Good rains put a stop to barren golf courses and spur quick growth

2010-10-28 00:00

THE recent rains have worked wonders on our golf courses.

Isn’t it wonderful to see water coming from the sky? Our spring rains are about a month late this year after one of the driest winters we’ve had for many years. Golf courses in Kwa- Zulu­-Natal were looking pretty barren in places. Even the coastal courses that are renowned for their lush fairways were dry brown places. Older members of those clubs were saying that they can’t remember when they last saw golf courses so parched.

The recent rains are most welcome and have worked wonders on the local­ golf courses which seem to have turned green in a record short time. Water from normal irrigation just isn’t the same as the magic wet stuff from above.

It’s over a month ago that most golf clubs carried out their annual spring treatment. Golf greens need to be prepared for the growing season and the treatment differs slightly according to the different grass types. The usual treatment is to spike or hollow-tine, scarify and top dress. Within a few weeks, the greens are lush with growth and the mowers need to be gradually adjusted lower so that the greens eventually become smooth and fast. For the first couple of weeks after the spring treatment, the greens can be slow and bumpy. Golfers who are especially good putters dislike this time of the year because they believe that they lose their advantage on bumpy greens and anyone can miss a gimme putt on a sandy top- dressed green.

The field looks good for the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City, but there are no Americans playing this year. The early December fixture unfortunately coincides with Tiger Woods’s own tournament, the Chevron World Challenge which is at Sherwood Country Club in California.

This year marks the 30th Sun City event which was formerly known as the Million Dollar Challenge and a glance at the past winners list shows that only four Americans have won the tournament.

Perhaps the American professional golfers are aware of this statistic and this could be another reason that the Nedbank organisers have been unable to attract them. Last weekend’s results:

Victoria Country Club held a four-ball-betterball Stableford competition on Saturday. The winning pair on 48 points were J. Comley and A. Walker. Second were H. Kadir and P. Claasens on 47 points. On Saturday Maritzburg Golf Club played an Individual Stableford with hidden partners. In first place of the individual was U. Vosloo on 45 points with second place going to D. Gregory on 42 points. The hidden partners were won by G. Sithole and A. Toth with 80 points. Second­ place went to D. Griffiths and U. Vosloo on 76 points. From the 19th hole:

Three old golfers, Sam, Harry and Fred, were sitting together after their weekly game of golf. These are some of the things they were overheard saying to each other:

Sam: “Have you heard about the blonde who thought that Doris Day was a national holiday?”

Harry: “Genitalia is not the national­ airline of Italy”.

Fred: “It’s been a rough day, I got up this morning, put on a shirt and a button fell off. I picked up my golf bag and the handle fell off. I’m afraid to go to the toilet.”

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