Agronomy

2018 Course Renovations @ Nikanti Golf Club

The 2nd of April saw the beginning of the annual course renovations for Nikanti Golf Club. The aim of the process was to remove the excess organic matter that has accumulated over the last 12 months, relieve any compaction and present the surfaces in top condition for the clubs biggest event of the year, the BMW Golf Cup which begins on the 10th of May.

We have created a set of Course Quality Objectives for the club which include target ranges for various performance parameters including firmness, green speed, infiltration rate and soil organic matter levels. These parameters are aimed at maintaining a high performing playing surface consistently through the year. 

Renovation practices like what we completed this year and in previous years, allow the club to achieve those goals and target specific areas that have been identified as underperforming. Since incorporating the Course Quality Objectives, the main focus during renovations has been removing the maximum amount of organic matter from the fairways. The fairways are harbouring a dense organic matter layer at their surface which holds excess moisture and results in a softer surface.

Soil organic matter levels in the greens were tested by Loss on Ignition at three different levels. 0-20mm, 20-40mm and 40-60mm. From these results, we could effectively target the problem area for maximum results. The test results showed that the OM levels are still within the target ranges. The decision was then made to use a solid tine rather than a coring tine and focus the verti-cutting on the top 5mm of the soil to remove the OM which had accumulated over the previous 12 months. The club will also incorporate more regular verti-cutting and dusting in their regular program through the year.

A step by step video of the golf course renovation practices at Nikanti Golf Club in 2018

Below is a summary of the program in chronological order for all surfaces including approximate costs. 

Greens

  • Vertical mow at -5mm up and back on the same line in 3 directions
  • Double cut at 3mm
  • Aerate with 9.7mm solid tines in a 1.5" x 1.5" pattern
  • Top-dress by hand
  • Level lawn when the sand has dried
  • Double roll
  • Brush with a medium-soft hand broom
  • Apply fertiliser and irrigation. Ammonium sulphate (21-0-0) and Eon 75 (humic acids)

After 4 days...

  • Vertical mow at 0mm
  • Aerate with 6.3mm solid tines in a 1.5" x 1.5" pattern
  • Brush with a medium-sof hand broom
  • Apply fertiliser and irrigation. Mono Ammonium Phosphate (12-60-0), Potassium Nitrate (13.5-0-44) and a retention wetting agent.

Approximate costs (initial 2 days):

  • Sand = US$1238.71 (60m3)
  • Labour = US$1,043.98 (31 staff)
  • Tines = US$1,045.20
  • Fertiliser = US$616.88 (21-0-0 = $36.23 + Humic Acid = $580.65)

Approaches

  • Vertical mow at -5mm up and back on the same stripe in 3 directions (Triplex)
  • Graden at -5mm in 1 direction (collars and other small areas)
  • Double cut at 9mm
  • Top dress
  • Aerate with 9.7mm solid tines in a 1.5" x 2" pattern
  • Rub in with coconut drag mat
  • Heavy roll
  • Apply fertiliser and irrigation. Ammonium sulphate (21-0-0)

Approximate costs:

  • Sand = US$1,48.39 (75m3)
  • Labour = US$811.69 (25 staff)
  • Tines = US$537.10
  • Fertiliser = US$45.29

Fairways

  • Circle cut at 7mm
  • Graden in 1 direction at -20mm
  • Drag with a steel mat (after Rak-O-Vac)
  • Cut at 7mm in 1 direction
  • Top dress
  • Rub in sand when dry with a coconut mat
  • Apply fertiliser and irrigation. Ammonium sulphate (21-0-0)

Approximate costs:

  • Sand = US$9,290.32 (450m3)
  • Labour = US$503.05
  • Fertiliser = US$271.74

Rough

  • Cut from 40mm to 20mm
  • Top dress and aerate high traffic areas with 16mm coring tines in a 2.5" x 2" pattern
  • Rub in with a steel drag mat when dry
  • Apply fertiliser and irrigation. Ammonium sulphate (21-0-0)

Approximate costs:

  • Sand = US$412.90 (20m3)
  • Labour = US$226.2
  • Fertiliser = US$301.94

Tees

Tees were completed two weeks later as part of our regular maintenance routine. The program below is completed on the tees every 4 weeks and has provided fantastic results allowing the club to forgo a major renovation.

  • Cut at 5mm
  • Light top dress
  • Aerate with 6.3mm solid tines in a 1.5" x 2" pattern

Approximate costs

  • Sand = US$495.48 (24m3)
  • Labour = US$78.13 (5 staff @ US$1.56/hour)
  • Tines = US$508.10

A huge thank you to the team at Nikanti, it was a tough week but they did an expert job allowing us to finish on schedule with a fantastic result.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding any of the processes above.

2017 Course Renovations

From the first week of April we began our course renovation practices which would include re-landscaping some large focus areas. We were lucky enough to have the course closed for 10 days as there were also some maintenance scheduled on the clubhouse.

This was a big opportunity to go a little more aggressively in some areas (predominately the fairways and approaches) than we have done in the past and will allow us to achieve the surface performance standards that we have been targeting.

It was also great to have Nigel Taylor stop by on the first day to see how we were doing and to take some great footage of the process.

A chat with Nikanti Golf Club Director of Golf Course Maintenance, Brad Revill about his annual course renovations.

Thanks for that Nigel! If you haven't already seen it, check out Nigel's Vlog on Youtube. He gets to visit some pretty amazing courses around South East Asia and meet the Superintendents who are responsible for them.

I have also made my own video chronicling our renovation process below

2017 Course Renovation Program:

Greens

  • Vertical mow at -5mm in 2 directions up and back on the same line
  • Blow off debris and cut at 3mm with a firm brush in front of the mower
  • Topdress
  • Wait for sand to dry and then aerate with 10mm solid tines at a 1.5" x 1.5" spacing
  • Use the coco fibre mat and hand brooms to work the sand into the holes
  • Heavy roll
  • Fertilise with 21-0-0 @ 100Kg/Ha + Eon 75 (Humic Acid) @ 60Kg/Ha
  • Irrigate
  • 3 days later - Aerate with 6mm solid tines at a 2" x 2" spacing
  • Double roll
  • Fertilise with 18-22-5 @ 140Kg/Ha
  • Irrigate

Tees

  • Cut at 5mm
  • Topdress
  • Wait for the sand to dry and hen aerate with 12mm solid tines at a 2" x 2" spacing
  • Use the coco fibre mat to work the sand into the holes
  • Heavy roll
  • Fertilise with 15-15-15 @ 200Kg/Ha
  • Irrigate

Approaches

  • Cut at 7mm
  • Scarify with the walk behind Graden at -25mm
  • Clean up debris
  • Topdress
  • Wait for the sand to dry and then aerate with 12mm solid tines at a 2" x 2" spacing
  • Use the coco fibre mat to work the sand into the holes
  • Heavy roll
  • Fertilise with 21-0-0 @ 160Kg/Ha
  • Irrigate

Fairways

  • Circle cut at 7mm
  • Aerate with 16mm coring tines
  • Aerate and topdress using the Koro Recycling Dresser at -125mm
  • Separate the sand from the debris with a steel drag mat
  • Blow off and collect the debris
  • Brush in the sand
  • Heavy roll
  • Fertilise with 21-0-0 @ 120Kg/Ha
  • Irrigate

Roughs

  • Cut from 40mm to 25mm
  • Cut from 25mm to 20mm
  • Fertilise with 21-0-0 @ 120Kg/Ha
  • Irrigate

We are also in the process of re-landscaping the majority of the out of play areas on all 18 holes in an effort to reduce maintenance and frame the hole. During the closure we managed to plant 25,000 Red Fountain Grasses (Pennisetum rubrum) along hole 18 and we are currently half way through planting 27,000 Lemon Grasses (Cymbopogon spp.) along hole 1 and 6. 

A huge thank you to my team and the 120 caddies that came to assist us with the landscaping!

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask anytime!