The Board of the Leongatha Golf Club has been deeply saddened by the passing yesterday of a popular member, Kevin Castwood. Kevin was aged 72.
In the little over a decade Kev has been a member of the club (he joined in May 2009) he has made a great contribution to it. He was a former Men’s Vice Captain and Captain, former Green’s Committee member, a current member of the Men’s Golf committee and was also a Board Member for the last six years. Kevin’s working career was in the human resources field and this experience, combined with his golfing experiences, made him a valuable member of the Board. He was of great help to me personally, and to the club in this role.
Kev was also a regular attendee at club working bees and social functions. He took an obvious pride in seeing the course in great condition and the successes of the club.
Kev was a competent golfer in his own right and features on the honour boards in the clubhouse. He was deceptively long off the tee, and possessed one of the best short games in the club.
We extend our condolences to Rosie and family at this time of loss.
It is with regret that we announce the passing of long-time member, Bruce Gibson. Bruce passed away on Wednesday after brief illness.
A thorough gentleman, Bruce was a member of our club for nearly 30 years and during that time he and his wife Anne have been generous sponsors of it. Had it not been for the shutdown of golfing at present, the annual B & A Gibson American Foursomes Stableford event would have featured in the women’s April calendar of events.
The Club would like to extend our sincere condolences to Anne and family for your loss.
Yesterday, Dylan and Denis were busy finishing off the secondary work which was generated out of the Greens Couch Reduction Program. Whilst excavating the collar around each green to a depth of 100 mm, an enormous amount of soil rich in turf root, was removed and re-cycled by placing it around the light rough on a number of fairways, with the intention of rehabilitating those areas devoid of soil after years of heavy traffic, erosion or degradation.
During that period, Peter Seth had started the process of breaking this soil up with the rotary hoe, and yesterday work finished levelling the piles of soil, then rotary hoeing the soil into the rough, raking it level and seeding it with a Dura Turf brand seed mixture appropriately called ” In the Rough”. This mixture is a 50/50 blend of Merlot Creeping Fescue and Survivor Chewing Fescue…. sounds like a great place to graze on a Friday afternoon. The area was finished off by compacting it using the Workmen vehicles.
The recovery will take some time as we are now entering the colder months when growth will be minimal, but we are hopeful that there is sufficient heat in the soil for the re-seeding to start germinating.
The areas being rehabilitated should ultimately please everyone, as not only will it improve the aesthetics of the Course, but the likely playing surfaces for a number of us.
Click on the next links to view other recent rehabilitation work.
The seeding of the 9th green and the turf nursery was undertaken today to cap off a busy 8 days for the Team. I asked you last update to think about how many kilograms of seeds would be needed to adequately cover the 9th green to produce a top class finish. A few responders guessed between 30 to 100 kilo’s but I am pleased to say the figure was actually closer to just 3 kilograms; with about 9,600,000 seeds per kilo, you can now better understand why we need just a few kilo’s of seed.
Dylan was also able to secure the same A4 strain of bentgrass mix as we have on the putting green, which eventually will give us a beautiful precinct with both surfaces complementing each other.
With 9.6 M seeds per kilo, the mixture is super fine and you could be excused for thinking it would be an excise in futility to sow the green on a day like today, with a blustery sou’wester blowing. Bring in the Hydroseeding specialist, Michael Riodon of Turf Renovations Australia, who has a solution too good to pass up.
Hydroseeding involves the preparation of a solution of measured water with recycled paper pulp, dye additive, A4 Bentgrass seed, starter fertilizer, fungicide, then stirred not shaken, then agitated, finally a paper mache like product was ready to apply by spraying onto the green, leaving a crusty surface of paper pulp which locks in the seed helping to protect it from the elements, whilst providing a nutritious base in which the seed can germinate and root.
The 9th green seeding was finished in a short time and now has a blue/grey tinge to the surface. Due to the tight fiscal situation and the Covid 19 impact, Dylan has needed to park this program for the foreseeable future. As a result, we still have a small supply of bentgrass turf in reserve, which was stripped off the 9th green, and laid out on the nursery. With a future need for bentgrass turf when we next continue our program to rid all greens of encroaching couch, it became imperative that some of the turf nursery be seeded with bentgrass, whilst the majority would be sown with fine fescue.
Today using a portable spreader, Denis spread granulated fertilizer across the whole of the nursery then marked off about 25% of the nursery for bentgrass seeding. Once that was done, Dylan seeded the 75% of the nursery with fescue seed using the portable spreader, applying about 40 litres of seed overall. This was then rolled with a bunker machine so that the knobby tyres would leave nice indents in the surface which the fescue mache product could adhere into.
The Contractor then sprayed 25% of the nursery with the bentgrass mache, before spraying the remaining 75% of the nursery with a further coating of fine fecue mache. It is hoped that the coming week will bring ideal conditions for both grasses to germinate.
Denis was telling me that he had cut just over 3 kilometres of fine fescue off the turf nursery in recent weeks for use in the couch eradication project. Today’s re-seeding of the turf nursery will ensure that a plentiful supply of fine fescue and bentgrass turf, will be available for the next phase of this project.
On another note which is of interest to all members, is the preparations being made by LGC, in anticipation for the restart of golf. As yet the course remains closed, and the Andrews Government prohibits the playing of golf, but we anticipate this situation will likely be reviewed, probably in line with the Premier’s next statement on the emergency lockdown conditions, expected about the 11th May,
The Greens Committee is working with the Match Committee on preparing for a likely restart, and in doing so are installing a poly- styrene collar on each pin which will allow the ball to enter and stop within the cup, but which will allow for retrieval of the ball by hand without a need to touch the flag stick. The styrene collar will be about 10 mm below the cup lip, giving a more realistic feel to the game and allowing you to finish off by putting out the hole.
Dylan and Denis have also started cutting a temporary green on the 9th fairway, in front of the new 9th green which has been roped off. Both these steps will enable the Club to open the time sheet contemporaneously with any forthcoming Government announcement.
In the meantime, isolate and stay safe. See you when next the Course is open.
Chair of the Greens Committee
TurfGrass – March Issue 2020
Leongatha Golf Club featured prominently in the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association monthly magazine in March 2020. The magazine known as TurfGrass, features a Regional Golf Course in each issue with LGC Superintendent, Dylan McMeekin answersing a number of questions put to him for the March edition.By reading this article, which I recommend you do so, you get a wonderful insight into Dylan the person, his team and his course management philosophies in managing our course through environmentally sustainable practices.
I felt very uplifted in reading this article and it has given me a better appreciation of the complexity of issues that impacts the course that we have, and it made me even more proud to be a member of Leongatha Golf Club.
I would like to acknowledge and thank ASTMA for allowing us to publish this article on our website.
Keep well, isolate, and see you when the Course re-opens
Chair – Greens Committee.
Although our Leongatha Golf Course has been closed to members and visitors for playing golf, work that was commenced some time ago by Dylan and his team, on the removal of encroaching couch grass from the greens, has been steadily progressing with the assistance of a number of volunteers, led by Peter Seth.Although our Leongatha Golf Course has been closed to members and visitors for playing golf, work that was commenced some time ago by Dylan and his team, on the removal of encroaching couch grass from the greens, has been steadily progressing with the assistance of a number of volunteers, led by Peter Seth.
To date, the works included removing a grass verge collar 2.1 metres wide from around the green and cutting out areas of couch that had encroached into each of the greens. This was done to a depth of 100 mls, then filled with a blended sand mixture before being compacted.
Turf from the new fescue nursery was cut and rolled then palleted to each green, and laid around the green to form a fescue collar (7) seven rolls or 2.1m wide.
Bentgrass turf was also needed to replace the greens turf which had been removed from each. Planning at our Greens Committee meeting in November 2019, had committed us to reduce the slope on the 9th green at this time, so the process of finishing off each green with turf from the 9th green was started and was well underway before the COVID-19 situation exploded, and the Course shut. As a consequence, this work left us with the 9th green devoid of turf. The surface area of the 9th green had provided only just enough turf to repair all of the other greens. Work on the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 18th greens has now been completed.
The fescue and bentgrasses are knitting in well and time will see these greens come back better than ever. Some greens are slightly larger, which gives Denis even more tricky pin placements to test us with.
As COVID-19 ramped up, a decision was made to complete renovations on the 9th green, in house. After Dylan and the boys had cleared the green and surround of all remnant turf on Wednesday, yesterday local contractor Darren Harris became available at short notice.
Darren is well regarded in golf course circles, for his skill with his Terex, and in particular his skills when shaping greens. He also has had a long association with LGC dating back around 2008. Darren has completed many projects over that time, including work on the practice putting green and a number of tees, just to mention just a few.
The topsoil and thatch were removed off the 9th green and under Dylan’s guidance, Darren reshaped the green so it has a 3 degree fall from back to front.
The green is far from completed but from this position, Dylan and Denis are well placed to be able to finish the project with minimal cost. All things being equal Dylan is aiming to have the final shaping of the green, irrigation work and seeding completed in the next couple of weeks, providing we have some good weather and subject to COVID-19 impacts.
Mother nature will then hopefully do the rest. It will certainly give playing the course an extra boost. I can’t wait.
An exceptionally large field competed in the inaugural Rod Brown Mixed American Foursomes last Sunday. The event was in honour of past member Rod Brown, sponsored by his family. Rod was an avid fan of mixed events and would have been honored by the number of players competing, including many from his prior club, Woorayl. Club President Peter Waters and Ryan Thomas, grandson of Rod, opened the 2020 year by hitting off from the first tee. Ryan elected to tee off with an old 2 iron that belonged to his grandfather and effortlessly sent it sailing down the fairway (the ball, not the 2 iron). Men’s Captain, Colin Bear, extended thanks to the Brown family for their sponsorship of the day and to Ashleigh Hutton for her donation of the Board for this event.
Tony and Else Gedye will be the first to have their name etched on the Board, finishing with a superb score of 64.125. Four shots behind were Coralie and Ian Baker (not Ian Baker-Finch) with an equally impressive score of 68.875.
Pauline and Lance Lancaster, from Woorayl Golf Club won the visitors trophy.
A special prize was also awarded to Chris Leaver and Rita de Bondt for their eagle on the 3rd hole.
The women’s NTP were won by Robin Smith on the 14th and Louise Schache on the 16th. The men’s NTP went to Leroy Sharrock on the 16th and Albert Borg on the 14th.
Down the line balls: (Score range 69.375-72.125) Russell and Marilyn Williams, Lianne Adamson and Leroy Sharrock, Dot Stubbs and Lachlan Thomas, Ashleigh Hutton and Grant McRitchie, Glen Marsham and Rebecca Wilson, Jocelyn and Bill Howson, Bert and Cheryl Borg, Trevor Steer and Fran O’Brien and Garry Rotteveel and Liz Hodge.
Tony Gedye Else Gedye Wendy Brown (Sponsor) Pauline Lancaster Lance Lancaster (Winners Visitor Trophy (Woorayl GC)
Coralie Baker Wendy Brown (Sponsor) Ian Baker
36 teams competed in cool conditions, participating in an Hawaiin Shirt Day, sponsored by Garry Rotteveel and Liz Hodge.
The winning combination with 46 points were Ian Debenham and Chris Indian. In second place were Geoffrey Maher and Marea Maher with 45 points. Ron Paice and Trevor Moss took out 3rd place on a countback with 43 points.
It was a very enjoyable day.