From The Shed – July 2022

Hello again from the shed.

As I am writing this, we can all see the rains have returned but thankfully not for long.  The course has slowly returned to its wonderful self after previous weather events and was starting to play very well.

This was evident with the success of the recent Cooroy Men’s Open.  Congratulations to all involved in the running of this event. Special mention to Captain Matt Saunders for his tireless efforts to see this event through, with COVID knocking over helpers left, right and center. I must also congratulate my staff members Nathan Richards, Doug McNamara and Dale Scanlan (who finished employment with us but volunteered his time in the lead up to the open). Nathan and Doug put in a tireless effort with myself on the sidelines, to present the course as magnificent as it was. An effort I was enormously proud of.  Congratulations to Local Lad Lee Grainger on his win in this event.

Congratulations must also be awarded to the Ladies Pennants team, winning the Sapphire A Division Competition last week. Well done ladies.

Onto the course now… We have continued our regular spiking/aerating of the greens. This will continue on a monthly basis, having very little effect on play. This process is critical to improve our root structure and density and to tighten up our playing surface. This process allows oxygen and moisture to penetrate further into the soil profile, a necessity during these cooler months. During these cooler months it is imperative our cultural practices (especially mowing) are amended to alleviate stress on our turf grasses. You will notice us out with the dew broom on regular occasions to remove the dew and allow the leaf to dry quicker.

The tees have been over sowed with a rye grass blend to help with coverage. This process has happened twice since the last “From the Shed” article. This will also continue during the cooler months. Rye grass seed has also been blended with our topdressing sand to improve our divot recovery. The tees also had a granular fertilizer application and gypsum application on Thursday, 30 June 2022 prior to this rainfall.

The fairways and surrounds had started to dry out nicely and play firmly again. Liquid fertilizer applications have been applied to both and will continue to be applied. It is also in my plans to turf the bare areas on the fairways in the next few weeks, a process in conjunction with volunteers that will take us a few weeks. The fairways will also be aerated this month in readiness for Ladies Cooroy Open.

Bunkers suffered severe damage during the floods with sand scoured from every bunker. The long-term objective is to redesign and upgrade bunkers, but timing will depend on success with Grant applications.  In the meantime, the back bunker on 18, the left-hand bunker on 16 and the bunker on 10 will be filled in and replaced with hybrid couch.  This will relieve a lot of maintenance headaches and add to the playability of each of these holes. This process will be done as soon as course conditions allow us to get machinery around.  Watch this space as we will be calling for volunteers to help with the turfing of these areas.

As you might be aware, the new bridge for the 6th fairway has arrived.  Footings are to be dug this Friday, 18 July but of course, this is pending the current weather. A new concrete bridge on 18 has been boxed and is ready for concrete.  A massive thank you to Grant Smallacombe, Peter Piggott and Bob Read for making this happen.  When the weather allows the footings on 6 and bridge on 18 will be poured, both of these will need 2-3 weeks to cure.  After this curing period, the bridge on 6 will be fitted and connecting concrete paths poured on both. I thank all members for their patience during this period.

Traffic control throughout the course is essential this time of year to aid with the wear and tear on our course.  I would like to ask everyone to adhere to these guides as it makes our job easier.  There has been evidence of ropes being untied and pegs pulled out. Please, if you see anyone doing this, pull them up and state that they are there for a reason.  This includes driving motorized carts on tees and green surrounds. Thank you for understanding.

Since the last article, our apprentice green-keeper Dale Scanlan successfully finished his apprenticeship. Congratulations mate. Unfortunately, Dale has moved on to the next chapter of his life, setting himself up with his fiancé Sarah in the SW QLD town of Surat. Good luck to your both.

It is also with great sadness that I have to report our Groundsman Nathan Richards has also decided to move on and set his family up for the future. Nathan is an infectious, likeable man with a great work ethic and was an invaluable member of my team. Thanks for your efforts mate.

We are in the process of hiring a new Groundsman to join our team. So if you have an hour or so to spare during any day of the week, I would be glad to have you help out.

Until next time, thank you and happy golfing.

Warren Smith – Course Superintendent