Anthony Butler

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Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« on: January 10, 2011, 02:14:33 am »
As some of you may know, after the Australian Open was played at New South Wales in 2009, the greens at NSWGC (primarily a mix of couch with some poa annua) were 'lost' in February 2010. They have made a remarkable comeback by all accounts and are again in championship shape–as fast as you can have them considering the weather related limits on green speeds at La Perouse.

In December, details of a long-touted green resurfacing program were made available to members. This will be a 4 month long project, undertaken from August to November this year. Here's an extract from the club announcement:

Quote
When assessing the greens, a number of approaches were considered including a full redesign to resurfacing only. Issues such as traditional design, pin placements, construction, location, cost, and grass types were considered. It was resolved that the club would proceed with a greens resurfacing project with only holes three and four to have significant redesign to them. The design for those greens will be provided with the consultation of the Greg Norman Design Company.

Following an analysis that looked at member inconvenience and costs, it was agreed that the greens replacement will take place all at once over the period 8 August until 28 November 2011. The grass type will be selected following further observation in characteristics of the two new species used in our northern putting green (‘MacKenzie and 007)’, the nursery and from performance reviews of various species used at other clubs such as the National Golf Club.

The basic work involved in resurfacing a green includes removing the turf surface and underlying thatch to a depth of 50-75mm. This will be replaced with new sand (50-75mm) plus soil amendments incorporated into the remaining soil profile. Then, the surface will be sewn with the selected bent grass with germination to start within one week and ready for play within 10 weeks, subject to favorable growing conditions.

A couple of questions came readily to mind:
1) Will these mixtures of bent grass be able to fight off the natural incursion of native grasses as well as the current surfaces? I have not played at the National for about 7 years so I'm not sure how well this seed mixture is holding up. 007 is a variety of creeping bentgrass, but not a Greg Norman Turf grass, despite the fact it's in use at the National. Mackenzie bent I have no knowledge of. It must be holding up well at NSW given the fact you have walk on/walk off at one of the putting greens. I guess spikeless golf shoes really do help prevent seed incursion.  :)

2) Greg Norman Golf Design??? My understanding is that Shark fired all his staff in Australia about 10 months ago, so I wonder who will be onsite for this project. Bob Harrison was the point guy for all the previous work done at the club, including the redesign of 18 completed prior to the '09 Open. Even though Shark is a member, it's surprising to me they brought him back without Bob Harrison being involved.

3) The two greens undergoing redesign are being done for different reasons... The green on 3 needs to be less convex, if not concave to stop balls rolling off the front and back of the green from a stationary position. Both of which have occurred after replacing the ball on the green and standing back to check my line. Number 4, since its benched into a dune, can handle some additional contour on what is now one of the flatter, least interesting greens on the course.

Has anyone else been involved in a project of this scope at a similar site and what are the pitfalls involved?
On the over/under, I'm thinking this will have a neutral to positive affect on the club's ranking (No 38 Worldwide in the 2009 Golf Magazine survey)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 02:35:48 am by Anthony Butler »
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Terry Thornton

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Re: Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2011, 06:51:14 pm »
Anthony,
I played NSWGC 2 weeks ago, the Mackenzie bent has provided good coverage though there is plenty of poa in it in places. I don't imagine eradicating the poa would be a priority given the green replacements to come.
I have only had a quick putt on the 007 on the northern putting green, not long after it was put back in play, was a terrific surface at that time, certainly better than what it may replace.

Greg Norman Design has at least 2 projects on the go in South Oz, one in Vic. I have no idea who his man/men on the ground here are.

I think this change to #3 green will be the third go at it (including the original build). I quite like #4 green, plenty of slope without the obvious contour

Anthony Butler

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Re: Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2011, 09:30:20 pm »
Anthony,
I played NSWGC 2 weeks ago, the Mackenzie bent has provided good coverage though there is plenty of poa in it in places. I don't imagine eradicating the poa would be a priority given the green replacements to come.
I have only had a quick putt on the 007 on the northern putting green, not long after it was put back in play, was a terrific surface at that time, certainly better than what it may replace.

Greg Norman Design has at least 2 projects on the go in South Oz, one in Vic. I have no idea who his man/men on the ground here are.

I think this change to #3 green will be the third go at it (including the original build). I quite like #4 green, plenty of slope without the obvious contour

Terry,

There's an obvious playability need that has to be addressed on the third. At the present time, you can't keep the green at the same height as the other 17 when the wind gets above 20 mph.

As far as the fourth hole goes, it can be played quite simply in any sort of southerly or westerly wind. Keep your drive to the right which should afford you a clear view of the green. Aim your approach shot at the right half of what is a fairly large green and the let the wind take it towards a left hand pin position or putt back into the wind for a right hand pin position. Only if you shortside yourself to the right does the recovery shot pose any problems, leaving you with the choice to either pitch the ball from a very tight lie or run the ball up on the green up from the grass hollow behind the bunker.

Obviously the hole is a totally different proposition in a nor-easter, which is the prevailing wind at this time of year.

I think a green redesign on 4 might bring a little more interest to the hole no matter which way the wind is blowing.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 04:17:09 am by Anthony Butler »
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Steve Okula

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Re: Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 03:27:23 am »
One thing that doesn't make sense to me is that the old greens are couch (with some Poa). I'm assuming that "couch" means a species of Cynodon, commonly known as bermudagrass in the northern hemisphere.

Simply stripping off the top 50-75 mm of couch then, won't get rid of it. This turf species has deep, fat rhizomes that will surface and spread stolons and leaves everywhere throughout the new bentgrass in the first year and forever after. It requires some sort of fumigation or complete soil replacement to be rid of the Cynodon.
The small wheel turns by the fire and rod,
the big wheel turns by the grace of God.

Scott Warren

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Re: Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2011, 03:42:05 am »
Terry,

I had a putt on the northern putting green yesterday afternoon and I agree, it's a great putting surface.

Neil_Crafter

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Re: Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2011, 04:11:47 am »
Terry
Norman has no men on the ground in Australia. Any projects he has in the future in Australia will have to be serviced with visits either by him or by architects from his now only office in Florida. Which is why Grange having him do a master plan for their East course here in Adelaide makes little sense - at least to me!

Pete Lavallee

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Re: Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2011, 06:43:03 am »
I played NSW this Jan. and found nothing wrong with their greens; what was the rational for changing them in the first place?  Was the practice green closest to the driving range converted to the new grass in Jan.?
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

Mike_Clayton

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Re: Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 08:41:12 am »
Neil,

Me neither - and the plan looks quite radical to me.Certainly it is one we would have had no hope selling to the members even after doing a pretty decent job on the West - at least I thought so anyway!

Neil_Crafter

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Re: Resurfacing the greens at New South Wales Golf Club
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2011, 01:40:52 pm »
Clayts
I have not seen the plan, hard to understand how he could do one so quickly? Our master plans take at least 6 months to do and many longer than that. I was quite shocked to hear that they were giving the job for the East to Norman, must be costing them a fortune. And that's before they try and implement any of it.

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