Superintendent's Reports

WEEKLY 2022 REPORTS 
FROM COURSE SUPERINTENDENT - Mark Stanley


Friday 12th August 2022

A short week and some staff out with Covid limited us, but the team got stuck in and presented the course well throughout the week! We lowered our cutting heights, edging closer to our summer height of cut, with greens now sitting at 3.5mm and fairways at 12mm.

We have increased our frequency of cut also resting the greens only once this week. Overall health and sunny days have allowed us to push forward with this, a herbicide was applied Friday to knock out any remaining winter grass that is still present.

Green surrounds and approaches received a granular fertiliser on Thursday while some fairways had organic fertiliser applied to any weak areas.

Our main aim now and the next 3 weeks is to "wake" our surfaces up and get them ready for the upcoming reno in September. This won't be as aggressive as previous ones, but it is still important to have the grass strong and growing well leading into any renovations.

Our blower, vac and rough mower were all out in force this week, clearing surfaces, mulching and picking up debris, definitely helps when the wind is on our side. Our course really does shine when there are no leaves laying around and it is much better for our mowers when its clean and tidy. We also continued to add fill into the old bunker on 12 whilst dry, with these works it has created a maintenance track between 9 and 14 green. This will be repaired once works complete.

Our volunteers removed the nasty vine that was taking over the tree behind the 12th green, that area now receives more sunlight, and we plan on adding sand to the bare areas and laying turf, that region does see a lot of golf balls from approach shots running through the green, so we plan on having some grass there soon to play off.

Enjoy the weekend golfing and here's to hoping the predicted rain on Saturday avoids us. 

Good luck to the Pennant side on Sunday also, bring home the Win!!!

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Friday 5th August 2022

A light shower to start the week but overall, some nice weather and some warm midday temps helped our greens along. We held off cutting greens after Tuesday as we dusted greens as algae is still present and we are still playing catch up due to the weather we have had. This is a disruption to play I know, but a necessary evil. Sand keeps our greens firm, true and prevents thatch build up. Our usually sand supplier is still not open to taking orders due to the floods in February, we hope this month they can start to supply again. Their sand blends in and sits in the canopy better, going unnoticed. Hopefully they start supplying again in time for the next reno.

Greens were rested and allowed to grow, they will be cut both days over the weekend and height of cut will be dropped next week as we are happy with the health of them. 3mm is our target.

We finally started our tree audit this week, the 8th was first off the rank. A lot of dead wood was removed making the area safe for both golfers and staff. The big gums were de-loaded, and the paperbarks were trimmed back. Overall, 6 large truckloads of mulch came from this, all of which will be used out on course in our gardens. We plan to move to the 1st soon, lining up weather and contractor availability.

Fairways received a foliar fertiliser application along with some hollow aeration in the weak / compacted areas. Our salt affected fairways, 16 and 17, received more sand in the “pot holes” to encourage the grass to cover and prevent water from being trapped. Our vets were out in force again, this time attacking some wire grass. Weather has held them back carrying out this huge task, but with Tuesday looking good they made a start. The team and I really appreciate them coming out and lending a hand.

The cart path from 13th green to 14th tee will be concreted next week, Tony Rendall has been busy prepping the area. Not only better for members but also the green staff. We can now use the path with our machines rather than getting bogged in the grass nearby. The besser block kerbing was removed to prevent any damage to mowers/buggies and give us more room to get through. That hideous stump with the overgrown vine was also removed.

With only a few to complete, soon all bunkers will have rake holders placed on the low side. We have noticed some of these holders are being moved or carried with the rake. We position these in areas where golfers should enter and exit. One for safety and ease, nice flat faces to walk down and two, prevent walking on steep faces which we are trying to keep compact. Placing the rake back after use helps out the group behind you and the green staff.

Enjoy the weekend golfing!

Mark Stanley

Golf Course Superintendent


Friday 15th July 2022

Another week, another shower.

11mm fell Tuesday night, topped up all our profiles once again. Not ideal, but the team adapted and pushed through. We have a new team member starting with us this week (of all weeks) called Mitch. Be sure to say hi. You won't miss him, at 6ft and some, he stands out. I put him on the roller leading up to the pro-am for that extra weight and speed!

Greens were dropped to 3mm, which is our summertime height of cut and rolled everyday of the week. They were single cut Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then followed with a double cut on Thursday Friday. Moisture readings were high in most which kept the speed to about 10.5 avg, but once the westerly kicked in and dried out that surface, greens were rolling out nicely at 11 on the stimp. The team and I are extremely happy with how the greens are at present, given the circumstances we have been dealt over the last 6 months.

Tees were dropped in height to 10mm and cut Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. They were given a foliar feed as well, the same brew we fed the greens with. Kelp, Silica, Potassium and Phosphorus along with some iron for colour. This will easily get them through to next week. Fairways were cut once and fed with a liquid brew that made them pop!

Bunkers edged, some thin areas topped up with sand and bases were levelled with the sandpro blade. Regarding raking bunkers, we have been keeping the sandpro out of them the last few months and have been hand raking all of them. We find less sand gets dragged to entry and exit points and the sand does not become compacted. It's also great exercise for the lads!

The blower and vac worked overtime this week once the winds got up, luckily our new Toro blower works a treat. Doesn't take long to zip around and clean our fairways now.

To all those playing in the pro-am, enjoy. Chris and his team do a fantastic job behind the scenes setting up a fun day. The feedback has been nothing but praises. I am super proud of my team of greenkeepers for their efforts leading up to this. The course presented beautifully. Their attention to detail shows their passion for the course.

To all those playing over the weekend, the greens will still be holding their speed, so good luck!

Good luck also to the pennants on Sunday against Pacific. Always great to start off with a Win!

Enjoy!

Mark Stanley
Golf Course Superintendent


Friday 08th July 2022

With 47mm falling over 4 days it pushed our year-to-date rainfall over the 2000mm mark! Not a stat to be proud of but it challenges us leading up to the pro-am.

The forecast looks good and I predict we should be somewhat dry for the Thursday and Friday. 

Carts are out this weekend, please follow the signs. Holes 1-8 carts are permitted on the fairway however please avoid any wet areas. Holes 9-18 carts are to be kept strictly in the rough only and walk to your ball. 

 

We were out again on greens solid tining and rolling to help dry them out and push oxygen into the greens profile, we have lowered the height of cut to 4mm, with our target 3.5mm for the pro-am. 

Certain greens are receiving extra fertiliser in the afternoon to help them through these colder temps. Our wet green surrounds and aprons also received a needle tine to help dry them out, please avoid them, even foot traffic marks up the playing surface.

Matt ran the aerator over all tees, punching a solid tine down around 100mm.

Friday we managed get our blower and vac out to clean fairways and roughs, the westerly picked up which helped the drying out process but littered the course. In our low lying rough areas on the back nine, water is still visible so please keep an eye out whilst driving.

Bunkers are back in play with GUR signs placed in the ones holding water.

Enjoy the fine weather over the weekend (finally)

Mark Stanley
Course Superintendent


Friday 01st July 2022

Just as the course was drying out......

The team this week saw a forecast we didn't want to hear, in preparation for this rain event we finished spraying around all tree bases and hit the Poa Trivialis in the top putter with a herbicide.

Last year we over-sowed the top putter to help it through winter and some seed has managed to stay in the canopy, all this rain has germinated that seed so we will spray it out to keep the Tiff eagle clean. 

Jordy was out Tuesday aerating all greens with a solid needle tine to create some air channels that will help any rain that falls move quicker through the profile. Organic fertiliser was applied to some greens as well as the zoysia on 17.

Friday morning, Danny was out with a soil app on all greens, allowing the rain to wash it in.

Fairways were cut this week and spot top-dressed on the thin areas. The canopy is still open on many, so we will look at another top-dress next week on, weather permitting. We continue to spot top-dress greens and green surrounds, please avoid walking over these areas. Fairways also received a fertiliser and iron application.

Tees were cut at 13mm this week with the heavy traffic tee boxes receiving more rye grass, these were top-dressed and no doubt the rain will do the rest.

In this weather, rye only needs 7 days and it germinates.

Pete has been out walking fairways placing distances on the sprinkler heads. These are to the center of greens and will be completed next week.

Many thanks to the small army of vets that continue to do great garden work on Tuesdays. The team and I really appreciate these days, we have some mulch now also.

No doubt a few wet days will be occurring next week, so our gardens will get a top up.

Fingers crossed we don't get too much "you know what".

Mark Stanley
Golf Course Superintendent