COURSE REPORT MAY 2021

Posted on: 18 May


Course report for Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club members


Dear Members,

As we approach the half way mark of 2021, I would like to take the opportunity to update you on the course in general, recent works and upcoming plans.

Fairways 3, 4, 5, 8, 10 & 15

Following on from the fairway renovation in late 2020, we were able to achieve some pleasing results in terms of grass coverage on the above mentioned fairways, in recent weeks as the growing season ends and through winter we are likely to see these fairways with less coverage than others but we will repeat the process again in spring to further promote improvement.

Flood recovery

While there is no doubt that we fared better than most clubs in Western Sydney following the floods in late March, the aftermath was still devastating. The effort from the staff to get the course cleaned up and playable is such a short time was amazing. To be open 3 days after the rain had stopped and have carts back on 2 days after this is a credit to our course and the efforts of the staff. The biggest task following the flood was the reinstatement of the bunkers, each of our 72 bunkers needed major and very time consuming work to bring back into play, unfortunately this takes valuable labour hours away from other areas of the course.

Poa Annual treatment

You will have seen a sudden outbreak of winter grass in particular on some green surrounds.

The process to prevent and treat winter grass starts in February with the first application of pre-emergent which was applied as scheduled. The second and final application was applied in March but unfortunately soon after, and before its effective date, the excessive rain washed much of the chemical away and diluted it effectiveness. There is no benefit to pre-emergent applications after March, by this time the seed is already in the ground and growing. Effectively this means that our rate of preventative treatments is only 50% of that of a normal year, this combined with extended periods of water logged ground coming into the cooler months has resulted in the outbreak that we are currently dealing with.

The process now is to apply post emergent chemicals to kill the winter grass which has already been done; we should start to see some results of this in the next week or so. If this is effective we may be able to do a second application.

One very important issue to note is that the pre and post emergent chemicals can be harmful to our particular type of bent grass greens, when the chemical is applied to the green surrounds it is easily tracked onto the green by players therefore weakening the root base of the leaf and exposing the greens to disease.

Recent works

Cart paths- So far in 2021 we have installed almost 1000 square meters of concrete cart paths, these paths provide safe access for golf carts and course machinery and significantly reduce the wear and tear on the course especially after a rain event.

Following the flood event in late March, the course staff have been busy reconstructing bunkers, to give you an idea of scope of this task below is a summary of associated works using the 11th hole as an example.

action req staff req hours cost
Pumping out water 1 3 $90
Desilting 8 8.5 $2,040
Reshaping & sand replacement 8 8.5 $2,040
Sand at cost 15 tonne $1,125
Total repair cost $5,295
* Notes: $4,170 of the total repair cost is labour. 139 hours of labour is required to re-establish the 11th hole bunkers following severe rain event.

Scrollable

Together with the Board and CEO, we have been exploring options to improve our bunker construction to help reduce the maintenance cost following a rain event. On the 7th June, work will commence to totally rebuild the sub base of the bunkers on the left side of the 11th hole. This process starts with digging out the bunkers back to the clay base, clearing and repairing the drainage, applying a 70mm layer of gravel then spraying the gravel with Klingstone, a form of polymer glue which will set hard to bind the gravel and create a solid subbase surface where water can flow without washing away sand, this will not only prevent washed out bunkers but stop bunker drains from becoming blocked. This also eliminates the need for bunker matting which deteriorates and can become exposed over time. The 11th hole will be used as a trial and we will monitor the results over the coming months.

Winter course set up

Height of cut

Greens – 3.5mm

Tees – 12mm

Collars and tongues – 12mm

Surrounds – 25mm

Fairways – 16mm

Fairways 3, 4, 5, green end of the 10th & Tee end of the 13th – 18mm we have cut these fairways only to obtain uniformity across the playing surface.

Rough- 38mm lowered Sept 2019 from 51mm.

Frequency of cut:

Greens cut every competition day – Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun

Tees – once a week (Fri)

Collars and tongues – twice a week (Mon & Fri)

Surrounds – twice a week (Fri)

Fairways – twice a week (Fri)

Rough – once a week but takes 3 days to mow during growing period. Mowing only as required.

Rolling of greens:

Generally twice a week (Tues & Sat) but sometimes substitute rolling over mowing on some Fridays.

We also roll for pennants or big trade days.

Hole changing:

Every competition day – Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun

Spraying of greens:

We spray on non-competition days as required unless weather interrupts our plans (Mon & Wed)

Bunker raking:

Currently during Covid 19 we are raking twice a week (Tues & Thurs) once restrictions lift we’ll go back to raking both days on the weekend also. We have been raking for all competition rounds since March.

Aerate greens:

We aerate with 6mm needle tines on either a Mon or Wed once a month to allow air flow into root zone and relieve compaction.

Upcoming works

In addition to the reconstruction of the 11th hole bunkers, work will also soon commence on the construction of a new tee pad on the 18th hole. This tee will be built to the left of the current ladies tee adjacent to the easement. It is intended that this tee will be used for the ladies long course and men’s green course which will give a completely different angle and perspective on how the hole is played. Some beautification work will also be done on the current ladies tee pad.

Please feel free to stop and have a chat if you see me on the course, we are always happy to hear your feedback

 

David Aplitt – Course Superintendent

May, 2021


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