FROM THE SHED – September 2022

Hello again from the shed. After what can only be described as a long, cold, wet winter (much colder than expectedly predicted), we have returned to beautiful golfing conditions. Overnight and day time temperatures have seen the course flourish.  I am very pleased with the course conditions after what has been a very testing few months.  This is evident with the amount of golfers enjoying our slice of paradise on a daily basis.  Click pictures to enlarge.

On a technical note, the greens have handled not only the weather patterns, but increased golf traffic really, really well.  Root depth and density have dramatically improved and will only improve as we head into the growing season.  Winter weeds including catsear and winter grass have been removed and disease control is up to date.  Recently, the greens were spiked with the Air2g2 machine.  This process is invaluable to our greens, especially our soil profile. Moving forward, a major greens renovation is planned for Monday, October 31st and November 1st.  East Coast Turf Renovations (Mick Monday) will work alongside Green staff to double scarify, broom, aerate with ½ inch hollow tines and broom off again.  Once this is complete, Green staff will top-dress and apply granular fertilizer and soil amendments. During this period I would like to ask for volunteer help to help Green staff to remove/collect thatching and cores.  After this process, regular grooming and dusting will commence as part of our maintenance program.

I presented a tee rejuvenation/resurfacing plan as part of my 2022/23 Yearly Plan to the committee.  This plan involves introducing new grass species to the playing surface, increasing the size of the playing surface and fixing the infrastructure (drainage, sub soil structure of our problem tees – for example, men’s 18th and 7th tee). In the meantime, the Air2g2 machine will be put over the tees and we will be thatching and topdressing in the next month.  Please be patient if you are playing a social round and you note that the tee markers are moved forward/or back off their usual position.  This is the only way we can reduce the wear on the playing surface and speed up the recovery process.

Green surrounds height of cut has now been dropped from 14mm to 12mm as the temperature has warmed up.  Against the grain cuts have been introduced mid-week to assist in gaining a smoother/tight knit surface.  The green surrounds were my most problematic during the cold/wet months.  Dollar spot (a disease commonly caused by low light, cool temperatures and we periods) is prevalent in certain areas of these surrounds.  However, nitrogen and contact fungicides will be applied to cure these areas.

A new fairway nutrition program is planned for this next growing season, as well as three granular fertilizer applications, I will apply regular applications of gypsum and calcium to aid with soil structure.  I am also planning on using a local contractor to Aerovate both fairways and roughs. As you can see from the turf patching job on eight fairway, this process is a success and is something we will continue to pursue.

On a personal note,  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who give up their time, sometimes their vehicles, to constantly help me improve the course.  These volunteers work tirelessly and need to be proud of their efforts.  From replacing the sand in the bunkers, picking up debris and sticks, collecting pavers, pouring concrete, garden reclamation, mulching, these guys do it all. Their efforts can be seen in the new gardens on 6 tee and crossover gardens between 3 green and 4 tee.  I do however need to make special mention to Grant Smallacombe and Bob Read!  The two new bridges on 16 and 18 have been due to their tireless efforts.  Efforts that should not be taken lightly as it was a tremendous efforts by both men to see these bridges completed. Thank you to all volunteers.  I would also like to thank Tony FosterTony has volunteered his time and expertise to help me with all the machinery maintenance and servicing.

There is however one volunteer I cannot thank enough. Ian “Lumpy” Lumsden has been fantastic in helping me since I started.  “Lumpy” is now moving back to New Zealand for the next chapter of his life.  I would like to wish him all the best and say a massive thank you from all at Cooroy Golf Club.

As I touched on, it has been a busy few months for the club.  Pennant season, championship season all completed and very successful. Congratulations to all winners.  The completion of the two new bridges and cart paths, new gardens and tee identities and the Queens Jubilee tribute garden are all evidence of the hard work.  A new toilet block at Marty’s Hut will also be completed in the next week or so.  Exciting times for the club and wonderful to be involved in.

Until next time, thank you and happy golfing.

Warren Smith – Course Superintendent