This report provides a summary of the key course maintenance activities conducted at The Brisbane Golf Club during the past month and also provides an estimated maintenance schedule for April 2018.
• Rainfall in February 2018 finished at 320mm, which was well above average.
• The cumulative total for March 2018 so far is 140mm.
The weather over the past two months has presented its challenges in terms of course maintenance. With some sunshine in the coming weeks we will see the course presentation improve.
In the interim I ask Members to be cautious when driving motorised carts on our typical wet holes which include 1, 2, 3, 4, 9 & 15 and also to avoid driving their motorised carts through our trouble areas. This will assist the course recovery.
• Average of 9ft.
Foreign Grass Removal
The Club undertook a significant maintenance program to remove the foreign grass in our 12 of our greens in November 2017. This process took approximately three months from the initial patching stages to having the greens back to regular playability.
Foreign grass is a problem experienced at most golf courses as it is readily transported by golfers, birds and the wind. In our case this has been further complicated by transferring foreign grass during the stolonisation phase of green replacement programs and 60,000 plus rounds of golf a year.
The Committee made a decision in February 2017, knowing the majority of foreign grass would remain dormant during the off season, to remove the foreign grass in November 2017 as mentioned above. Whilst it was a lengthy process, we were pleased with the results.
It is our goal moving forward to prevent the greens from becoming heavily invested with foreign grass in the future. To achieve this the course team are regularly inspecting our greens and removing foreign grass in its early stages. However it is worth remembering that 9 greens had no or minimal patching done to them this summer and an assessment of these will need to be done towards the end of the season. Once our Champion nursery is re-established members will periodically see small areas of patching done on the greens where foreign grass has been removed.
In my last report I outlined a plan to Ninja tine and top dress the greens in March 2018 to help level the patches and improve the air exchange. I am happy with the outcome of those processes and I believe it was success.
At the time I carried out this work I decided to take the opportunity to thin out the canopy of greens before Winter as they had become quite thick and grainy after the fantastic growing conditions we experienced this past Summer. Although the greens have been a little slower to recover than I anticipated, I believe they will be back at their best within the next fortnight and will play better for doing the work during our Winter golfing calendar.
Earth Worms on Fairways
Due to the recent wet weather there has been a significant increase to the earthworm mounds on the fairways. This is due to the soil being heavily saturated and the worms coming to the surface to breath. Worms are common in heavy soil environments such as our fairways. They are present year round but become more prevalent during prolonged wet periods such as the one we are experiencing. We typically manage the mounds by removing them each time we mow fairways. Once the course dries out the worms will no longer be an issue.
Reconstruction of Driving Range Nursery and 19th Green
This work had been postponed due to the inclement weather and we are now aiming to complete this project before the Easter break to capitalise on the last of the warm weather. As mentioned in my last report we plan to use the front of the green to stolonise both the back of 19 green and the new nursery green. The grow-in phase will take approximately 12 – 16 weeks. During this time the 19th green will be unavailable for practice. Signage has been installed to remind Members.
Tree Maintenance/ Shade Issues
I previously outlined the need to prune trees behind the 6th and 10th greens. This work is necessary to gain more sunlight during the winter months.
The work behind the 6th green was completed last week and I am very happy with the outcome. We will reschedule the arborists to complete the work behind the 10th green in the coming weeks.
Summer Weed Eradication Program
Work to remove weeds from the course will continue into Winter. At times members will notice burnt areas around the course. This yellowing is due to the herbicide burning back to the Couch grass, but it is only temporary and the couch will recover within a week or so.
I also plan to continue the treatment on the wiregrass areas. At times this will require leaving the areas long whilst we are working on them. I apologize for any inconvenience, but I’m confident we can significantly reduce the weed populations this season if we persist.
Fairy Ring Fungus
Members will have noticed “rings” on greens such as the 17th. This is caused by a fungus and is a result of the hot weather followed by the heavy rain. We will be using a fungicide to manage this fungus and Members should see gradual improvement in the coming weeks.
Tee Resurfacing and Rock Work around the 5th Dam
The project has also been delayed by the recent inclement weather. Once the course dries out enough to allow us to work around the dam with heavy machinery this project will re-continue. The goal is to finish the rock work first and then once that is completed we will re-level the Men’s 17th tee as planned.
Lifting Turf around the Chipping Green
Once we catch up on the general maintenance of the course and outstanding summer projects the team will continue on raising and tying the turf into the kerb around the 10th practice precinct. This project has been outstanding for some time due to other higher priority tasks, however we will aim to have it completed as soon as possible.
Additional Turf 15th and 16th
The left rough line on the 15th hole between the 2nd fairway bunker and amenity block will be expanded in the coming weeks. At present this area gets very muddy after rain and becomes hardpan once it dries out. These works will improve the playability and aesthetics of the area, as well as re-define the cart path.
At the same time, turf to the garden area on the left of the men’s and ladies 16th tee will be re-instated. This is another unattractive area that gets quite weedy due to the lack of mulch and by being regularly inundated by floodwater.
Landscape Master Plan Review
Our landscape architect and BGC Member, Richard Garnham and I will be auditing the course to create the detail for the landscape master plan review that has been approved by the Committee. From this process we will aim to capture the work that has been completed and what work is still outstanding. Richard will then use the detail to update the landscape master plan and provide an updated report.
Mitch Hayes, Course Superintendent