Full recovery from the green’s renovation is still a couple of weeks away when they will be back to our expected standard. Hartfield is hosting the senior amateur championships of Western Australian on 3rd – 5th April. I know how important this event is and I am doing everything possible to get the greens back in peak condition.
Unfortunately, I’m not happy with the sand used for our renovations. The quality of the sand we have applied post renovations appears to have a greater number of fines incorporated in the sand. We are finding that the fines are coming to the surface creating a crust, that impacts in the thin areas of grass. Thin areas of turf are not protected from temperature fluctuations and they become hotter and anti-wetting. On days that are up around 30 degree or higher the bent grass struggles to survive.
We have been using this sand on greens many times over the past twelve months and I was quite happy with it and have applied it when top dressing or dusting greens. Over time the sand particle size has changed without obvious sign until now.
Due to the crusted areas ground staff have been rigorously plugging out bad areas to speed up the recovery time. We will not be using this sand again and will do some investigation into a suitable replacement.
Over the next two weeks we will commence a stringent dusting programme to iron out the imperfections on the greens. This is necessary and I hope there is little to no disruption to golfers.
The height of cut on the greens is currently at 4mm and in preparation for the Seniors event will be reduced gradually down to 2.5mm. It is much easier for us to broom sand in when greens are mowed at a slightly higher height of cut.
On Hartfield’s Opening day we made the hard call to close the 15th green for a couple of day. This will greatly benefit the green and ground staff to carry out necessary maintenance aiding in a faster recovery. It is a practice that we undertook on the 17th with good results.
Fairways have been sprayed with primo which is a plant growth regulator to assist us with our mowing frequencies whilst producing a tighter playing surface.
Wetting agents are still being injected through our irrigation mainline. We are due to foliar spray broad-wet on our fairways next week in assisting water retention and penetration.
Installation of a bank of sprinklers to irrigate the left had side of 14 where mounds have been added has been completed. To achieve the application uniformity required we have added four additional Hunter sprinklers and improvements can be seen already.
Tree management: Western power have recently updated most of the power poles on the driving range. During the installation they have identified a few over hanging limbs and branches that will require removal using a cherry picker or qualified tree climbers. Trees have been marked with yellow ribbon total of 27 trees. Most of the trees identified are regrowth.
In the coming weeks there are a couple of dates for volunteers to come and assist ground staff in the preparation for the Senior Amateur, it would be of great assistance to get a couple of groups of members to help with raking up tree debris and sticks throughout the golf course, or help tidy up around some tees that need hand weeding.
The dates are: Monday 18th, Wednesday 20th and Wednesday 27th March
Looking forward to your help a special thank you to Laurie Wright, Steve Graham, Mike Nuamoff and many others who continue to come in and help.
Forward maintenance plan
A preventive herbicide (barricade) is to be applied to tees and green surrounds as well as other known problem areas around the course. The herbicide helps minimise the number of winter grass weeds from germinating as well controlling other broadleaf weeds.
Preparation for the Senior Amateur we will be levelling and filling bunkers with bunker sand and edging and fly mowing bunkers.
Foliar application of fertilisers throughout the golf course, greens, tees, fairways and surrounds will all be fertilised in time for the event and the change of weather.