Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Xmas

On behalf of all the greens staff, we would like to wish all our members, volunteers and management a very Happy Xmas and Safe New Year.
May all your Handicaps come DOWN!
See you all on the course in the New Year
Greens staff

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Insight into Bunker Maintenance

Ask most players on any golf course about Sand Bunker Maintenance and the answers will come thick and fast.
Not enough maintenance carried out, The appearance needs looking after, Not enough Sand, Too much Sand, Bases aren't level, to much rubbish in them.
And the list would go on, ask them what maintenance do they think gets carried out and the most likely answer is they rake them with a bunker rake and maybe do the edges every now and then but never enough.
With this in mind here is an insight into one aspect of Bunker maintenance, the dreaded bunker edges as the staff refer to it with a groan.
Every 4 weeks during the growing season and every 6 to 8 weeks at other times, all bunkers are edged, Trimmed, cleaned out and raked, a pretty simple sounding maintenance task unless you are aware of whats involved.
It can take 4 staff up to 10 working hrs to complete, THAT'S 40 WORKING HOURS EVERY MONTH

First up is to edge the bunker, getting a sharp clean cut edge and cutting any couch runners through starting run into the bunker.
Edging the bunker
Secondly a whipper sniper is used to clean up the inside edge, remove visible runners and leave a tidy appearance. At this stage rhizomes are removed by hand.
A very uncomfortable job, with sand flying everywhere and needing to covered from head to toe, in the midst of summer, even when air temps are only 30 degrees, temperatures in the bunker with hot equipment, that can easily reach 38 degrees.
It is for this reason the bunkers are never all done in the one day, On most occasions we split into two morning sessions over two days, from 6am to 10am while still reasonably cool.
Whipper Snipping the inside edge
After the inside edge is, the outside top is trimmed up to give a distinct ring around the bunker.
Trimming the top.
Next, the Bunker is cleared of debris and debris removed from the area. Another Dusty job on a hot windy day.
Clearing debris
Once all the debris are removed, we attend all the faces and sides of the bunker, removing excess sand and smoothing all slopes so a nice ball roll occurs into the base of the bunker.
Smoothing the slope and faces.
 To finish the job the bunker is levelled and raked.
Raking after levelling.
Other Maintenance tasks undertaken for bunkers periodically include spraying and removing weeds, applying growth regulators on edges, Dedicated Base levelling, adding or readjusting sand, tree root removal and of course fixing roo damage.
During the course of a normal week, a minimum of 20hrs are spent raking, smoothing and clearing debris.

As you can see there is allot of hrs dedicated to bunker maintenance, and a great deal of work which goes into them that you may not have been aware of, so I hope this gives just a little insight into Bunker Maintenance.

For me the question is.... Is a Sand Bunker truly a hazard when this amount of maintenance is carried out ?
Those old Scott's would be rolling in their graves.

As one who is always finding them during a round, all I can answer with is, THANK GOD THEY ARE!

Happy Sand Trapping..Till next time.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Practice Bunker and 12th

This week saw the last of the Bunker Lips being done before Xmas with the 12th having the rear lip completely refurbished and the base leveled. The end result is a much better bunker. All bunker edges will now be trimmed up and edged prior to Xmas.
12th Bunker before
12th Bunker before

12th Bunker after
12th Bunker after

Other work started but not yet complete include improving the planted area near the practice Bunker, some serious trimming work which was badly overdue. We will be encouraging better grass growth in an area previously not irrigated and eventually refurbishing the Practice Bunker so the whole area will appeal more.
View from Practice Bunker
View from Practice green before

View from Practice Bunker after
View from Practice green after

Wind blowing debris over the course is one of the most frustrating events to happen, with no equipment to clean up large areas of leaves blown over fairways besides our rough mower sometimes its like p!$$!^^ against the wind, getting nowhere fast. Unfortunately this week was one of those weeks where no matter what we did the course looked untidy. 
Tho we did have it like this ( see pic below) at one point.

Next week we will be cleaning up the other planted area near the Practice Bunker, Coring green surrounds and Bunker approaches then giving them a fert to encourage thicker grass growth. Ropes will also be deployed to direct traffic flow around these areas so please assist by following directional signs.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


We are steadily making progress with renovating bunkers, so far minor adjustments have been made and the excess mounding caused by sand build up removed on the 2nd x 2, 5th, 8th, 11th and 14th sand bunkers. The picture below shows what we are trying to eliminate.
Raised lip and worn edge
Major bunker works are also complete on the 6th and 17th right side bunker, these works included reshaping the rear edge completely, levelling the base from a very steep rear to front slope and with the 17th increasing the width of what was a very small bunker, and impossible to rake with the bunker rake.

 Both Bunkers have received positive comments and look, play and maintain allot better than before.

 The 12th right side bunker is next on the list and will be the last before the Xmas / New Year period as we concentrate on other maintenance activities. Bunker works will then resume after New Year.

In other news, the back 9 fairways were renovated last week, a decent result considering only one pass was made followed by a double scroll cut to remove as much thatch as we could with the equipment on hand. This week we applied Wetting agents and gave them a good drink, under the manual system that is no mean feat. Next week 1.2 ton each of Gypsum and fertiliser will be applied. It will be from this point the Fairway conditions will start to recover from the scarifying undertaken.
 Meanwhile the Front 9 is looking absolutely awesome at the moment, probably as good as it gets, the fairways are stripped up with plenty of healthy growth and the greens are powering on with a good ball roll and healthy, not excessive growth. I will take a few pics next week, time permitting but have a game and see for yourself.