Maintaining the top course at the coast is a daily challenge
I would like to congratulate Charl and the team for providing us with one of the best-conditioned courses in the country, day in and day out. With our coastal weather conditions, that is no small statement. From foggy mornings to salt-filled easterlies and relentless westerlies, our course is always under pressure. We attempted to inter-seed the fairways with Kweek hoping that it would spread and dominate the surfaces. That has simply not panned out.
When we hosted the PGA in November, our course was nearly perfect. Only the greens were showing the Poa-annua more than we liked. For Charl, it’s a balancing act. For the rest of us, it’s a pleasure.
We must also thank the members of the Club (Adopt a Hole) who look after our fairways and greens. In a breakfast meeting this past Saturday, Ronnie explained how a fresh rye divot, replaced immediately, would often take hold and re-grow. An older one, maybe even 20 minutes older, should be tossed and replaced with sand. The compost that is mixed with the sand for the members to use is having a significant effect on the recovery. It was interesting to hear the “caretakers” talk about “their” fairways and greens.
Fairways and Greens
from Charl Blaauw, SUP
The country is flooding, and the eastern cape is in one of its biggest droughts in years, that is the scary part when maintaining a cool-season golf course. We have been averaging 1389 cubes per night for irrigation of the golf course through January 2022. Our dam level has dropped a lot and there is no rain forecasted as we speak. Kevern has been working hard to get us 800 cubes of effluent water per night, and by the time we have the board meeting, our daily intake and what we put out should balance each other out.
The hot and humid weather brought along some bad news in the form of a fungal disease called Pythium Blight. This is a very aggressive and fast-spreading turf disease. I identified the disease on Friday and immediately kicked into gear, asking for special permission to buy fungicides to spray our fairways. We have always only sprayed greens and tees and always only budgeted accordingly. With Pythium on the cards, we will have to budget for 3-4 applications on our fairways per year not to be caught out with the loss of turf. The PGA tournament has set high standards which people want to experience when travelling here to play our course, and this will mean a good look at the next budget to keep the standards high.
Application going down for Pythium Blight.
On the course we are busy with widening entrances to tees and exits from greens to even out the traffic and save turf due to compaction from foot traffic, this has worked well where we have done it so far and this project will continue. We are due to start with Kikuyu eradication on the fairways soon, this is usually a project we do over 3 months for good success. Our greens are looking good and the extra products to control POA seed heads are proving to work very well.
Our Grasses are unique
As previously mentioned, Rye contains a chemical that outperforms certain weeds and other plants, and for that reason, it is also very difficult to plant other grasses in conjunction with Rye grasses. We have done all the sprigging on the fairways with Kweek grass a couple of years ago and the Kweek did grow, but eventually faded away and was mostly not visible. I am positive that the Kweek sprigs are still there, but it is outperformed by ryegrass due to the chemical it contains. With that said, it is time to budget for overseeding our golf course with Rye seed. We have tried to change our fairways to Kweek with little success, and the only way to grow Kweek will be to do a complete specie change and this will involve killing off our existing rye and then seeding the fairways with Kweek. This to me is not a viable option due to the loss of revenue.
The Week’s Results
5 Feb Saturday Comp – Ronnie Nienaber and Kevin Buckley
6 Feb Couples Golf – Tony and Rose Gunton
Feb 8 Colony Club – Lynn Slogrove and Sandra Marais
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Thank you all for caring about your course – #leading the way! Adopt a hole (AAH) works.
The 2021 Calendar and results
2022 Results to Date
8-9 Jan Men’s Member-Member Partnership, Boetie Zietsman and Lesley Krause
12 Jan Warwick Wealth, Mike Wylie and John Wilson
15 Jan Alliance – Manie Maritz, Sam Verbaan, Micah and Fred Van Eyssen
19 Jan EasyLife Kitchens, Lynn Slogrove and Lesley Fisher
21 Jan REMAX Royale – Par-3 Medal – Peter Kopke
22 Jan Bard’au Ladies Invitational – Debbie McCracken and Annamarie Meyer
22 Jan Alliance – Scott Keevy, Martin King, Roger Smith and Dave Hart
27 Jan Pam Golding/ Village Square SuperSpar Alliance, Luke Biggs, Jordan and Ernest Bendeman, Shaun Viljoen
28 Jan Selective Lighting/The Fireworks, Pandy and Helen
29 Jan Alliance – Ernest Bendeman, Tony Billson, Neil Mulder and Dave Hart