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2019 Emirates Australian Open Course Update No.6

Tuesday 05, Nov 2019

Since the last update, we have had our good friends Bayer come out and do an interview with course superintendent Phil Beal. It’s a great thing that Bayer are doing and provides a great snapshot of what we are doing in the lead-up to the Open in addition to the regular updates through the ASTMA.

You can check out the video here through the Bayer Amplify Turf website.

We are still waiting for those soil temperatures to rise to get the couchgrass jumping and aid recovery from our recent renos. Elsewhere, it has been pretty busy as we continue to fine-tune things as the Open looms large on the horizon. Here’s a rundown of what we have done over the past couple of weeks…

  • Continued the dusting programme, increasing the amount of sand to 750kg – this will be the rate all the way up until the Open so we get a coverage of 0.06kgs/m2 of sand. While that may not sound like much, a weekly application will aid in the firmness of the surface and we all know that it is a vital cultural practice in the maintenance of turfgrass.
  • Fairways and green surrounds have had another foliar feed to try and boost the grass since the renovations (just a simple brew with NFE and Solubal). The tees again have had a similar foliar feed (the Bayer video has a good example of that – Phil talks a bit about the struggles we have with the wear and tear on the tees).
  • Bunker banks and lake banks have had their first application of PGR at very light rates, as we do need to get some growth in those areas. At a rate of 200ml/ha it should be just enough for us to keep on top of them with the flymowers and snipers to keep that crisp lip that the bunkers are well known for here. Applicator Jake Smith skipped some of the thin areas and worn areas to allow full recovery. If we do need to increase the rate of the PGR we can. 
  • The landscape crew have been working tirelessly with the upkeep of the gardens and clubhouse areas over the past months. The coming weeks will be a vital time to get things done to ensure everything looks in place and perfect for the Open.
  • All of crew here have been assigned their tasks for the Open and have started to carry these out seamlessly. Whether it has been the mowing of greens or fairways, the guys have been on point with the way they have carried out their tasks.
  • E-par’s Terry Muir has been out and working with me getting all the information together for the volunteers. We ask that any volunteer that hasn’t done so to please check the Connect system for documents to review and to keep an eye on the system for any more documents that we do assign to complete prior to coming on site.

As mentioned, it is now all about fine-tuning the surfaces and our practices as we lead into the Open. That includes fertilising some of the roughs to boost growth through to some final weed control. Irrigation tech Jacob Smith has been kept busy checking sprinklers across the course and we have also been doing some final plugging around the closely mown areas to allow full recovery in those bare areas. Not long to go now…

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

Mat Soles
3IC, The Australian GC