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Showing posts from June, 2012

How to Use the Blog

Welcome to the new streamlined blog. For those like me who are techno noobs, heres a quick instruction on getting the most out of this blog.
To access page specific information such as Course Care Tips, Upcoming Works etc click on the Tabs located below the picture at the top of the screen and above the normal posts. Clicking on the Tab will direct you to the page you are after.
On the right side of the screen you will see a list of posts by year, month and the name of the post, if you click on the year, a list of months appear, click on the month and a list of posts made in that month appear, all you have to then do is click on the post you want to view.
Below the list of posts, you will see a list of labels, these labels refer to posts with a common theme and by clicking on the label you will be directed to all the posts that share that label.
I haven't completed labelling all the posts yet but I will as time permits.

I hope the changes make for easier viewing for specific information…

Splitting it 3 ways

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Welcome to the weekly review for the week ending 29/6 and time is of the essence.

Not allot to tell this week, which does not mean there wasn't allot of work carried out.
The staff split our time 3 ways this week between Course set up, ( Greens mow, hole changing, bunkers etc) Routine course maintenance, (Fairway mowing ..yes that’s right we managed to cut fairways for the first time since the storm...and other routine maintenance that usually gets done on certain weeks/ days) and commencing the detail clean up in the bush / rough areas. By detail I mean a walk-through of the roughs picking up any remaining branches and sticks, filling in stump holes etc and finally running the Kubota slasher through for the final tidy up.

Now I ask you to keep in mind there is only 3 staff at present and only 1 Kubota Slasher, we have some 20Ha to cover for the bush / rough area so it will take time to get around the whole course and we must split our time between the 3 ways above. Time is indeed of…

Fairway mowing US Open Style

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Will this ever happen at Capel ? Click on picture to enlarge. All 10, thats right 10, fairway mowers make one pass each fairway, don't worry if the next fairway is a few meters wider, they just add another fairway mower to the line, they had about 13 fairway mowers ready to cut the course.
If you are wandering why the grass is so much greener, its because it is all cool season grass, Bentgrass (our greens), ryegrass (some of our surrounds) and poa annua, (our nemesis) are used on tee boxes and fairways; the greens are bentgrass; and the rough is Kentucky bluegrass. They can use these turf types due to the cooler climatic conditions with an averaged max of 24 degrees C. In fact Couch grass just wouldn't provide the quality of surface and would struggle due to the lower temperatures.
The Olympic Club has 45 holes consisting of  2 x 18 holes, The Ocean Course and the Lakes Course (The Open played on the Lakes) and a 9 hole par 3 course.
They have 50 full-time grounds staff which…

The Not So Obvious

We all know the obvious impacts for the course from the storm, (I am totally over that word) but there are a few not so obvious impacts which I informed the course committee of and thought the general membership should also be aware. Green Speed - The greens may run a little slower in the short term, we could not cut greens for nearly a week, we were forced to raise heights slightly, this does impact on green speeds. We have since lowered the heights but more of an impact comes from the reduced frequency of cut and will take some time to gain the condition back from regular mowing, (we are still not at pre storm frequency). In short the more often we cut, the finer the leaf, the quicker the greens, it's a little bit more complicated than that, but that is the general idea.
Disease Issues - With wet weather, a mixed bag of weather conditions and lost time for some cultural practices usually completed, some disease issues are expected in greens, tees and fairways. We managed to get s…

22/6/12 Week that Was

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Back to the normal weekly updates, the storm cleanup still looms large on the list of the weekly duties. This week was slow going for the remainder of the cleanup, with Anthony at TAFE just Dean and myself on and with the course now open for play half our time is dedicated to course setup so some time is therefor taken away from the cleanup duties. Having said that, little evidence remains of the destructive storm, the damage it caused or the massive cleanup that was undertaken besides a few smouldering logs, some fair size mountains of debris ready for disposal and the odd branch about the place. We managed to finish picking up all the small debris heaps over the course, removed a few more dangerous limbs, rehabilitated some of the worst effected areas, and we even mowed tees for the weekend, a first for the last 2 weeks. Repair work to the mindless act of vandalism on the 11th was commenced  and we will see how that handy work comes out. (I did intend to take some pictures of the p…

Storm wrap up

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What a glorious day today was, blue skies sun shinning and the course open for play, the way it should be, I hope you enjoyed the day and made the most of it, unfortunately bad weather is set to return tonight / tomorrowForecast click here no weather warning is in place at present as the next low approaches but hail and squalls are predicted with heavy rain.
This will be the last of the daily updates to let you know of progress made with the clean up, (unless crazy events dictates otherwise and wow what will I talk about now ?), with the course now open we are spending time on course set up and will be slowly returning to normal duties tho we will still be clearing debris in the short term. Today we started the practice tee and fairway clean up, we had to stop after a hydraulic problem with the tractor and we worked on the fix for that in the afternoon, we also ran the kubota over some very messy areas prior to the ladies pennants and set up the course for them. Some more raking was…

Clean Up Day 7 - The good, the bad, the ugly

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
The Good - Today we had around 12 volunteers, many from yesterday (did they actually go home), doing various jobs around the course to get as much completed as possible for tomorrow's opening.....Yes I did say we are opening tomorrow, (that's the good by the way).  Ladies pennants. Tidying up around the monster trees, dangerous tree removal and more high reach work were all attended along with some more raking of small debris around the course, Thanks Di it is appreciated, (if anyone sees Di snoozing by a tree, rake in hand leave her be) she has been in every day raking this week.

The course is now ready enough to open, not perfect, actually not even great but ready enough, I would personally like to thank everyone who has helped us get this far, some have been here all week, others when they had the chance and even more after they had repaired their own damage to their properties, I don't wish to single out any particular person or group, but t…

Clean Up Day 6

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Not a bad turn out today for the member working bee, we had around 30 members / associates working along side Staff for the majority of the day. Of course as always, everyone enjoyed being out on the course doing what they love most, Playing err sorry working, either way they found themselves in the trees all day. Hours varied from 4 to 8 hours, the staff putting in around 10 and thankfully don't take that long to play a round.
The good News is with the healthy volunteer turn out attacking the tasks methodically as directed by yours truly, (I could get use to that many staff) managed to complete all our goals plus some today. All the trailer size and bigger branches are now removed from all in play areas, a large amount of small debris areas raked and cleaned up, The 2nd of the monster trees on the 4th tidied up ready for specialist equipment,(Syd and his matches), the back putter, back of club, (just don't call em the back door boys) and front putter cleared of debris, some …

Clean up Day 5

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About 18 volunteers turned out to take in the beautiful sunshine today enjoying spending a fair bit of time on the golf course, probably not what they think after cleaning up debris rather than playing golf........
The ladies were again well represented bringing their rakes and continuing the stick and small debris clearing off on tees etc, some tees you could not see a blade of grass owing the debris so another job well done.
Meanwhile the member volunteers, (some that may as well be on staff), along with the staff continued removing the branches etc from the rough areas between holes, we managed the entire 4th (except the huge, huge monsters) the 10th and various areas around 13, 15 and 16 green and tee complexes. Well done guys we have made a huge impact to date.
Other victories today included removing some of the dangerous high reach limbs in trees, mowing all the greens some for the first time since Sunday and of course, FINALLY THE POWER IS BACK ON !!!!! I look forward to havin…

Clean Up Day 4

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Another great volunteer turn out today, unfortunately a thunderstorm and heavy persistent rain stopped the afternoon shift from getting out there, the positive tho was the amount of hands we had this morning, because of that, even tho the rain interrupted the afternoon work we still manage to come very close to achieving all our goals for the day. We had 15 volunteers this morning, many of them associates, a further 5 turned up for the afternoon but couldn't get out there and then a further 3 very late this afternoon when the weather cleared. Thank you every one we will see you tomorrow. The staff, Anthony resumed at TAFE today, ( I think he missed us) Dean finally worked just a normal day (only because of the storm mate) and Ben and myself after leaving when everyone else did returned late to put a few more hours in cleaning up.

So where are we at I hear you ask, Today the entrance drive was cleared of all remaining large branches, most of the rough areas on the front 9 were co…

Clean Up Day 3

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Thankfully the storm last night was not as bad as predicted and no further major trees were down this morning, only a small amount of branches.
We had a very large contingent of volunteers today, 20 in total Members, Associates and friends of members, for various hours through the day, some from 8 till 3.30pm thank you all and once again very appreciated,  hope to see you tomorrow along with some extras....smiles,,never satisfied hey ha ha. Anthony and Dean worked 6.30am till about 3.30 today, however, I have instructed Anthony who was suppose to be at TAFE since Monday to head off TAFE for Thursday / Friday so not to fall to far behind. Ben and myself worked 6.30 till 6pm  to get a head start on Day 4's tasks.
Today continued the trailer size debris removal from fairways and side roughs, a start on the sides of the entrance drive, clearing the 7th, (one of the worst effected areas), Clearing the large tree at the 7th tee, a start on the very huge tree on 4 as well cutting some f…

Clean up Day 2

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Day 2 and under the threat of 125km/hr winds arriving sometime in the afternoon, the focus was to get as much storm damage cleaned up in open areas we could, and shore up any dangerous areas. We have managed to clear the greens, tees and fairway areas only From the 1st tee through 3rd green, the 9th and 5th. The back 9 completed in all open areas. Staff as per yesterday worked 6.30am through 4pm before we called a stop to make sure they were well away when the storm comes in. It was a slow day as for volunteers with just 5 at various points, but all were very appreciated and put in a huge effort, thank you. Mick Lines made a huge difference with his Posi-Track from 11.30 and we managed to move a considerable amount debris / trees from the front 9, without it we would not be as far along as we are.
The work ahead is still a mountain to climb, we still need help, trailers welcome, the unknown as for our goals tomorrow is the expected deep low still being forecast to hit this evening, h…

The clean up Day 1

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And the clean up begins.... The crack of chainsaws brought in the daylight this morning. The staff, Dean, Anthony, myself and my son Ben worked from 6am till 4.30pm We had 10 volunteers in the morning from 8am till 12 And another 5 volunteers from 12pm till 4.30pm Thank you for your help, it is appreciated....But guess what we need more!!! Yes we need more....trailers, chainsaws and hands....Preferably still attached.
Today with some strong winds and heavy rain at times the goal was to clear the driveway and the back 9 tees, greens and fairways of the fallen trees, we came close with just 3 trees remaining to do on the back 9 fairway side, well done to everyone. We haven't attacked the rough areas on the back 9 yet, so it isn't cleared totally, just the main play areas, we still have a huge amount of work ahead of us, the goal tomorrow is the same, clear the front 9 greens, tees and fairways, from there hopefully the wind will ease to safely allow us into the roughs under t…

Storm Damage

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Well the weather warning was right, in fact bang on! Just back from the course and well I can only say its a disaster zone, we have at least 50 trees down as well as numerous branches etc, to save words cause they simply do not describe it I will post a few pictures.
Needless to say the call for volunteers has gone out and the more the better, we need chainsaws, trailers and capable hands on helpers, we also need to be organised and safety conscious so I ask any volunteers coming in to report to me before jumping in, I hope to have a  volunteer round up at 8am to let everyone know the days goals.
The course will be closed till further notice, the ladies pennant matches tomorrow cancelled. There are a few days work ahead of us, depending on numbers I hope to get the drive way and back 9 mostly done tomorrow, The front 9 is worst with 3 huge trees down so will take a little longer.





There's plenty more but I think you get the general idea, I will be updating the blog daily to let you…