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2019 Emirates Australian Open - Course Update No.5

Monday 28, Oct 2019

It has been a busy past three weeks here at The Australian as the countdown to the 2019 Emirates Australian Open continues to progress. We are now just a little over five weeks out from the tournament which is set to feature one of the best fields assembled in years. This past week saw Adam Scott adding his name to the list of Stonehaven Cup contenders and he will line up alongside the likes of Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia. The crew is certainly looking forward to seeing how they will play the course.

The past few weeks has seen a continuation of our spraying programmes as well as a lot of attention given to the bunkers. Things are ticking over nicely and we are just waiting for the Cynodon to pick up and jump with a bit of consistent heat. We are also getting everything in readiness for the arrival of the course volunteers who will land the weekend before the tournament. All volunteers have been entered into the epar Connect system that we use here and we ask that all volunteers check in as there are some documents which require signing.

Spraying programmes have included;

  • Meridian + bifrenthrin + wetter + abamectin (fairways, green surrounds, tee complexes and bunker banks);
  • Merit + bifrenthrin (roughs);
  • Wall-to-wall pre-emergent (Barricade) application;
  • Post-emergent application on the greens collars to prevent the Poa;
  • Tee decks have had two applications of fert and abamectin to try and boost them along and hit any mites that might be around, and also aid with the wear and tear that our small tees do receive over the cooler months. They have also had a solid tine with the Pro Core.
  • Preventative fungicide and insecticide sprays have been consistently applied.
  • Preventative fairy ring spray has commenced in selected areas.

Elsewhere…

  • Our greens dusting commenced last week, with applications close to 650kg weekly continuing all the way up to the Open;
  • Fairway and green surrounds have begun to be burnt in for the Open;
  • All bunkers have had a 3rd cut at the same height (2.5 spacers) and we are hoping to keep them at this height as it looks tight.
  • The bunkers have been a major focus over the past two weeks, ensuring sand depths are uniform and sand is in the fight spots. It’s all hands-on deck for that and it has been a long process.
  • Club championships are also underway.
  • Fairways and green surrounds have had a boost along with some NFE + Soluble + a second application of abamectin.

It’s now all about the little jobs and fine-tuning things as the tournament draws closer. Any areas that need to be cored or plugged on the closely mown surfaces (fairways and green surrounds) and weed control are being carried out by the people most skilled in these areas. Last Tuesday, marking began for all the tournament TV towers so it is all getting very real. Once all the towers and grandstands start going up, that’s when we will know the big show is coming to town.

If you would like more info about any of our practices or works carried out in the lead-up to the Open, please don’t hesitate to email me msoles@australiangolfclub.com

Mat Soles
3IC, The Australian GC