Tuesday 22, Nov 2022 by the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association
For the second time in 10 months the crew at Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane are in tournament mode with the 2022 Queensland PGA Championship teeing off on Thursday last week. It was back in January when the new-look 36-hole Nudgee facility hosted the tournament for the first time, with the redeveloped Kurrai Course entertaining the field as the final grow-in of the adjacent Bulka Course progressed around them. With the second 18 now completed, superintendent Peter Culross, assistant superintendent Scott McComas and the crew have been able to focus all their attention on the tournament and the surfaces they have presented this week have certainly delivered a good test so far.
“It’s hard to believe we’re 10 months on and back hosting it again, but thankfully COVID isn’t playing its part like it did last time,” says McComas, who on the eve of the January event was struck down with COVID and had to miss the tournament. “It’s great to have the players back here again now that the 36-hole reconstruction has finally finished. Hosting the tournament is a perfect way to show off to the golfing world what’s happened here at Nudgee Golf Club over the past three years.”
Like other golf courses across Australia’s eastern seaboard, it has been a wet year at Nudgee, highlighted by the floods back in late February and early March. The course is currently sitting on 1690mm for the year and, while not as much as some courses, it has nonetheless been in the backs of the crew’s minds coming into the tournament. Thankfully the weather gods have delivered this week which has enabled the crew to dial in the course nicely.
Preparations the week prior to the tournament consisted of a light groom, dusting and applications of fungicide, fertiliser, growth regulator and wetting agent on the TifEagle greens. With wind gusts around 50kph consistently, high points on the surrounds and greens were closely monitored with moisture probes and pellet guns used when required. Bunkers were also a key focus in the lead-up, with the crew moving sand, adding fresh sand, edging, weeding and brooming. All tees and fairways received NFE and PGR.
Last Sunday afternoon saw the Nudgee crew out in full force to have a first run through of tournament prep, with all greens, tees, approaches, fairways and final cuts of rough carried out. Bunkers were given a blow, final trim, broomed, flat raked and wetted down, while greens moisture levels were checked and high points on greens and surrounds watered.
This week has mostly seen 4am starts with the exception of a 3.30am start Tuesday ahead of a 7.30am shotgun start for the first of two Pro-Ams. Monday and Tuesday saw the greens cut and rolled, followed by single cuts Wednesday, Thursday and today. That will likely be the regime for the final two rounds over the weekend, with winds expected to increase tomorrow and the potential for 40kph gusts. Championship tees have been mown daily, while approaches and fairways were mown on alternate days leading into the weekend.
“It has been a great week so far and a huge thanks must go to the Nudgee greenkeeping staff and volunteers,” says McComas. “We’ve had Brookwater assistant superintendent Taylor Wills and Andrew Kelso helping out, as well as former Nudgee staff member Elliot Davis who is now at Marist College, Ashgrove. Greenway Turf Solutions and Adama have kept the crew well fed with BBQ breakfasts which has been very much appreciated.”
The ASTMA congratulates Peter, Scott and the Nudgee tournament crew on their efforts to date. Photos: Scott McComas