Superintendent's Reports

Weekly 2019 Course Superintendent Reports from Mark Gahan

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.

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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.

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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.

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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
  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.