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Showing posts from July, 2012

THAT'S A FIRST

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In the 4 years I have been here at Capel, I have never had to turn the pumps on to water anything during winter. Normally from the first decent rains in May / June through to September / October the pumps remain idle as the combination of colder temperatures and regular rainfall (winter is our wet season) mean evaporation is very low and generally there is enough soil moisture between regular rain / shower events not to have to worry about watering. This week was a first, we fired up the pumps to give the greens a light handwater, no sprinklers, just a nice controlled amount by handwatering to deliver some moisture to the root zone of the bent grass.   We were forced into this unprecedented step by the lack of rainfall this month, only 48mm of rain so far compared to the average of 148mm, in fact we are heading for our driest July on record. Rain is predicted for next Tuesday and Wednesday, but it was just a little to long away to wait for.
Now before I go on, in case you are getting …

CONSTRUCTIVE NOT DESTRUCTIVE

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There is a bounce in the tone, a skip to the step, for the first time in nearly 6 weeks we managed to accomplish other work besides cleaning up debris from the storm. HALLELUJAH!!!! you here me yell!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE started being constructive rather than cleaning up the destruction, well it depends on how you look at it I guess, some might think we were being destructive! 
Despite only 2 of us on for half the week we made progress on a few of the original plans we had for winter.
The gardens near the site of the proposed practice chipping green and bunker were finally removed in preparations for construction to commence as soon as the donated equipment becomes available.                                               Some destruction before the construction I guess.
Repaired the paving by the 7th tee. Ben showing his constructive paving skills after the destruction from the felled tree.
Mounded the area to the right of the 3rd as mentioned in a previous post, it hasn't been consol…

Green Aproaches

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GREEN APPROACHES You would have to be blind Freddy not to realise the approaches to some greens are thin, very wet, and struggling. We expect some deterioration in surface quality through winter, with the colder weather reducing the warm season growth grates to next to nothing and why we paint the blue lines and put in place traffic measures to decrease the wear from players, one problem we cant avoid is the wear from mowing greens with a triplex mower and we try to limit the turning where we can in these areas.
At the heart of the problem you are witnessing is a very thick layer of iron buildup (from our water) and thatch close to the surface, (see pic) which is restricting water movement through the top soil surface effecting drainage and keeping the surface very wet, it is also reducing air flow and movement of air and gas exchange, all very important to healthy turf.
Options we have considered to deal with this and reasons they were ruled out or in are, Removal of turf and the laye…

An Inquisitive lot

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Roadshow

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Hello and welcome to this weeks news. During the week Kubota in conjunction with Bunbury Machinery held its annual Kubota Roadshow, usually I send the staff along with myself to view and test drive the equipment. This year they came to us, we were asked to provide the venue for this years event and we were more than willing to assist. The staff enjoyed testing out the latest mowers on offer, actually they were like kids on an amusement ride at your local store, I thought they were going to throw a tantrum when I told them they had to "get off".  I believe in the fact the staff must use any equipment we purchase so they should be given the opportunity to test the equipment themselves and provide any feedback positive or otherwise, at the very least I find it gives them a sense of ownership and they are more likely to look after the equipment in the long run. A side note to concerned members at this point, no we are not purchasing equipment at this stage, Andy smiles and the …

Back Putter

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I was asked during the week why the back putter is so much slower than all the other greens.
The back putter is a very small green 180m2, it is also surrounded by a limestone wall on 2 sides and a 4ft drop on the other sides with only one access point. We only have a triplex greens mower to mow greens, and with no room to turn when we did mow the back putter with the triplex even at 2nd daily intervals, huge wear areas would develop at either end of the green simply from the excess wear the small restricted area could not handle. Effectively, due to the size and design of the green only 100m2 could be holed for putting.
As a measure to overcome the wear caused by this we commenced mowing the back putter with a Walk Behind cylinder mower, unfortunately the walk behind is a domestic cylinder mower and not a golf green mower. The domestic mower can only be adjusted to 6mm at its lowest, with no speed control. As you know we cut greens at 2.5mm to 3mm, golf green mowers are precision equ…