Welcome to the Capel Golf Club's Course Maintenance Dept. We hope to give an insight into maintenance activities, share up to date course news and course care tips for members, guests and visitors.
staff down due to leave we capped off a very busy week by completing the
fertiliser application to all fairways, some minor repair work to the12th and
Chipping greens and the removal of a dangerous tree on number 7 thanks to the
diligence of our Intermediates Captain Dal for spotting the huge crack at the
base of the tree and dangerous lean.
I am expecting some leaf burn in the fairways
caused by carts / traffic over the fertilised areas;
Mainly the back 9
with the manual irrigation system even under best case scenarios still takes up
to 10 hrs to wash in, (irrigate), the fairways only, with constant sprinkler shifts using
the bikes which increases the risk of burn tracks and some areas where
irrigation coverage is less than desirable requiring water with hoses after the
initial irrigation has completed its cycle. The tracks will only be temporary growing
out in a week or two. The front 9 fairways are not likely to have any major
burn tracks due to the superior automated irrigation system and flexibility it
continue to improve from renovations 3 weeks ago and are now being cut at 3.5mm daily, there will
remain some slower areas to recover areas as previously addressed. They will likely be
lowered to 3mm by the end of next week for the Easter Medley and will have an
improved ball but being only 4 weeks out from renovations it would be
unrealistic to believe they will have a slick pace, products applied to promote
recovery growth are still active and likewise no growth regulators are being
applied until full recovery is achieved.
This week the dead Red Gum to the left of 10
green will be removed for safety reasons after it was assessed as dangerous,
Bunker maintenance will be high on the agenda with edging carried out, preparations
for the Eater Medley will be prioritised and with a 4 day week it will certainly
be another busy one. Dangerous tree on 7th
Meanwhile all work was supervised by our resident Bobtail
continue their strong recovery from renovations, earlier this week we commenced
morning cuts and as of today the heights lowered to 4mm, despite these
significant benchmarks on the road to recovery being met, greens will remain on
the slow side for a few weeks yet, it can be very easy to forget with the
greens recovering so well from renovations that it has only been 12 days
meaning they are well ahead of expected recovery rates.
On a less
than positive note, obviously one player wasn’t as impressed with the
renovation recovery as the rest of us.....
I don’t believe for a minute it could possibly
be a playing member, likely a Green fee player, I certainly hope so,
Couch and Saltine encroached areas are slowly filling in and like the
renovation response, I am very pleased with the treatment result at this stage. In
these areas it will take longer to recover and be less appealing to look at,
it does mean the Couch and Saltine has taken a huge hit in our efforts to
suppress, slow down and gradually recover the encroached areas. We haven’t
completely controlled these grass weeds, they will still remain in these areas
and be visible next summer due to the strong rhizome growth extending well
below the surface, however with continued control measures undertaken, each year
we should see a reduction as we have over the past few years of the total area
effected with less matting of the couch and more bent grass poking its head
have made fantastic progress since renovation.
Though it has only been 5 days,
we gave them their first cut this afternoon.
Whilst the height is 5mm, allot
higher than our standard cut, it is a significant point in the renovation
recovery process, as from here they only
improve with each cut with the initial vertical recovery growth clipped which encourages
lateral growth also encouraging the turf surface to form a tighter knit that
only comes with regular mowing.
will still remain slow for a few weeks yet and the treated couch saltine and
crab grass areas will be slower to recover than other areas which can be seen
in the picture and will give some of the greens a patchy appearance depending on
the amount of these weeds controlled until full recovery is achieved.
Treated Couch Encroachment
All in all I
am very pleased with the recovery from the renovations and really can’t ask for
a better response with the first cut only 5 days out.
renovations are over for another 12 months and despite being very aggressive
with the scarifying / verti cutting more so in the couch encroached areas
greens have came out of renovations very clean leading me to consider the
possibility we may be cutting by the end of the week.
That said Players should
still expect the greens to be slow and Bumpy for the next 3 weeks as the greens
are rested for recovery with higher cutting heights, this also protects the
cutting equipment from abrasive sand wear.
and Saltine areas have been treated, these areas will be slower to recover than
other areas within the greens, and we may need to apply a follow application
for saltine patches in a few weeks once the greens have recovered sufficiently
to tolerate control measures.
section of the practice putting green will be closed for a few weeks, the area
of this green is still immature being only 18 months old and needs that little
bit extra TLC. The back putting green will be renovated next week, being a very
small enclosed green we need to renovate this green with smaller manual equipment than
the other greens as such we tend to leave it until the main putting green has
recovered so at least one of the greens is in play.
after renovations the greens are very soft and easily damaged, it is very
important for fast healthy recovery that all players repair their pitch marks
and take care when walking on greens placing the flagstick etc. It is requested
all members playing practice rounds use only two balls as per conditions of
general play, though all players are encourage to use only one until the greens
firm up and recovery is complete.
And finally a tip
for those who like many, groan at the thought of playing on renovated greens, slow
greens can be used to build confidence in your putting stroke, a firm hand and
movement can often improve your stroke particularly when having putting
troubles. If your putting is fine, then I apologise for the inconvenience but
appreciate your understanding as the greens recover from the important renovations.
Putting on renovated greens can be a frustrating time, but please DO NOT take your frustrations out on the greens, it will simply delay the recovery process, if you have to vent then.........
DAMAGE YOUR OW EQUIPMENT NOT THE COURSE!!!!
Though I am sure you will not be popular either way and may even have to front the committee!
Its hard to
believe our Autumn Greens renovations are a little over a week away although we are not expecting a sudden drop to
Autumn like temperatures we do hope temperatures moderate to at least below 30
unlike the past week with temperatures of 30+ up to 35.
control the weather and we are locked in to carry out renovations the first
weekend after the Labour Day long weekend due to play commitments, it maybe
slightly earlier than desired as the heat does bring challenges for renovations
but it also has its benefits in that the greens are normally fully recovered
with full cover of turf prior to the cooler weather germination of Poa annua
(Winter Grass). To leave the greens later than desired would be more of a
concern as it leaves the greens susceptible to Poa invasion through a thinner
turf canopy during favourable germination times for this weed, restricts both
pre and post emergent control measures and less likely the greens may only partially
recover enough in time for the slower growing colder months leaving them susceptible
to wear and thinning of the turf further encouraging winter grass infestation
more so than the incidence we presently experience.
That said it
still feels very strange talking of greens renovations when experiencing 30+
degree odd days and certainly has me thinking how this summer’s hectic rush has
made time seemingly flyby arriving in Autumn it what appears a few weeks to
soon, or I am simply getting old, I will need to see Mick about that to see if
there’s some truth in it.
of summer (and I use that term loosely) I am happy with the greens performance, moving forward
there remain a few challenges we need to address, but certainly
we can see slight improvements in a few key areas namely, Crab grass incidence,
Saltene and Couch grass encroachment and summer green speeds. The three weed
grasses, are notoriously difficult to control in bent grass with limited
options for control however there is a downward trend in overall percentages
which is encouraging. Looking ahead we plan to be more aggressive in the lead
up to next summer with control measures, something we were restricted with this
past season due to the National Vets in November and in a longer term strategy
hope to construct a nursery area over this winter period to allow us to
commence removal of severely contaminated areas in the near future.
are always an issue through summer, this summer was no different though it must
be pointed out a few changes to maintenance practices and few ‘new’ measures
implemented, one was the extended application of growth regulators to greens
which resulted in a slight increase in pace compared to past years, I will
continue to trial rates best suited for our environment in view of narrowing
the bridge between Player wants and Turf health needs with the later taking
precedence over all else.
renovations and excessive heat in the lead up to renovations is our main
concern, after renovations the heat may impede recovery to some extent but with
much cooler night time temperatures and products applied to stimulate growth
for recovery the turf is growing well enough for this not to be an issue as
long as correct moisture content is maintained.
In the lead
up week it does pose a few challenges, in this period we like to verti cut
greens, apply post emergent control measures for Couch, Saltene and Crab grass,
these practices do come with a certain risk of injury to the turf and
under normal conditions with favourable weather the risk is very minor and the
greens recover quickly from any potential injury through the renovation process
however when temperatures rise above 30 degrees generally it is an accepted
practice to stop all herbicide treatments on Bent grass due to the increased
and unacceptable risk of injury to the turf which would slow down the recovery
process and in some cases require further intervention. In many cases the
products are less effective particularly in the case of Couch grass control in
Bent grass with just the one registered product which acts more as a
suppressant with control negligible under hotter conditions.
temperatures remain high we may decide to postpone the control measures to
ensure the greens recover from renovations in a speedy manner and apply the
products under favourable weather conditions after renovations to ensure the
products adequate efficacy, this may mean the 3 main weed grasses linger
on for longer after renovations than normal.
this post has turned into an epic novel I’ll get back to work and leave you
with some reading time between rounds.