Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flood recovery and other...

As most of you are aware we had a flood on the course less then a month ago and we have been cleaning up and getting the course right to where is was and even better in some areas.

Some areas the earth was so saturated that the water was not going anywhere and we had to move it by hand as it was to little to pump.

In less then a week of pumping 24/7 we got the course dry and in a playable condition.

 9th Fairway almost back to normal after some cultural practises

16th fairway looking reasonable good again.

We have had some fairways and rough areas get invested by crickets and have sprayed to get rid of them.

We are in a process of spraying out any foreign grasses and weed on the course so please bare with us in areas where the native grasses are growing back and it looks a bit bare.

We have been busy with a tree program cutting and shaping trees and the coastal bush so that mowers and players can move freely under and around them.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nice Video of what Durban County Club is all about !

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Golf Course Flooded !

When it rains it pours !!! There is no more truer saying then that... Over November we have 300mm (12inches) of rain so the course has been very saturated so much that we have started to see water standing in area where it normally drains away naturally. Its been a very wet month for us to start with and then on Sunday night the heavens opened up and dropped 125mm (5inches) in about 3 hours flooding all the bunkers and leaving water standing on every fairway. Durban Country club sits between Morningside town that's on a hill and the see, so all off the water passes through a culvit next to the 16th into the river that runs to the see. This was to much water for our culvit and it over flowed onto the course leaving the Driving range, 16th and 9th fairway under +- 1m (40inches) of water !!!

16th Fairway Sunday Morning...

16th Fairway Monday Morning...

9th Fairway

Water level on the driving range as seen on the trees...

3rd Fairway

14th Fairway

All the bunkers got flooded and needs to be repaired....

Pumping the water of the fairways with every pump we can lay our hand on.

Pumping 320 cubic liters per hour 24/7

After 3 days of pumping there is hope !

This rain puts us on 428mm for November...

The course should be open for play Friday and there will be a local rule in place for fairway 16 and 9. Cart will only be aloud one the fairways have dried out. Please bear with us.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why the course was closed on Saturday...

Rain rain rain.... we had 2inches (50mm) during last week, But Friday night and Saturday the heavens opened up and we got 4inches (106mm) that flooded the greens and left water standing on all the greens and fairways

 5th green and fairway

 9th green

Road to halfway

16th fairway

On Sunday the greens where dry and playable and ready for you golfers. The bunkers had to be pumped to get the dry and they where done by mid morning today Monday.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tree removal at no.10 green.

The last week we have removed 6 Non indigenous (exotic umdoni) trees surrounding the 10th green. These trees where removed as they where non indigenous and where causing the green to struggle due to the amounts of shade they cast for long periods of time during the day.

The tree stump where grind away to 30cm/ 12 inches under the ground for us to fill the holes with a growing medium and grow new grass over the old stumps.

Here is a video of the stump grinder going to work with a tree stump.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

4th Green gets a drainage system

As many of you are aware, the 4th green sits in a very low laying area in the shape of a bowl. This green has been a problem green when it comes to heavy rain as it flood quickly due to the fact that is lying in a dip and the green subsoil system is mainly clay so it does not drain. Water gets to stand on it for long periods of time causing the grass to struggle and algae growth to occur which results to plant death.

This has caused problems before especially through the rainy season and we had to take action by installing a drain. We started the day after the Suncoust classic and only took 3 days to complete. Take in consideration installing a drain in an existing green is a very delicate process as you need to make sure you don't damage the rest of the green

We started by striping the lawn nicely so that we can put it back in the order it was taken off.

 This is a profile pic of the growing medium on the 4th green. 6 Months ago we drilled holes in the green with a big drill that was 20cm wide and replaced the growing medium to help with the draining. You can clearly see the layering and clay in the green on the left and the right is the new growing medium.

All the old growing medium was removed and the levels where done with a laser leveler tool. The drain runs with a 5% fall from back to front and drops 30cm over the length of the green.

 We installed a 110mm perforated drain pipe in the green.

The pipe was then covered with 7mm gravel stone and covered with bidim to stop sand going  into to stone or pipe.

The new growing medium filled the rest of the trench and it was compacted and ready for lawn.

Here you can see the drain working as we flood the area to compact before we re sod.

Sodding all done and green to be rolled and opened the next day !

Green opened the next day !

Monday, October 24, 2011

Suncoast Classic at Durban Country Club

Yet another sucessfull Suncoast classic held at Durban Country Club. Congrats to Darren Fichardt who has been dominant throughout the week and shot a final-round 68 to win the Suncoast Classic by six strokes on Saturday.

Fichardt took his 12th Sunshine Tour victory after closing the R500,000 event at 13-under-par, six shots clear of runner-up Ulrich van den Berg. Also congrats to Alex Haindl, Allan Versfeld and Warren Abery, who shared third at six-under-par

See you boys again next year !

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hollow Tining explained

As you guys are aware we hollow tinned the greens a few weeks ago and this is a video to explain it in layman's terms what it does and why its necessary.

Wetting Agents

Summer is here and the heat is coming !!! Wetting agents are surfactants.They act by modifying the surface tension between water and another surface, like leaf blades or soil particles.

A wetting agent is a product used in golf course management to increases the ability of water to penetrate soils. It decreases the surface tension of soil particles making it easier for water to infiltrate and spread through the soil profile. It makes water more efficient.

We use wetting agents on both courses to improve the effectiveness of nightly irrigation. In periods of stress, the improved water effectiveness helps us combat dry spots when we hand water. It also helps roots get the water they need to keep the grass plant alive.

We have started treating greens with wetting agent over the last few weeks in preparation for the summer heat.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grain !

This is just another golf course experiencing grain problems on there greens. We at DCC are lucky we dont have any problems with that but we do have grain on our fairways and we are apllying heavy cultural pratices to get rid of it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Some more DCC Challenges...

We have had some challenges lately at DCC and this is just to inform you as a member or guest playing here.

We had some debris enter the suction line form the dam and blocked the water suction causing the pump to over heat. With that the gasket melted and cracked , spraying water all over inside the pump house causing the electrics to burn.

This has now been fixed and we are currently looking to install a new suction line with a better sieve.

Last week the water coolers that was on the course got vandalized and all the water tanks where stolen from them. This is the second time this has happened in the last 8 months and we have removed them. We are now in the process of upgrading the old exciting water fountains we have and we will try to make sure the pressure stays consistent.

Due to the extremely wet winter we had , and even now going into spring with very little hot days so far, We have found that some greens stay wet for a long period of time. With the greens not having any drainage in them the water just sits. The water only evaporate and run off over long periods of time. Shady areas are the worst and we found that the greens get BLACK ALGAE growing on them.

We have started dusting the greens on a more regular basis (once a week). We have also started Verti-draining the greens with 10inch long needle tines that punch 6inch deep holes in the green assisting them with the draining and drying process. The verti-darin also helps with compaction and releases the toxic gasses trapped under the surface giving the plant a chance to breath.

These holes can hardly be seen 2 days later and are fine to play on the next day after the greens has been cut or rolled.

We had a hydraulic leak on the small putting green by halfway. One of the pipes cracked due to wear and tear / old age. We are very lucky the operator picked it up so quickly and that we use a biodegradable oil in our mower that helps with the recovery process.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Iron Bacteria killing the irrigation system !

A group of microorganisms commonly called iron and sulphate reducing bacteria cause a chemical change in the water they infect. Iron bacteria are found in all parts of the world, with the exception of the southern polar region. In KZN they occur naturally in dams, swamps, watercourses, lakes and groundwater. Reports of iron bacteria in bores have increased rapidly throughout these regions in recent years. Iron bacteria are micro-organisms which obtain energy by oxidizing soluble ferrous iron into insoluble ferric iron which then precipitates out of solution. This energy is used to promote the growth of thread-like slimes which together with the ferric iron, form a voluminous mass. Many species of iron bacteria have been identified. There are also some bacteria which live on manganese in water. However, as most groundwater's contain lower concentrations of manganese than iron, it is iron bacteria which have caused the majority of problems in bores. The resultant growth of iron bacteria in bores, cause water pumps, pipes, and bore holes to block up with a brown, slimy, clay like material. Sometimes there is a bad odour from the water, like rotten eggs. Iron bacteria are not harmful to humans, as are other forms of bacteria, but are harmful to bores and pumps. If left untreated they will cause the eventual blockage of the bore and failure of the pump.

Well point suction that is the main supply of water to the course.

The picture above is a 110mm pipe reduced to 40mm cause of the growth !
The irrigation system and main line at DCC is very old and due to that we have seen that pipe bursts are occurring more frequently and the pressure is decreasing due the the Bacteria growth in the pipes.

A leaking hose pipe connected to a bore hole spraying onto a log and this took 3 days.

Bore hole pump...

The bore hole pumps needs to be lifted and cleaned every so often as the sieve on the pumps gets blocked and even stops the pump from pumping. 

What are we doing : We are cleaning pumps and filters on a regular basis and have done test on chemicals testing to see if it help. We have applied a chemical to the well points and flushed the system for 12 hours to see if it will get rid of the build up. It worked but it was very expensive and only helps temporarily...
We are now looking for a more cost effective way of dealing with our problem...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Worlds most expensive green

Never mind moving the tee markers in the morning ... lets just move the green !

The 15,000 square foot gigantic green is the most expensive green ever built and can weigh up to 5,000,000 pounds when wet.

One of the really cool things about the green is that it moves via underwater cables. The 14th can be moved into shore or out to sea and can be played at a range of 95-200 yards.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Possessed African Mole Rat...

What are those heaps of soil we see every now and then on the course ?

A common question from members and guests as the walk of the course and its all to thank to our friend the mole rat and his other mole friends...

Common African Mole Rat

They not really possessed just very unhappy when you catch them to "relocate" of the golf course as seen in the video below.... they can do damage to the turf and give the maintenance staff a lot of work to repair areas.

One very unhappy mole rat...

They are quite a bit different to the other Moles we get in the course and these mole rats occurs in a wide range of substrates from friable sandy loams to sandy, stony soils. It is apparently, unable to utilize heavy red clay soils or the hard soils associated with mopane woodland. In South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province where DCC is located for those foreign readers, it occurs in a variety of habitats from short, mesic grassland to dense coastal forest, and from stony soils on hill slopes in the Drakensberg. In many parts of the range (e.g., Pretoria, Swaziland, and KwaZulu-Natal), they are found in a variety of man-made habitats including lawns, golf-courses and gardens. The species is subterranean, and social, with a colony size of around five animals (and up to 14) including a single reproductive pair. It has a litter size of two to six young and a generation time of about three years.