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2019 Emirates Australian Open Course Update No.8

Thursday 21, Nov 2019

Following on from last week’s update, the marquees and all TV towers have now been erected with the 2019 Emirates Australian Open just two weeks away. The 18th green looks ready for tournament play with the Emirates and Fujitsu marquees towering over the green providing a wonderful vantage point of The Australian’s fantastic par five finishing hole.

I know that we aren’t the only ones suffering, but boy do we need some rain! Some areas around the course are getting crispy and the irrigation system is working overtime. It’s just some of those high wear areas and the roughs that are really struggling, however, I can guarantee that there are places that are a lot worse off than us.

The South Range has again been dedicated to house the Media Centre and all the other infrastructure that coincides with holding a tournament. The number of portaloos that have arrived is tremendous, so there will be no need for the crew to race back to the maintenance facility!

The irrigation has been turned off the range just to help firm it up with all the containers and marquees that are on it, with the surface hard and minimal tracks left form all the machinery that has been driving over it. This will aid in recovery once the tournament is over.

Elsewhere around the course, we have been again going through the motions of the maintenance practices we carry out regardless if the tournament is here or not. These include;

  • Dusting of the greens again at 750kg/ha. With just two weeks to go to the Open, we do hope to potentially have one more dust. Currently the greens are rolling fantastic.
  • We have had a massive spray week, with thanks to all the applicators coming in early following the Christmas party which is always difficult. Big ups to Dave Smith, Eng. Jake Smith, Steve Bridgland and Au. Jacob Smith.
  • Primo fert application on the greens (bi-weekly)
  • Tees application consisting of NFE+Solubal+Prophercy+PrimoMaxx with a second application of a Wetting agent + Barricade and six minutes of overhead irrigation followed by two hits again at night.
  • Rough application again consisting of Thumper+NFE+Urea just to boost the rough along.
  • Fairway application – two applications during the week. First NFE+Solubal+Prophercy+PrimoMaxx and the second similar to the tees – Wetting Agent + Barricade with six minutes of overhead irrigation followed by two hits again at night.
  • Many thanks to the crew for getting the bunkers fly mowed and snipped, we will attack this once more prior to the Open just to keep the Cynodon tight.
  • A lot of the areas that had been affected by the BF1 are slowly recovering and come the tournament we do hope to have full cover.

Last Wednesday we had a visit from the Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club assistant superintendents Mark Harkness (South Course) and Jeremy Clarke (North Course). Mark was a volunteer when I was one here at The Australian Golf Club all the way back in 2014. Both Mark and Jeremy came up and visited the top golf courses around Sydney to gain some insight into what we do up here north of the boarder – the harder side undoubtedly! They sat down with both Dave Smith and I and we had a great chat and then had a self-guided tour of the course and new maintenance facility.

As of writing this we are 16 days out from the open and with only 10 days till the volunteers come it is all getting very exciting and very real.

Mat Soles
3IC, The Australian GC