Superintendent's Reports

Weekly 2019 Course Superintendent Reports from Mark Gahan

Monday 4th November 2019

During last week we applied a wetting agent to all greens, this aids irrigation penetrate the soil profile.

We also started fertilizing fairways with Nitrogen and Iron to improve colour and plant health.

The cart path from the 8th tee has been lengthened slightly and will be topped up with deco. We also plan to resurface the existing path past the 7th green.

As many may know I have submitted my resignation as Course Superintendent effective from mid-December. My wife and I are returning to the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

I have really enjoyed working at Redcliffe, having met some great people and being involved with ongoing golf course improvements. Observing the unique beauty and wildlife of the golf course has made going to work a pleasure, especially when the course is well presented.

I wish to thank my staff for their committed work and support during the past 6 years, especially for the magnificent effort by full time and casual staff to install the new irrigation system.

Also, a big thank you to Kerry and her staff for being positive and supportive on numerous occasions, and to the Committee and members of Redcliffe Golf Club thank you.

Mark Gahan 
Course Superintendent

Friday 25th October 2019

Our greens continue to recover after renovation, last Monday we gave them a second topdress to help even the greens surface. Another week and they should be putting reasonably well.

During the week we commenced coring tees which haven't been hollow tyned for many years. We do this to aerate, relieve compaction and improve irrigation penetration.

Two additional members made themselves available to help Clive and Lindsay spot 'wiregrass' in our roughs, progress is being made to control this invasive weed.

Wire grass is also called 'Love grass' which we looked up to see why the botanical name is Eragrostis (eros is Greek for love and agrostis is a grass) which doesn't answer the question but there must be some Greek connection to love. I'm sure not many golfers feel the love when their ball is tangled in it.

We also continued to spot spray Kikuyu in our couch fairways.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 18th October 2019

Last weekend we received 26mm of welcome rain followed up by 3mm on Thursday evening.

Thank you to cart operators who are using our new paths, especially the one up the 4th hill, however we have noticed carts still driving to the right of the 10th green; please follow the path left as per cart directional signage. New turf surrounding paths is GUR.

Greens renovation:  we scarified greens across the grain in two directions then hollow tyned with 6mm tynes at close spacing to a depth of 100mm. They were then top dressed and fertilized. Our new aeration machinery worked brilliantly making it possible to complete the renovation efficiently.

Due to cooler than average weather we decided not to scarify as heavily as reported, however we are happy with the amount of thatch removed. The greens may need a light top dress next week to help even the surface.

In recent years thatch and root mat levels in all greens has reduced significantly, primarily due to our little and often maintenance programs.

The program includes solid spike aeration which stimulates root growth, with little effect to the surface. Regular light dethatching helps us control the natural grain in 328 turf.  Regular sand dusting maintains air space which encourages microbes which break down organic thatch material.

There are clubs who renovate now and again in mid summer. The concept is in summer we have vigorous growth so turf  recovery is rapid, it is also when players complain about slow grainy greens. A trial could be considered.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 4th October 2019

On Monday evening we received 46mm of heavy but welcome rain. On inspection the following morning our new bunkers on the 4th green were dry and in near perfect condition, whereas in the past they would have been half full of debris silt and water.

Fairway aeration has come to a halt as our tractor and aerator have mechanical issues. Fairways 4, 5, 17 and the par 3's are left to do.

Thank you to cart operators who are using our new paths, especially the one up the 4th hill. New mounds have been roughed in where the old ugly track was (caused by carts) turf is planned for next week. Ideally, cart golfers will play their shot to the green and proceed across to the new path. New turf surrounding paths is GUR.

The Match committee have decided to keep our new flagpoles for special events and use our old thinner poles for general play.

Greens renovation as per last year, the Greens Committee have agreed to hollow tyne and then heavily scarify greens in two directions.

The reason is to remove thatch and cut underground stems (rhizomes) which encourages new shoots leading to denser turf. The greens may take a few weeks to fully recover. Renovations are booked for Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th the course is closed on those days.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 27th September 2019

We have aerated fairways 1 and 3 with only fairways 4, 5, 17, 18 to complete all fairways. We also spot sprayed Kikuyu in fairways 6 and 12.

We have opened our new paths to carts please follow cart signage minimizing cart wear will benefit all players with improved turf quality especially in areas that were worn and pitted. New turf surrounding paths is GUR

Jai discovered an injured young mother Koala with a baby joey. The mother appeared to have hurt its back legs, both were examined and taken away for care by the people from Koala Rescue. All being well they will be returned to us in due course.

We have experienced some minor after dark vandalism and a near neighbourâ??s  house was broken into on Wednesday night. Please be on the lookout and report any suspicious behaviour.

I wish to thank Jai, Peter and the boys for the great job of turfing our new path edges, completing a long list of jobs and presenting the course while I was away.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 20th September 2019

As reported last week, turfing of path edges and mounding at the 6th green went ahead this week. I have directed traffic away from the very start of the new paths to give the new turf a chance to become established before it cops a beating. We have positioned the very beginning of our new paths in a way to best enable access during extremely wet periods (if that's even a thing anymore) to prevent carts from creating a "mud run" so to speak, with a perfect example being the old exit point at the top of the hill on the right hand side of the 4th fairway. All new work around these are G.U.R.

We encourage all carts to enter/ exit the paths at any point which spreads the wear, rather than concentrating it to one or two 'easy' options. So please try to help us provide decent playing surfaces for all, by simply being a bit more conscious of where you are driving. If the area looks a bit beaten up, look for a healthier area to enter/ exit or even drive for that matter. It will definitely help in the long run and during the 'non growing season' being winter. Your cooperation is much appreciated.

There are some dry areas out on the course at the moment for obvious reasons. Mainly in fairways and rough, despite our watering efforts pretty well being maxed out during our night time irrigation. On a 30 degree day with a bit of wind our evapotranspiration rate is about 8mm per day, which is very hard to replace even with the best irrigation system money can buy. So please understand the odd sprinkler being up during the day to give certain areas an extra drink. 

Short and sweet this week, it's been a busy one with the "man flu" plaguing staff and mountains of work as we leap into our growing season. 

Congratulations to the winners of the men's foursomes and all our other competition winners this week.

Thank you for all passing comments over the weeks/ months/ years. It certainly helps us though the odd tough day and puts a 'pep' into our step. 

Just another reminder due to the fire ban and ongoing complaints from fellow members please dispose of cigarette butts correctly. 

Enjoy, and until next week stay safe and happy golfing. 

Course Assistant Superintendent
Jai Rochfort

Friday 13th September 2019

Path work went ahead on Tuesday with new tarmac paths completed at 4,10 and 15. There's no doubt these paths will aid our golf course, not only when we experience periods of wet weather (if that's even a thing anymore) ... but all year round. If we use our paved pathways as often as possible, instead of driving in the rough beside them or tracking straight up the middle of the fairway, to only come onto the path at the last minute, we will see improvements in turf health, density and the definition in these areas, as it is only golf buggies/machinery and foot traffic beating it up currently.

Many thanks to the team at 'Hot Driveways' for their efforts in delivering such a professional product, and for going above and beyond by offering to do the extra 3 meters to the halfway house adjacent the 4th green (at no extra charge) ... Only to fall about 3 meters short at the 5th tee end. But without fuss came all the way up from the Gold Coast first thing the following day to complete it.

And of course, a big thank you to both the Ladies on Tuesday and Men on Wednesday for your co-operation whilst work was completed.

I did delay the opening of the paths ever so slightly to enable us to build up most of the edges with sand, as buggies could cause the immediate edges to break away before turf is layer next week.

We also plan to turf the mound at the 6th green and remove the turf affected by the deco that had washed out onto the fairway during our last rain event (Whenever that was).

Rain jokes aside, there is obviously a serious side to our lack of rain both here and across the Country at the moment. We are all very aware of what happened up the coast at Peregian Springs, and all around us for that matter in the week just gone. Our fire rating is currently at VERY HIGH and there is a complete FIRE BAN in place, so let's be very careful with anything that has a 'Burning Ember'- Cigarette Butts, Mozzie Coils, Your fire pit at home... EVERYTHING...!  One mistake could be catastrophic... Please do the right thing.

Also keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour and report it if seen. Myself and Chris Walk dismantled what looked like an attempt to start a fire behind the driving range this week as there was long dead paper bark trees lent up against alive trees that had been set alight at the base where the flames had travelled up toward the canopy.

Thanks a million for your understanding and good luck to all on course this weekend! GO GET EM...!

Course Assistant Superintendent
Jai Rochfort

Friday 6th September 2019

Road base has been laid on our new paths on holes 4, 10 and 15. Next Tuesday contractors will return to lay asphalt.

We have asked our contractor to start laying asphalt early on the 15th path, hopefully much of the work is completed prior to and after the  ladies competition, however noise and work activity will continue through the day, all holes are planned to play as normal. Path work is GUR.

We have used excess topsoil to create a new mound on the 6th to stop heavy rain washing the deco path down onto the 6th approach. Turf will be laid to repair this area that was trashed by golf carts during wet weather some weeks ago.

Top soil was also used to cover three old tree stumps in the roughs on the 9th 10th and 12th. All have GUR signage.

As a trial we have heavily scarified the chipping green. Our greens require an aggressive scarification to remove thatch and reduce the length of turf stolons which should tighten the 328 turf and reduce grain.  We purchased a suitable machine from North Lakes and will monitor surface recovery prior to our annual renovation in October.

We also plan to mini tyne our practice putting greens to evaluate the effects on ball roll, we have a concept that involves mini tyning greens two or more times a year rather than once at the annual renovation. Once the green is cleaned up and rolled mini tyning should have little impact on the putting surface.

I am away for two weeks. I have left programs for Peter and Jai who are looking after the course.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 30th August 2019

Weather permitting next Wednesday Thursday and Friday contractors are installing a new asphalt path on the right side of 15th from the 100m peg through to the 16th tee. The 15th approach gets very boggy at times, this path will provide cart access in wet conditions.

We are also upgrading the existing path on the left side of the 10th green. The new path will be wider and smoother. Ideally, we want all carts to use the new path so we can turf the pitted worn track on the right side.
Should the above go to plan a new asphalt from the base of the 4th hill, through the right side tree line, to the 5th tee is also being considered. Yes, stray golf balls will bounce off it but it's a practical way to get carts up to the green and solve an ugly wet wear problem on one of our feature holes.

Fairway aeration is planned to continue next week, fairways 2 and 6 are next.
The new sleeper wall on the 5th is complete except for some plants which Bob Dickson is keen to plant. Lindsay and his boys did a great job of designing and installing it.

We managed to upset the odd group on Thursday for which we apologize. We were aerating greens with our new ProCore but had a few technical issues early which meant we got tangled up with the field.

Member, Shane Long, has completed his GPS survey of our new irrigation. Shane also mapped fairway sprinkler head distances to the middle of each green and surveyed all green so we now have an accurate measurement of green sizes and will be able to determine any size reduction of greens. Shane has completed a lot of expensive work for the club at very little cost. Thank-you again Shane.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 23rd August 2019 

Work has been completed on the new concrete sleeper wall in the garden by the 5th green. We also installed irrigation pipe so when complete the garden will be irrigated automatically.

So far, we have spike/aerated the 9th 10th 12th and 14th fairways, next week we plan to complete the 8thand 15th.

As a trial we have proposed to renovate worn and pitted areas of rough on the right side of the 3rdfairway - tee end. Our plan is to rotary hoe then create small mounds and sprig them with 'winter green couch' from our back range. Work is planned in spring.

Fairway mowing- as a starting point we are mowing in different directions to reduce grain. That is why we are getting some mower scalping,  especially where the thatch and grain are particularly bad. During growing times, we plan to regularly dethatch fairways which will help us grow dense healthy turf.

We get comments re our greens are getting smaller. Yes during the past 30 years they have, this is due to couch grass from the surrounds encroaching into the 328. However, we have not purposely mowed them smaller at any time in the past 5 years.

The long-term plan is to resurface our greens with a modern improved turf variety, and will present the perfect opportunity to restore green size. In the short term our greens are not small and are in no danger of becoming 'postage stamps' during the next 5 years.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 16th August 2019

We have begun to spike / aerate our fairways, completing the 9th and 12th. This is a slow process and is planned over several weeks. We do this to relieve soil compaction which improves irrigation infiltration and will stimulate new root and shoot growth.

We have laid turf so the old 4th drive bunker is now grassy hollow. The mounds at the rear of the new 15th tiger tee have also been turfed. Both are GUR.

The work date was changed to next Thursday and Friday to install concrete sleepers to replace the rotten timber sleepers in the garden by the 5th green. The asphalt path will be closed so all players will have to proceed left of the green.

With the closure of North Lakes golf club we were able to purchase some turf aeration machinery (which we were looking to purchase) at a very good price.

Due to recent foot valve issues with our pumps we have a few dry spots starting to appear, all is working again so we are back to full irrigation.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 9th August 2019

Work commenced to reshape the 4th drive bunker into a grassy hollow. As reported this bunker was a constant maintenance issue due to tree roots and debris from overhanging trees. It can also be argued that it was no longer relevant as it got little use. We plan to turf it next week along with the mounds for the new 15th tiger tee.

Next Thursday and Friday, we have booked a contractor to install concrete sleepers to replace the rotten timber sleepers in the garden by the 5th green. The asphalt path will be closed so all players will have to proceed left of the green.

A major issue with the foot valve in our dam was discovered. Bolts used to attach the foot valve to the suction pipes had rusted, causing the seal to fail and allowed water to drain back into the dam. Therefore air entered the pipework, the resultant loss of pump suction made irrigation impossible. 

Prior to the foot valve’s removal were not aware of a hard algae type growth which had started to block suction holes on the foot valve (photo), we now know it will need cleaning every 2-3 years.  We cleaned the valve and installed stainless steel bolts to prevent future rust issues. Fortunately, 11mm of rain on Wednesday evening was perfect timing.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 2nd August 2019

Peter James and Dan Bullimore have been busy removing old irrigation satellites and Aqua gator control boxes from around the course. We are pleased to see them go as they caused many of the constant problems associated with our old system.

A few fairways have thin turf areas, due to a few factors but primarily an almost microscopic insect known as 'couch mite'. They breed very rapidly in great numbers from egg to adult in a few days and feed by sucking vegetative juices from the grass.

Mites usually attack weak turf (caused by dry conditions, shade, cart wear and poor varieties of couch) and live in protected plant parts so are hard to contact with relevant chemistry. We have sprayed several times and gained good control, but turf damage will require warm Spring weather to recover. I believe over-planting effected areas with improved varieties such as 'Winter Green couch' should be considered as part of future damage control.

The committee is considering options for a new maintenance shed as our existing shed is well past its use by date.

One key member of course staff who doesn't get a lot of credit is Steve Cannings our mechanic. Steve does a fantastic job maintaining our machinery fleet in excellent condition. His mowers are always sharp and adjusted correctly, keeping cylinder mowers sharp is a skill in itself.

Often Steve is asked by staff, "we need something modified or something won't start or it's got a flat tyre"- he simply gets on with it and effects repairs with little fuss. A quality mechanic is perhaps the golf courses greatest asset.

Mark Gahan

Friday 26th July 2019 - WELL DONE US..! BY US I ALSO MEAN YOU..!

Its hard to believe it has been 10 weeks since I mentioned in my report that we were at the beginning of a "marathon" of important events on course..! This weekend will somewhat rap up a massive effort by all involved with our div 1 men's pennant clash vs Brisbane GC..! As a little 'warm down' we host BDLGA on Monday in combination with the Ladies Divisional Challenge and The Champion of Champions (all club champions from the district) and finally the final round of pennant vs Keperra on Sunday August 18. Massive shout out has to go out to all the volunteers who helped, not only for the Pro-Am, but also to the members who float in for a day here and there giving up their time for our course... Hats off to the ground staff for your early morning, and in some cases, late night efforts during this period, But I'm going to save the biggest pat on the back for.... The Golf Course itself..! How well it has held up during this time, under the stress that is 'tournament  preparation' for such a long period of time,  and all smack bang in the middle of winter (when turf is at its weakest) has both, surprised me somewhat, and taught me a thing or two about how strong of a plant we have, and that our management practices are again somewhat dialed in..! I often mention this when asked about the odd worn area on a green or tee as it makes it easier for everyone to understand the reasons and what we put it through, when maintaining and playing our or other golf courses - "Imagine the average backyard after hosting a party for 150 guests"... Now throw in a bit of bad weather and some machinery doing its thing, and how's it look..? Pretty ordinary??? Our greens see that on average, every single day..!

Irrigation has been installed to the 'Tiger Tee' across the creek behind the existing 15th tee, with just some final shaping tree removal and turf remaining.

You may notice a bit of scalping in areas on some fairways, my opinion is that during winter the sun arcs across the sky differently... The grass somewhat follows the sun throughout the day to maximise exposure to aid its growth, therefore effectively changing its "grain" slightly, making areas that aren't normally into the grain change... Our mowers naturally work harder when cutting into grain leaving us with a bit of scalp. That said it is still a good surface with no effect on play-ability.

Lastly, if we could please continue our good work filling divots and repairing pitch marks as this is the difference between turf and dirt coming out of winter..!

RANGE GATE UPDATE- I have not found it open since we last mentioned it months ago... Thank-you its much appreciated. Keep it up as the First Stage of the 'nature walk' that tracks from Frawley fields to just behind the back range opens on 4 AUGUST and will be wheelchair accessible, leaving no hope of keeping a motorbike out. We are working towards some kind of security... Maybe Donald Trump can build a "practice wall" out there if anyone has some contacts for him or any ideas, let us hear them..! Good luck to all our golfers competing this week... Go get em..!

Jai Rochfort - Course Assistant superintendent

Friday 19th July 2019

Firstly, I want to thank my course staff for their fantastic effort in presenting the course for the Pro-Am. From all report's players were very happy with the course, especially those who had never played at Redcliffe.

Jai Rochfort led the way by motivating our team to present the best conditioned course possible on the day. Jai also established excellent communication and planning with the PGA our Pro Chris and myself.

Thank you to the many volunteers who divoted fairways on Sunday afternoon and other members who tidied fallen sticks on Monday.

During the week we were able to install the drain on the 10th men's tee to eliminate water collecting in the low area next to the path, given normal rain events as drainage in this area is subject to tidal variations. We plan to 'rough in' the 15th tee base and let it settle for a couple of months before completion. 

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 12th July 2019

Last Saturday a large field of golf carts, combined with heavy showers trashed path entry areas on the 4, 5, 6, 15 where carts are directed. At least this proves the vast majority of members are observing cart signage.

Unfortunately, the rain occurred after our staff finished work for the day. So we were not aware of the damage, had we been we would have moved the rope barriers to drier ground.

 There are still wet areas so please follow cart signage to avoid further damage.

During the week we inspected and flushed subsurface drains on the 15th to discovered minor blockages which we cleared. The issue appears to be a lack of fall to the existing drainage pit which led to shallow pipe laying in the wet 100m area. Improved drainage to a pit further back near the corner is being considered.

We have placed more rake holders around larger bunkers, perhaps visually 'the jury is still out' but they seem to work. Thank you for your support.

As a reminder 
Please report any dog sightings as the RSPCA have an official monitoring the golf course. Again, we are 'Land for Wildlife' so all dogs must be on a lead when being walked on the course. The RSPCA can issue fines to dog owners not complying. 

Next Sunday week (the 14th of July) The 1st tee will be closed at 1.00pm. This is to enable us to mow, set up and present the course for the Pro Am on Monday which is a 10.30 shot gun start.

Volunteers for our Pro Am, after discussion with event organizers it was decided that filling divots will benefit play-ability.

We need volunteers to divot fairways on Sunday the 14th of July at 1.30 pm and follow behind the field. We plan a small demonstration, as slightly under filling is correct rather than over filling with sand. Golf carts are available.

We are opening the greenside bunkers on the 10th this weekend. However, the surrounding turf remains GUR.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 5th July 2019

Course staff have been busy all week preparing for the Pro am on Monday.

We have installed 18 new putting cups and flag poles which have a 'lock in base'- they are especially designed to keep flag poles vertical.

Reminder on Sunday the 1st tee will be closed at 1.00pm. This is to enable us to mow, set up and present the course for the Pro Am on Monday. It is a 10.30am shot gun start and spectators are most welcome to see great golf from a quality field. However no spectator carts are allowed, the pro shop have organised staff/volunteers to transport spectators to the halfway house if required. 

Members who can volunteer to divot fairways on Sunday. Please meet me at 1.30 pm at the Pro Shop where I will give a small demonstration of filling divots, as slightly under filling is correct rather than over filling with sand. Additional members have indicated they can help out later in the afternoon picking up sticks and pine cones (on the 7th). Golf carts are available for volunteers.

As reported the greenside bunkers on the 10th are in play however, the surrounding turf remains GUR.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 28th June 2019
Consistent heavy showers (40mm in total) have made parts of the 15th and 17th fairways very wet. Please follow cart signage to avoid damage in these areas.

The committee have agreed to install a new asphalt path along the right side rough of the 15th fairway from the drive mounds to the 16th tee. Also, the 10th left green side path is to be resurfaced and widened.

During the week we attended the 2019 Asia Pacific Turfgrass conference in Brisbane. As reported, it proved to be a most valuable education and networking experience. Thank you to the club for allowing us to attend.

Divots are noticeable in many fairways; a special thank you to our member (Mike Mead) who walked and filled divots during our club championships. 

Due to the recent attack of a kangaroo by a dog not on a lead, the RSPCA have been monitoring our golf course. The MBRC will be advised of any dogs on the golf course not on a lead and will be issuing fines as the Redcliffe Golf Course is  'Land for Wildlife' and all dogs must be on a lead and controlled at all times when being walked on the course however must not be on the course during playing times. If further information required, please contact the office.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 21st June 2019

For Sundays Club Championship final greens will be cut and rolled, holes changed, and bunkers raked. We are looking forward to some great golf.

The Greens Committee has asked us to create a new 'tiger tee' on the 15th as per our Master Plan. We have carted some material and plan to have it tidy for the Pro Am in July.

Next week the annual Superintendent's conference will be held in Brisbane, the club is sending Jai and myself. It is staff training and a valuable education and networking experience. Our course mechanic Steve will also attend training seminars sponsored by Toro for turf mechanics.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 14th June 2019

The second left greenside bunker redesign on the 10th has been completed. Please walk carefully in the GUR and keep off bunker faces as the sand and turf is not yet consolidated.

Our next bunker project is to fill in the right drive bunker on the 4th which will become a grassy hollow. A future fairway bunker is planned further down the fairway to give long hitters something to think about.

A few members have mentioned ball plugging in bunker faces. The weather has been cool and dry so little or no irrigation has been required. As a result, bunker faces have dried out which softens the usually firm sand faces leading to ball plugging. The bunkers in question were not newly rebuilt bunkers.

A second question was why are we not compacting clay into new bunker faces? The major drainage issue with our bunkers is caused by significant damage during heavy rain events. Clay is washed from the bunker face into the sand, in time blocking drains and contaminating sand.

We are installing a specialty product 'Bunker Mat' on new bunker faces to eliminate the above. Once consolidated the mat provides stability and protects the face from erosion. It is covered with about 15mm of sand. The mat is designed to hold sand in place and eliminate ball plugging when maintained correctly.  (Geofabrics Australia is the supplier of Bunker Mat)

Clive Selwood received official recognition for his 30 years of volunteering at a BBQ breakfast with our staff. Club Captain Peter Holloway presented a plaque to Clive. In his speech Clive said he is happy with progress as areas that were once wire grass and crowsfoot weeds are now excellent turf. Thank you Clive!


Friday 7th June 2019

Jai conducted stimpmeter speed readings on a few greens, our greens are rolling at 11.5 to 12.0 feet. As a perspective, Augusta for the US Masters is reported to roll up to 16 feet, our greens usually roll at 10 to 10.5 feet.

Member Rob Mills has been conducting soil temperate readings on greens 5 and 13 for the past few months. Interesting the latest 5th green temperature was 2.6 degrees less than the 13th green.

Perhaps this is one reason why the 5th struggled during previous winters, especially more so before shading trees were removed. (Average soil temp. The 13th green is 17.9 degrees, and the 5th green is 15.3 degrees at 80mm depth)

The second left green side bunker has been re shaped, turf is planned for Monday. Please keep off steep areas as the sand is not yet consolidated. 

A sharp stick caught behind the operator of one of our course vehicles, resulting in a nasty scrape line down 12th fairway.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 31st May

Cold weather has slowed growth,  instead of mowing greens are rolled more often which increases green speed.

We have removed soft sand from the face of the 4th front greenside bunker to reduce ball plugging.

The second left 10th greenside bunker is being remodeled. Drains have been inspected and cleaned and we hope to complete re shaping next week.

Shane Long has completed GPS surveying or new irrigation system, this information will be sent to our irrigation designer 'Rainlink Australia' and an exact full-scale map will be produced.

We are looking for volunteers to remove fallen sticks in roughs on the Monday morning prior to the Pro am in July. If you can help, please keep it in mind as more details will be provided closer to the date.

Thank you to Jai, Peter and the boys for looking after the course while I was away. On my return I thought it all looked great.

Mark Gahan
Course Superintendent

Friday 24th May 2019

Finally, a few warm sunny days have graced us with their presence, allowing the course to dry out around the surrounds slightly. Hopefully these days will continue and the "drips and drabs" of rain we have been receiving have passed.

You may have also noticed in the wetter areas, particularly in the green surrounds, the little brown patches appearing. This is a very common fungal leaf disease that is caused by an area being wet for too long. This has been treated and with favorable conditions we should see an improvement short term.

With the wet weather the greens slowed down a bit this week. To compensate I have rolled greens late today (Friday) to try and keep them as consistent as possible, which at this time of year can be difficult as we are somewhat 'in the hands of the weather gods'. As the night-time temperatures fluctuate, so does growth rates of our turf, and in turn so does the speed of our greens. We are constantly monitoring this situation, at the same time we have to be a little cautious, to not have the green speed too fast too early. This can cause problems as the really cool weather is yet to come, and if we push the speeds too far it can be nearly impossible to slow them down when there is no growth at all due to dormancy. Thursday next week temperatures are set to plummet below 10 degrees.

Thank you to all for your response to the range gate issues, this week I have not seen it left open overnight, which is a good thing as there has been a bit of motorbike activity around the area.

Good luck to all this weekend, as we will have our round of 16 for the start of the matchplay by late Sunday afternoon. And also, to the Ladies who start their quest this Tuesday with round 1 of their Club Championship.

Happy golfing and enjoy, 

Jai Rochfort
Course Assistant Superintendent

Friday 17th May 2019 

This weekend marks the beginning of a marathon of golf at the club with the first of the club championship qualifiers kicking off for the men. Qualifiers continue next weekend to decide the top 16, who battle it out over the following 4 weeks, with the final for both men and women across all divisions coming to a head on Sunday 23rd of June. With only a couple of weeks before arguably the biggest day for the club in a long time, that being the Opti-Lease Redcliffe Pro-Am on Monday July 15. Our club playing host to some of the best players from the Australasian tour, in the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series. As Greenkeepers to say we are excited... Is an understatement...!

Hopefully we will still be feeding off this excitement, as on the 21st and 28th of July, we host Royal Queensland GC and Brisbane GC in Div 1 Pennant. A 10-week golfing marathon that will no doubt see a few extra grey hairs coming through for both staff and players alike...!

For over a month we have been preparing for the upcoming events by, adding/moving sand in bunkers to get the bases level and sand depth consistent, strengthening up the plant with our weekly fertilizing program, to help it through what is by far the toughest time of year for our warm season grasses. Cool night-time temperatures slow down the growth rate, meaning very little recovery in areas under stress. So please if you can replace your divots and repair pitch marks it will go a long way in helping us provide the best playing surfaces possible come the back end of winter.

You may also notice some blue dashes in the back left corner of the tee blocks, these are purely a guide for staff to follow to ensure we all start cutting each tee in the same position and at the same angle as the next person, as we are trying to get that dark and light striping affect to give the place a little bit of 'flare' in the weeks to come. It also gives staff some experience in this area, bettering them for future endeavour's either here or abroad where this might be a requirement.

The reshaped bunker at the 10th green has had its finishing touches and was turfed Thursday. It will remain out of play and is G.U.R as marked. Please minimize any traffic when moving around this area and only enter and exit the bunker from its low point to retrieve balls etc. The turf and new faces will take some time to settle given the time of year. We will be sure to notify you when it's back in play. Take a second to have a look from 250m marker. You can now see the hazard where previously we couldn't. It visually looks better, giving the hole character, less maintenance for us, and its 1/3 of the size it used to be.... Everyone's a winner...!

I'll be saying this a bit over the next few months, but thanks to all our staff for your efforts up until now and in advance for what's ahead.

RANGE GATE - 3 times this week and 3 times last week it has been left open in the afternoon and overnight... I cannot stress enough how important it is to please shut it as you exit after practicing. It will only take 1 silly person on a small motorbike 1 minute to rip a green to bits. I'm sure none of us fancy playing to a temporary green for 4 months while we repair the damage... Your understanding is appreciated. Thank you.

To all the players, best of luck... And enjoy. "Never up Never in".

 Jai Rochfort
Assistant Course Superintendent


Friday 10th May 2019

We have completed preliminary shaping of the 10th left green side bunker. Next week we plan to lay turf and have it back in play in a couple of weeks.

Invasive tree roots are being removed from fairway edges as possible.

We have completed concrete work at the clubhouse.

I am away on leave for a couple of weeks, Jai and Peter are looking after the course.

Friday 3rd May 2019 

Public holidays and staff sickness continue to impact our working week.  It has been months since we have had all staff available for an entire week. 

As per previous winters, we have over-sown tees with Rye-grass to protect and provide turf cover for our couch grass base. Germination takes about ten days and 4-6 weeks to mature.  


As reported, we commenced preliminary work on the 10th left side bunker.  The plan is to reduce its size, the rear section becomes a mound and the entry graded and turfed to allow easy access for older members.  Interestingly the large mount of sand (currently in the middle of the bunker) is what we pushed up from the base, a large pile for those who claimed there is 'no sand in the bunkers'. 


Next Tuesday the prepared area near the men's locker room will be concreted by our staff. 

Friday 26th April 2019

Over the past week we have received over 40mm of rain from consistent heavy showers. This type of rain shows up wet areas more so than much greater rainfall in a short period, mainly because heavy rain runs off, whereas showers soak into the soil until it becomes saturated.

As reported next week we plan to commence preliminary work on the 10th left green side bunker.

Clive Sellwood our long serving twice weekly course volunteer told me that this is his 30th year of regular weed spotting.

Clive has been involved with and observed a lot of course changes, the conversion of greens from blue couch to 328, helping to sprig our fairways with Green Leaves Park couch grass, and recently our new dam and irrigation system. Thank you Clive.  Let's hope we get another 30 years out of you.

Friday 19th April 2019

Sand has been placed in green side bunkers left 1st green, front right 2nd green, front left 11th and right side 18th green. This is the sand we plan to place in bunkers as we rebuild them.

We also plan to reshape problem bunkers, starting at the 10th green side bunkers.  These fill with water after heavy rain and due to their size require constant blowing of tree debris.

By breaking one large bunker into perhaps two, will reduce maintenance and enhance visual display. We also aim to improve access for older members.

Asphalt cart paths are also planned with the aim to weather proof wet areas for golf carts. The right side of the 15th fairway from the drive mound to the green is being considered.

We have sprayed 'Kikuyu' invading fairway edges, green surrounds and tees. Yellowing is evident in these areas.

The trial of rake holders in the right-hand bunker on hole 13. So far, all reports have been positive, so too has the new 'ball pick up' flag pole on the 18th green.

Friday 5th April 2019

Due to illness it was another week of reduced staff, which combined with two early shot gun starts has some impact on course presentation.

However we took advantage of Mondays shot gun start to remove turf from the front of the 8th men's tee, which we leveled then replaced the turf.

Carpet grass is becoming an issue in tees and fairways, we are limited as to what herbicides we can legally apply. We are working on the problem.

Shane Long has only one remaining hole to GPS survey which will complete our new irrigation pipework plan.

We have been given two rake holders to trial in a bunker.  We have placed them in the right-hand bunker on 13th, comments will be welcome.


Friday 29th March 2019

25mm of persistent rain fell on Wednesday which reduced the field to only the hardiest of players. The course handled the rain very well with just an odd wet spot in the usual places.

Mowing was our primary focus during the week, we also cleaned drain pits, removed fallen branches and cleared the garden outside the clubhouse men's toilets which will be concreted.

We have sprayed Kikuyu in green surrounds and fairway edges, yellowing of the Kikuyu is noticeable.

Our new rubbish/recycling bin system on tees is working very well to date, thank you for your cooperation.

Ground staff member Jason Battaglene who had surgery last week is back home. Jason will require time to fully recover.

Thank you to volunteers Shane Long and John Chapman. Shane has only two holes to complete a GPS survey of our new irrigation, and John has cleaned our practice tee mats and general tidy up work around the course.


Friday 22nd March 2019 

Our ground staff member Jason Battaglene was rushed to hospital requiring emergency surgery on Wednesday evening. Jason had been unwell for a few weeks, but doctors had been unable to diagnose his condition. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Last Friday evening we were smashed with 105mm of heavy rain, bunkers were trashed and deco paths damaged. Now with continued warm weather our turf is growing vigorously. Ideally, we could mow the entire course daily which is just not possible.

We have completed tree root pruning with only minor damage to our turf. These areas are GUR.

Thank you to our Club Management Committee for inviting Jai and myself to the Queensland Golf Industry Awards dinner at Royal Pines Resort. A big thank you to President John Jayo who drove us and dropped us off at our homes after a late but very enjoyable evening.


Friday 15th March 2019

Although rainfall has been steady though the first quarter, and even with 11mm overnight on the Thursday we are still along way off the usual averages for this time of year. Further proving our new irrigation system an absolute godsend. I have heard a lot of comments, and know of a few local golf courses struggling with the recent shortage of water, some watering greens only. As sad as that is, and i really do feel for them. It instills how lucky we are here at Redcliffe Golf Club to have what we've all worked so hard for!

The Root Pruning machine has arrived during the week and despite a few teething issues has been hard working along the 'drip line' of our trees, mainly in the rough. It does it's job with minimal impact on turf, however does leave 'railway track' like slick marks about 300mm apart. As we plan to make our way down each side of the tree lined fairways a LOCAL RULE has been implemented that deems these areas to be treated as G.U.R. Apologies for any inconvenience during this time, but by doing this will really help improve turf health as the tree roots suck a lot of the moisture and nutrients out of the ground before the turf gets a chance.  

Our female kangaroo with the sore foot seems to be doing well. There is improvement in her mobility week to week although she is still a little sore. If you do see her please avoid 'spooking' her as it could cause more damage therefor slowing her recovery. So you know she hangs around the 15th/16th holes and has a small joey with her, that keeps he hands full as she hobbles around after him/her.

To all our golfers, good luck this week and enjoy ... 

Jai Rochfort 
Course Assistant Superintendent


Friday 8th March 2019

Due to illness staff have been away during the week which has delayed plans of placing sand in more bunkers.

Our new path and landscaping to the 18th tee appears to be working well and certainly a big visual improvement.

New rubbish bins have been placed on eleven tees. Please observe recycling signage as one bin is for rubbish and the other for recycling cans and plastic bottles. The combined volume is greater than our old 'wheelie bins'. More bins are planned for the other tees.


Friday 1st March 2019

Rainfall for February was 91mm, all of which fell in one 12 hour period early in the month.

Sand has been placed into green side bunkers, 10th front and left side, 11th large left bunker and 15th front left and rear.

This is the sand we plan to eventually use to reconstruct our bunkers. It is the same sand used in the reconstructed 4th front green side bunker. It is called 'Bunker Blend Pro 1 Dark sand' supplied by Riversands at Carbrook.

We have applied a growth regulator (primo maxx), stabilized urea (umaxx) and Iron sulfate to fairways to reduce growth and improve turf colour and health.

Roughs have been sprayed with a pre-emergent herbicide (Barricade) to prevent crowfoot and wire grass seedlings germinating. Barricade has no poison schedule and works for up to 6 months. It is tightly bound to the soil and forms a layer near the surface, any new seedlings coming into contact die.

Jai has had a busy week rescuing two Koala's and a frog mouth owl. Wildlife experts are nursing them back to health.


Friday 22nd Febuary 2019

We have laid turf to complete path work from the 17th green to the 18th tee. A small Pandanus palm is to be planted in the middle of the turning circle.

New rubbish bins have been ordered, one for recycling and one for rubbish, both will be fitted to a post on a number of tees to replace our aging 'wheelie bins'.

Rope barriers; it is noticeable (especially after member competitions) that rope barriers have been removed and not put back. The barriers are movable obstructions and designed to protect turf from golf cart wear. Should you need to move a barrier to play a shot please put it back in the correct position.

The right side bunker on the 5th was washed out by the garden hose which blew off its fitting. It is GUR.

Recently we have received a nice letter and emails regarding course conditioning. We appreciate positive comments as it's great for staff morale.


Friday 15th Febuary 2019

We carried out a Soil test on the 3rd green to determine soil nutrients. Results show a reasonably correct balance of nutrients and as expected elevated (but manageable) sodium levels.

Total dissolved salts in our treated dam water is 1080ppm which is considered slightly high but again manageable given normal rainfall to flush the soil profile.

For most of the past week our focus has been mowing and catching up with small jobs and weed control in roughs which some of which have been neglected due to irrigation work.

We have carted fill to the new 18th tee path, more prep work is planned for next week.

The company whom we had planned to hire the root pruning machine must be too busy to answer the phone or returns calls. We are looking for alternatives.


Friday 8th Febuary 2019

Our irrigation system has been completed. Work started on 2nd June 2016. Thank you to our contractors and irrigation casuals Steve Hartley, Mark Stanley, John Chapman, Peter Campbell, Jarrod Sterling, Josh Woolley, Neil Walden, Steve Loiacono, Shada Stanley and surveyor Shane Long.

The team completed work to a very high standard with enthusiasm, given often very hot weather, digging in very hard (crowbar) soils, or wet and sticky clay which stuck to everything and even jack hammering through rock. This was achieved with the constant risk of breaking old live pipework as its location was largely unknown, and of course trying to minimize disruption to play in a timely manner.

Peter James led the way right through the project, his commitment, work ethic and care that all work was completed to a very high standard will provide Redcliffe Golf Club with reliable course irrigation for many years to come.

Our course staff all of whom were involved with many aspects of installation then completed tidy up work, turfing around sprinklers and pipework to such a standard that it is now difficult to see where trenching occurred.

An irony is, on Wednesday morning while fitting the last 4 sprinklers we were smashed with 40mm of rain in about half an hour flooding everything. In total we received 87mm.

On a personal note, The Victorian Open is currently being played at the 36 hole Thirteenth Beach Golf Links at Barwon Heads. I was in charge of construction of both courses. Its satisfying to look back at the work we achieved and the continued improvement of playing surfaces. When I started there it was a cattle farm currently its staging the richest golf tournament in Australia.

On behalf of myself and my staff - 
Thank you to Laura for your assistance over the years and we wish you all the best with your new position.


Friday 1st Febuary 2019

Our week didn’t go to plan due in part to staff holidays and sickness. Our excavator operator that we booked to trench the final section of our mainline forgot about the Australia Day holiday so was unavailable. He has rebooked for next Monday and Tuesday.

Pipe work will be carried out on Monday and Tuesday so the 10th will be shortened to a par 4 on Monday. We will do our best to work in and around the Ladies Opening day competition on Tuesday but some inconvenience may occur.

One of the 2nd pond aerators has a burnt-out motor, it is going away for repairs.

Next week we aim to complete tiding up around our new asphalt paths.

Member Robert Mills has been monitoring our 5th and 13th greens with his drone and has provided us with interesting data re surface and soil temperature.

Rob has also identified where turf is damaged by ball marks it is gets much hotter. It appears due to injury the plant cannot efficiently cool itself, so please repair your ball marks.


Friday 18th January 201

During the week we commenced aeration of fairways, this is to relieve compaction and improve irrigation penetration into the soil. It will take a few weeks to complete and should have little impact on general play.

Next week (Tuesday and Thursday) work is planned for a new asphalt path from the 17th green to 18th men’s tee, also the existing 13th deco path will also be sealed. We aim to complete work on 13 prior to the Ladies competition.

The 17th path will improve wet weather playability and tidy the area where carts have worn and pitted the turf. The 13th deco path is an ongoing maintenance issue after heavy rains.

Our irrigation has been working overtime due to this hot dry spell. We are currently applying over a million liters of water each night to the course.


Friday 11th January 2019

Due to current growing conditions our greens required another light dethatch, they are rolling ok but a few thatching marks are visible.

Our average long-term rainfall is 1087mm. Last year (2018) we only received 742mm. The condition of fairways and consistent turf improvement in previously thin areas is a direct result of our new irrigation system. The 14th and 5th fairways in particular, have improved significantly.

We have booked a root pruning machine to cut tree roots growing into fairways, pruning will along the drip line of trees. We hope it will be here sometime next week. 

A few weeds have invaded fairway areas where we had previously sprayed Kikuyu. Two weeks ago we spot sprayed these weeds with a selective herbicide at the low label rate with no real result. We have reapplied it at the high label rate. There is an alternate effective herbicide available but it is 'hot' on green couch so we decided on the safer option. 

Staff illness this week has again taken a toll on some aspects of course presentation.

There is a female kangaroo with a joey that appears to have a broken foot, Jai is monitoring its health as apparently there is not a lot that can be done. The joey can be hand reared if necessary.


Friday 4th January 2019

The previous two weeks has been busy with golf and combined with staff holidays this has taken a toll on some aspects of course presentation.

Despite the above we have completed irrigation to all fairways. As reported a few additional sprinklers are planned (mainly in the roughs) these will be installed as required.

Peter James and our recent irrigation casuals Neil, Josh and Steve have worked very efficiently to complete our massive irrigation project to an excellent standard of quality, on time and at a considerable cost saving for the club. They all deserve a big thank you.

As reported, to complete our mainline a 200mm pipe is required to connect from the 10th (near the dam) across to the 9th fairway a distance of 130m or so. This is planned in the next few weeks.

We have been asked to provide more access points for walking players where rope barriers direct golf carts.

Recycling bins are planned for cans and plastic bottles and we are looking at options.

Kerry has contacted the Council regarding mosquito control as there appears to be an infestation at the moment.  She is awaiting their reply.