faster firmer flatter and tighter surface we all want.

There are plenty more but they're the main ones...

I hope this has given you a little understanding of our trials and tribulations we face daily in terms of green speed...

Lastly, and I ask this as a dog lover myself...

Can we please make sure when walking dogs on course, that your dogs are on a leash at all times, it's done outside of playing hours for your own safety and that of others, and please carry a plastic bag to pick up after your dog and dispose of it correctly... Preferably in your bin at home and not in ours on the golf course. We are classed as 'land for wildlife' and you can be fined for having your dog 'off leash'... 

Thank you for your understanding it's much appreciated...

That's it from me this week...

Enjoy the great game... And go get em!

Jai Rochfort 
Acting Course Superintendent

January 17th 2020

How Good Is This Rain..!

After a marathon wait, the weather gods have finally delivered some decent soaking rain. Most importantly a lot of the areas affected by the fires have also picked up some solid numbers in the rain gauge..! Finally, some rest for the legends fighting them...!

Please be extra vigilant when using golf carts on course while it's so wet.

Follow all cart signage and rope barriers that have been put in place, and in general please just be smart where you do drive. If it's wet and 'marking up' the fairway, move to a drier area. If your ball is in a wet area, please park in a dry spot and walk across to your ball. This will ensure our playing surfaces stay the way we all like them and make our decision easier next time it's a bit wet regarding the cart rule.

We had plans to start remodeling the back-right bunker at the 10th green the week just gone, but with the rain we had to put it on hold until we dry up enough to shape it and get the turf down. The plan is to raise the green side lip slightly to shed excess water around the bunker instead of into it. We also will be raising the face at the back of the bunker, so you can actually see it from the low point in the fairway, as we have done on the left side of the green.

Colourful Tree Lopping were on course on Tuesday and did a great job. All trees spoken about in the last report were removed and mulched, but they only managed to stump grind a few as they had a break down with their stump grinding machine. They will be back when it's dry enough to complete the job.

Thank you for your patience as we did our best to cause as little disruption as possible to the golf, whilst keeping the safety of the contractors onsite a priority.

I picked up a pallet of turf on my way to work on Thursday morning. It was extremely wet which made it difficult to lay as neat as we'd like, particularly at the 15th Tiger Tee surrounds, but nothing a quick roll won't fix as it dries out. I also gave the new tee its first cut with a push mower and will continue to drop the height each cut bringing it down to our usual tee height of cut 10mm.

Thursday saw us start improvements on an old eyesore on the right side of the 3rd fairway. A few unsightly sunken areas had crept out onto the fairway and needed addressing... Originally, I had planned this job for Friday after lunch, but due to a few complications we had to reshuffle things... And thank god we did..!

At about 1pm the distinct 'CRACK' of a "widow maker" echoed across the first couple of holes as a massive limb broke free of a big Eucalypt smashing smaller branches to pieces as it came to the ground right where our make shift work station had been a day earlier when patching out the areas seen in the photos below... A Good effort from Peter and Andy to get it all cleaned up by knock off. Cheers guys...!

Although all precautions are taken by the club in regard to dangerous trees/limbs, it's a stark reminder... It is much safer in the middle of the fairway people....

Oddly it is rarely the dead branches that fall... It's far more common for it to be a nice big healthy limb, making it extremely difficult to determine what's dangerous and what's not unfortunately.

On that note...    Keep safe and play well

Jai Rochfort 
Acting Course Superintendent  

January 10th 2020

Big Hot Humid Week!

So with a few staff trickling back in this wee,k we were finally able to attack a few of the extra projects we've had in place.

15th Tiger Tee - a decision was made to continue with this project recently after a holt was put to proceedings when in it's infancy stage last year. This is a part of the master plan put forward to the club by the very well respected Golf Course Architect Richard Chamberlain and his team... It certainly turns 15 into a beast of a hole, adding a further 25m+ to the 358m already in front of you if played of the current Blue Championship Plate...

 My idea of the objective behind the design is that it pushes the driving distance to the dogleg out to a respectable 230m+ if you would like a look at the green and dares the big hitters to take on the corner now!!! 

I think it's important to note that this tee is only reserved for the bigger events on our calendar like Pro-Am's, possibly the finals of Club Championships and or any other events at the boards request... Orrrrr... Lastly... If at any point our ground staff are feeling absolutely pure evil..! Ha-ha.

Please refrain from walking on tee until it's grown in and we notify member that it's open for play... If you're game..! 

Some shaping of the tees surrounds remain unfinished and will continue next week as we had to quickly get the tee top turfed so we didn't expose it to the rain that will arrive Saturday night into Sunday... 

Yep... I just said it..! Rain is coming..! Let's hope it picks up some of the fires causing our great country so much hurt before it reaches us..! 

Thank you to all of our Men and Women fighting so hard to save the Wildlife, Peoples Homes and Human Life... 

You Are The Worlds Real Hero's..!

We have a few minor interruptions in coming weeks... 

Starting Tuesday 14/01 we have the guys from Colourful Tree Lopping in removing the big dead Eucalypt from beside the cart path at the 16th tee, we will then move to the netting beside the 4th tee to clear overhanging branches for the extension of the 10m high netting through to the big Gum Tree to prevent balls off the 18th tee coming through the current gap posing a safety risk to members, guests and staff. Then we have a few of our arch enemies the 'Cadaghi' Tree at the 1st/15th to remove which helps 'no end' with our leafy problem that soaks up the majority of our man hours of late... These trees are classed as an environmental weed and property owners must be seen to be 'making an effort' to remove the Cadaghi. This is the level below a "declared weed" (groundsel) which legally 'must be removed' by property owners.

There maybe minor interruptions on course on Tuesday depending how the morning goes... If any it will be just the 18th tee markers will be moved forward to the start of the Fairway to provide a safe work environment for the arborists etc. 

Thank You all for your understanding... 

And go get em...!

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent 

January 3rd 2020

Happy New Year to All...

As many of you may have noticed, the smallest of the group of 3 trees that sit in the middle our 16th hole around the 100m mark has been removed. This was due to its poor health and it becoming a safety risk to members, visitors and our staff.

My opinion is the years of brutal assaults from golf balls have finally taken their toll. The bark of a tree provides protection from pests, disease and the elements, once breached it leaves an opening for these three things to go to work. With the position of this tree being right in the 'line of sight' to the green means it has taken its fair share of ball strikes and over time the rain/irrigation and ants have caused it's decline in health and therefore it's removal due to the obvious risk of it potentially falling in an uncontrolled situation and possibly causing injury or worse to anybody unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We are talking of a possible replacement if deemed necessary.

Other than that, we are looking forward to a few staff returning next week, so we can get cracking on a few little projects that have been held back due to staff numbers and the short weeks over the Christmas period.
Again, Happy New Year from all of us down here in maintenance, and we hope the great game is good to you in twenty 20..! 

Jai Rochfort
Acting Course Superintendent