Wild weather has swept through Canberra bringing a total of 22mm of rain in the past 10 days. Gale force winds and cloudy conditions have been difficult to work in, considering the wind chill factor barely reached above freezing for a couple of those days. Growth across the course is evident with fairways still providing clippings when mowed. We are continuing to cut the fairways once a week, where usually we would cut 2-3 times during the normal growing season. Greens catchers are now being emptied every 6-7 greens, where this would normally be every 2 or so.
Greens have received a 6mm solid tine to alleviate compaction and assist with water penetration. Recently, we have noticed that greens are pooling water after small amounts of rain. This is unacceptable for new greens, and will require a more aggressive dethatching in the spring to combat the issue. Dusting sand, verticutting and coring will all need to be reviewed to control the issue. The Pure Distinction variety is an aggressive bentgrass that is designed to repair fast when damaged, hence producing more leaf than the older varieties. It produces a great surface appearance but the downside is that it requires strong programs to keep healthy. Foot printing of an afternoon is evident when the sun is at the right angle, so again these processes will need to be reviewed to avoid the issue.
Leaf removal has been a large part of the program, with the Green Brigade assisting in cleaning up. The recent winds have increased leaf debris, but we are continuously trying to get them under control. Thank you to Peter King and his Green Brigade team for their efforts over the season, and we hope you all enjoy a well-earned break over the cold months.
This next week will see our crew focus on repairing some irrigation trench lines and levelling off areas that have sunk over time, the 13th in particular. Fungicide will be applied to the 14th fairway, which will assist with keeping the birds away for a short period of time.
Frosts are becoming more consistent, which effects on how we can setup the course for the days play. No mowing or rolling can be performed when frost is present, so at times we will do these tasks in the late afternoon to prepare for the next day’s play. It does mean that the first groups of the day play over heavy frosted or dew covered greens until the moisture disappears. Please be mindful when playing in these conditions to use the frost brushes that are placed at the side of each green to clean the ice off your footwear. Allowing the ice to build up on your golf shoes is like wearing a pair of football cleats across the greens. Give consideration to your walking patterns especially around greens.
Strong stripes are evident as we look back towards the 1st tee