Posted on Jul 10, 2018 in Club News

Course Managers Greens Update / Report.

Dear Crow Nest Park Golf Club Members

As we all enjoy this beautiful weather we are having I am sure you will all have noticed that the grass plant on the greens and all around the golf course is not.

The greens are showing the signs of the drought stress and the extreme heat conditions we are currently experiencing. I would hope that you would all agree that throughout the season and up to the middle of June the plant health and surface quality of the greens has been excellent.

Irrigating of the greens has been taking place via the automated system and hand watering. Unfortunately the irrigation system in place is in-efficient from the original sprinkler placements, several of the sprinklers are in need of replacement and several do not work on the automated system. There has also been three serious leaks repaired within the space of a week, leaving us without the use of the system.

Another issue that we face is the poor quality of the irrigation water used. The consistent use of the high pH and high levels of carbonates that the water contains promotes turf disease on an already extremely stressed grass plant.

I would like to assure you that all works are being carried out to maintain the plant health and the surface quality of the greens. Wetting agents have been and will continue to be applied, hand watering of areas burning off has been and will continue to be carried out, essential nutrients have been and will be applied, repairs have been carried out as swiftly as possible, replacement sprinklers are ordered and fungicides have been applied and are in stock for further use.

I would like you to remember that the replacement of the sprinklers will not mean that the system will be efficient but it will be working as efficiently as it can be with the poor sprinkler placements. Unfortunately the use of fungicides while still using the poor quality irrigation water will not guarantee that we will not suffer from turf disease. To help you understand why, imagine that you have to be constantly out doors and your only source of water was dirty contaminated water. Eventually you will begin to look and feel very un well. You would go to the doctor and be prescribed with antibiotics / medicines and told to stop drinking the water and stay inside until you were better. If after this you were to continue to stay outside, asked to perform your daily job and still drink the dirty water then the antibiotics / medicines are likely to have little or no effect. This is the life of the grass plant on our greens. Couple that with the current extreme climatic conditions, the grass plant is currently under a huge amount of stress.

To aid the grass plants until this period of stress passes heights of cut will be raised. The greens will maintain a good surface but will be slower than we as Crow Nest Park GC members are lucky enough to have come to expect.

The effects caused by the extreme climatic conditions and the battle with disease from the irrigation water to the greens may dictate that mid season renovations and over seeding of the greens will be necessary. These works will be a last resort and carried out as swiftly as possible for the 3 – 4 week recovery period to begin.

I would like to thank you all for your understanding and patience on this matter.

Mark Widdop, Course Manager.