28 Nov 19


With green keeping on the Sunshine Coast, the weather pattern over the last 10 years has been a challenge: if it's not completely wet, it's the opposite! We are seeing a very dry November with fairways and tees suffering the worst as we have very limited, if not any irrigation to these areas. But the green team has a plan.

Well, it’s just about summer! With night time temperatures rising, the couch grass is enjoying its more favourable conditions. With this being said, this year's winter period had seen the green surfaces struggle in certain areas due to shade, weather conditions, removal of carpet grass, wet days and cold nights.

Most importantly as a Superintendent, our main focus is to present the course at its full potential but also when there are questions that are raised from members, to be able to explain and acknowledge the issue.

This year I made an individual decision to NOT over-sow all greens before winter with my reasons explained.

· TThe positive results for over-sowing with winter grass:-

During the stressful winter period the 328 and blue couch grass needs a minimum amount of sunlight and greens such as 15th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 3rd and 18th and certain areas of other greens during this time of year struggle with excessive shade.

Over-sowing with a cool season grass gives the greens a good playable surface throughout this time of year. Bare areas become unnoticeable as the winter grass thrives on cool conditions, therefore the shaded greens look better to the eye.

· TThe negative and positive results for NOT over-sowing these greens this year:-

I believe that if the greens surface and profile are in a good healthy stage and are not suffering by shade, there is no need to over-sow another type of grass, when this creates more problems for following years and the transition of moving into warmer conditions.

The positive outcome is that I have proven that there are a good number of greens that do not need to be over-sowed when in a good healthy stage and that don’t suffer from shade. Greens examples are the 9th, 10th, 4th, 16th and 14th. However, the negative outcome for not over-sowing these greens for me has been more noticable than I thought. With not being able to remove trees that surround these greens, over-sowing in the future is a must!

This year before winter renovations, the team removed and sprayed a large amount of carpet grass out of the greens’ surface. With night temperatures being cool and all other negative factors to these greens that I have explained, bare areas have been still present and only just seeing near full coverage.

With warmer nights and these greens seeing more sunlight, the bare areas from where the carpet grass has been removed are covering over a lot quicker. With a fertiliser application done last week to the greens and certain bare areas being returfed, greens will be back to a desired surface in the matter of weeks.

With regards to re-turfing, bare areas to greens such as 15th and 7th, both greens have a blue couch surface and we are using our nursery blue couch for smaller patches, and with a more estalished turf area around the chipper green. The turf from the chipping greens has been used first as the root system and is more established with more strength for faster recovery, as well as to the area to the back of the 15th green being large in size.

Ground staff will then replace the area around the chipping green with grass from the nursery.

Re the pin placements – there has been some attention to pin placements on the 15th green. With areas on the green that have been re-turfed and top dressed, this has given ground staff limited areas to place the flag/cup. With the green slope already being challenging, the ground staff take into consideration the step front area of the green, and also keeping traffic away from the new turf.

The green is nearly back to full recovery and hole placements will continue back to a variety of positions – front, middle and back from this month.

Myself and the team have been working hard with removing established carpet grass that sits throughout certain greens. Unfortunately, with this year's winter conditions and the lack of sunlight they receive, we have all noticed the slow recovery to greens such as 3rd, 6th, 7th and 15th. This year we will target the foreign grass through summer and be more cautious during winter next year and with a positive attitude that all weed removal will be benefited in the future with having a cleaner surface.