Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Capel Touch

With what is a fantastic opportunity for Ben to gain invaluable experience working on a "top 20" Golf Course helping prepare for a World Class major event, Ben will, from Sunday spend 8 days as part of the Lake Karrinyup Course Maintenance team preparing the course for the new World Super 6 Tournament to be held from next Thursday.
 I put forth Ben's name in recognition for his outstanding contribution and achievements this year both on course and in his studies, and I am sure he will make the most of this exciting opportunity which will only benefit his professional progression and in turn also benefit Capel Golf Club through the knowledge and experience he will gain.

Ben will also have the opportunity to follow the field during his time off between course maintenance hours, I look forward to sharing with you his experiences on his return. 

In other course news we have been busy preparing the course for our own Ladies Major event of the year the 2017 Summer Cup. We are confident we have produced quality turf surfaces for this event with the majority of the preparations complete.
As we head into the final days we have one eye on the developing weather, with forecast of heavy rain and strong winds, again we are confident in the plans and preparations we have in place, but mother nature may have plans of her own which may impact on course conditions and debris over the course making our job a little more difficult. Should be an interesting few days.

Good luck to this years entrants, hopefully we miss the worst of it and the event runs smoothly. For the male members deciding to play other courses this weekend Happy Hooking.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

And Another Break

When you know it takes 27 hours to manually irrigate the back 9 from Tee to Green just once, and you need to do this at least twice in a week plus extra for Tees and Greens,
When you know the weather forecast is for temperatures above 30 degrees for most of the week, you have a public holiday and three competition days to work around, the last thing you want to see on the first manual shift of the week is this ....

Fortunately we were able to plug the leak temporarily keeping the irrigation running for the complete first cycle then made the permanent repair without too much disruption or delay to irrigation before the competition players came through.
Just another week in the irrigation season.

Between other must do maintenance works during the week we recommenced work on the 6th tee, all going well we hope to have all the amendments added and levels complete this time next week.  During the peak season with our very small staff, extra mowing demands and the manual irrigation of the back 9 we do not have a great deal of time to allocate to projects such as this which takes just that little but longer to complete. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.

The nursery area is coming along 9 days after seeding with a green tinge appearing on the Rye collar as is the Bent grass surface. The Rye grass is being used as a buffer between the nursery and surrounding infertile area. It generally germinates quicker than Bent grass only taking about 7 days compared to the dry seed germination of Bent at 14 days, it is because of its relatively quick germination that Rye is sometimes used as a "nurse" grass protecting turf types of longer germinating or establishment times. 

Constant moisture monitoring specially in the heat is ongoing with manual irrigation every 2nd hour Public Holidays and Weekend times are the biggest issue with the manual system and another reason I was a little concerned with shutting down the irrigation to repair the above leak.  Moisture levels are critical at this stage of development for the young seedlings, if allowed to dry out; it will be curtains for the seeded area.

Happy Hooking !

Monday, January 16, 2017

Wool ya get a load of that !!

We are often called on to attend, "not your average greenkeeping duties" from stopping wayward Bulls, (yes Bulls not balls), roaming the course, to fishing Golf Carts out of Bunkers, (lucky we dont have water hazards),  so I didn't think I was being "Fleeced" during the week when I was informed we had a few unwanted visitors on 11 green. 

 Fair to say Ben and I have a new respect for farmers herding their stock after these Baaaad boys were a little reluctant to go where we wanted them to....
Just goes to shows The grass is always greener ................

One project we have been trying to complete between Course Maintenance tasks is the establishment of a Nursery green to use as a source of bent grass turf to repair greens during events like above or general repair and planed improvement works, once established we will no longer need to remove turf from our practice greens and will also allow us to implement measures to remove Couch and Saltene encroachment to some greens as well as run trials for new products and best practice before treating main in play greens. 
 The area has now been, graded, pipe work for irrigation installed and as of today seeded. While not the ideal season to seed Bent grass we still expect to strike a good percentage of germination. 

Happy Hooking 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Pipe Break

Always on a Friday or a long weekend and always when it is about to get hot !!

Had to take time out from normal course set over the weekend to deal with a main line break on the back 9.  An 80mm section of pipe developed a 3 ft long crack, and as a lesson to the young padawans (apprentices) the crack was caused by the pipe becoming brittle as a result of excess glue used when joining many years ago that was left to pool in the pipe. In a case of less is best excess solvent cement left to pool in joints and pipes  will ultimately weaken the pvc walls leading to the above.  

Happy Hooking and New Year to all

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Best wishes for Happy Festive Season

On behalf of the Course Staff I would like to thank all our dedicated volunteers, our valued members  Board of Directors and Management for your Support again this year.
Best wishes to all for a Joyful  Xmas and Happy 2017. 

Happy Hooking

Sunday, December 4, 2016


During the week I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Turf Industry Awards,
I would like to congratulate Ben as a graduate of the 2016 Apprentice Class of 2016 and for being awarded the 2016 Lecturers Choice Award selected from all sports turf apprentices, Golf, Bowls and Sports turf. 
This is a massive achievement for Ben, recognising his dedication and commitment to his academic study to become a future Turf Manager over the past 4 years. 

 Well done Ben ! We are very proud of you .

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce Ben, in recognition of his hard work and dedication to both his studies and work on course has recently been promoted to Assistant Superintendent. I am sure he will continue to be an asset to the maintenance team and Capel Golf Club as he adjust to his new role while still providing the same exemplary service he has become known for.  

Thank you and Happy Hooking.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The fairway renovations went well, recovery is already well underway with all outcomes achieved. We are finishing off fertilising the fairways balancing the manual irrigation system with demand and once complete will have the fairways in good condition leading into the summer months.  

One issue I need to address is the appearance of dry areas (dry patch ) on the back 9 fairways, this is not due to the coring but as a result of the manual irrigation system and set speed pumps with antiquated piping leading to inefficient irrigation. 

While coring does drop the moisture levels temporarily,  it is the less than efficient irrigation system on the back 9 which can not quickly replace that moisture loss that results in these dry areas whenever we carry out works such as renovations, large scale spraying or any maintenance requiring follow up irrigation. 
The combination of the manual system, set speed pumps and small old weak pipping in places mean we need to shut off the entire system until all fairways are complete rather than irrigating each fairway or sections individually and when we do irrigate it takes some 16 hours to cover the large area.  This often means some areas of the fairways are not irrigated for up to a week leading to these dry areas, compounded more so where coverage is insufficient requiring hoses to water the "gaps" of coverage missed areas.
The set speed pumps output a given volume regardless of demand, the smaller older pipes in sections across the course are week points that if we continue to use the system when a section of the course cannot be irrigated for any reason  we risk a pressure build in these areas with the likely outcome of breaks and further down time. 

Good news is this is only temporary, it may take a few weeks but once the irrigation cycles are being routinely completed with a huge draw on labor, recovery will be swift and we can reap the positive longer term benefits from these very important works. 

Thank you and Happy  Hooking