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Archive for the ‘Golf Course Superintendents’ Category

Tanam Semula

Posted by mynormas on March 9, 2018

Pada Selasa 27 Februari 2018, Persatuan Superintenden Padang Golf Malaysia atau GCSAM telah mengadakan lawatan ke padang golf TPC KL yang sedang melakukan penambahbaikan dan penggantian rumput di salah satu 18-lubang mereka. Briefing telah dilakukan oleh En. Mohd Nizam Othman CGCS (Certified Golf Course Superintendent). Acara itu dihadir hampir 45 orang ahli persatuan.

CGCS detail

En. Nizam telah menerangkan proses pemilihan pasir yang sesuai mengikut piawaian USGA untuk pembinaan sebuah green. Ia adalah proses yang sukar, bukan sahaja kerana USGA membuat piawaian yang ketat, tetapi kerana kebanyakan pembekal pasir di Malaysia kurang biasa dengan piawaian tersebut. Maka mencari sumber pasir yang menepati nya adalah susah.

Nizam on green

En. Nizam Othman CGCS sedang menerangkan proses penanaman green.

En. Nizam bernasib baik kerana pasir dari green lama beliau menepati piawaian USGA itu maka beliau boleh menggunakan semula pasir itu.

Manakala untuk beberapa green yang ditambah besarkan saiznya, beliau akan menggunakan pasir dari dua green latihan (practice green) dan pasir untuk green latihan beliau akan beli baru.

Setelah diuji di makmal di New York, Amerika Syarikat, pasir yang digunakan tidak memerlukan apa apa lagi penambahan kepada zon akar (root zone).

Rumput beliau adalah dari spesis Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon) var Tifeagle yang diimport dari Tifton, sebuah daerah (county) di negeri Georgia, Amerika Syarikat. Untuk pengetahuan, semua rumput yang berasal dari daerah itu akan bermula dengan ‘Tif’ seperti Tiffine, Tiflawn, Tifgreen, Tifway, Tifdwarf, Tifeagle dan sebagainya.

Map of Tifton

Rumput akan diimport menggunakan kontena yang disejukkan hingga rumput di bawa masuk. Rumput diimport masuk tanpa tanah kerana pengimportan tanah melintas sempadan negara adalah isu besar. Malah membawa masuk rumput juga memerlukan banyak kerenah birokrasi untuk mempastikan segala tumbuhan yang dibawa masuk ke negara ini tidak membawa masuk masalah baru.

Sebelum menanam (sebenarnya, sebelum rumput sampai pun) rumput lama di atas gree diracun tiga kali sebelum ia dikorek keluar dari green lama dan dibuang sekali dengan thatch diatas pasir. Setelah pasir di atas green dibajak untuk melonggarkannya, baja permulaan akan ditabur ke atasnya.

Rumput baru akan ditabur kemudian ditekan masuk ke dalam pasir. Ini kemudian ditutup dengan plastik teduhan dan disiram setiap 30 minit supaya stolon kekal basah. Waktu penyiraman akan ditentukan oleh cuaca dan keadaan akar pada stolon dan beberapa faktor lain.

green kat TPC KL

Green yang baru di tanam dengan stolon.

Hanya setakat itu keadaan di green setakat ini. Kita tunggu perkembangan selanjutnya.

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Posted in Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Padang Golf | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Air Keluar; sumbat

Posted by mynormas on February 5, 2018

Kadang-kadang kita rasa kita pasang longkang subtanah dalam keadaan hampir sempurna tapi air tak keluar; kenapa? Kerana walaupun longkang subtanah tu boleh dikatakan ‘perfect’ tetapi air tidak sampai kepada/ke dalamnya.

Ramai orang lupa bahawa ada dua jenis saliran; satu ialah sistem saliran dalam bentuk longkang terbuka atau longkang subtanah ataupun aliran permukaan; kedua ialah saliran pada tanah itu sendiri yang akan menentukan samada air turun ke longkang subtanah atau mengalir ke luar (untuk aliran permukaan) atau mengalir ke longkang terbuka.

Ada dua cara air akan masuk ke longkang subtanah; pertama ialah dengan aliran tembus tanah dan kedua ialah melalui lubang terbuka yang dipanggil ‘sump’.

Ada empat masalah yang selalu saya jumpa yang menghalang air dari masuk ke longkang subtanah dalam konteks ini:

  1. Sump yang tidak dibela atau – percaya atau tidak – terlalu ‘dibela’. Maksud saya ialah sump yang dibiar rumput tumbuh sampai menutup sump atau sump yang diracun keliling nya selalu hinggakan tiada lagi akar memegang tanah dan akhirnya ia runtuh ke dalam sump.

    sump sumbat

    Ini contoh yang tidak teruk. Yang lebih teruk pun ada.

  2. Penggunaan tanah ‘topsoil’ yang sebenarnya ialah tanah liat atau jenis pasir halus yang akan berhijrah ke dalam batu kerikil subsoil ATAU menyumbat kain geotextile (jika ada). Kita pernah bincang tentang ini dulu.

    sand particle+topsoil

    Selapis ‘topsoil’ yg mempunyai saiz partikel yg halus, di letak atas pasir. Tak lama, partikel halus akan ‘migrate’ ke bawah dan sumbat aliran air. Dalam ‘topsoil’ itu juga mempunyai benih rumpai.

  3. Perbuatan menggelek yang keterlaluan yang menyimen tanah di permukaan atas padang dan menghalang air turun ke bawah.

    roll atas subsoil

    Ini belum cerita padang yang di roll tiap tiap hari/minggu.

Untuk pengetahuan pembaca, sewaktu pembinaan green di padang golf, selepas kami letak lapisan batu kerikil dan pasir (kami tak guna topsoil) mesin besar tidak lagi dibenarkan masuk. Paling tidak pun hanya SkidSteer kecil (seperti Bobcat) saja yang dibenarkan naik. Saya pernah nampak sebuah backhoe loader naik atas green sewaktu pembinaan; keesokkannya, green itu kami bongkar semula. Jangan jadi Ratu Gelek. Ada orang yang ketagih gelek padang, macam nak jadi Raja Gelek.

4. Tidak melakukan pengudaraan tanah. Padang lama juga akan mengalami masalah dimana bahan organik yang terdiri dari rumput yang dipotong atau rumput yang mati (secara semulajadi) akan menjadi lapisan atas tanah. Pembajaan menggunakan baja tinggi nitrogen (contohnya urea) akan memburukkan lagi keadaan ini. Sekali sekala – setahun sekali ataupun sebulan sekali – kita perlu melakukan kerja kerja pengudaraan yang akan membawa udara masuk untuk bakteria/kulat/dll untuk menguraikan bahan organik ini selain dari membantu air masuk ke bawah dan pada waktu panas; untuk air evaporate (melowap?) ke udara.

thatch plus mat close-up

Ini thatch di sebuah padang yang dibina atas pasir; pasir tidak dapat berfungsi untuk membawa turun air kerana kebanyakan air berada di dalam lapisan thatch.

Pengudaraan padang

Hubungi saya jika anda perlukan padang anda dilakukan pengudaraan tanah. Call O3-5I3I OO66 atau email ke mynormasATconsultant.com AT=@

Pada artikel yang lepas, kita telah membincangkan tentang bagaimana penyalahgunaan Geotextile ialah salah satu sebab paip subtanah kurang efektif dalam ‘Air Keluar Sikit‘ dan juga cadangan untuk memasang longkang subtanah yang baik dalam ‘Air Keluar Cepat‘.

Kesimpulan: buat lah longkang subtanah tapi berilah peluang untuk air masuk ke dalamnya.

Maintaining this Website. Sumbangan.

Saya menyumbang ilmu secara ikhlas melalui laman web ini. Tetapi pengendalian laman web ini perlukan wang. Sedikit sumbangan anda amat membantu. Anda mendapat manafaat dari laman web ini? Sumbangan bermula dari $2. Jangan lupa ‘Like’ artikel ini; ‘Follow’ laman web ini dan klik mana mana iklan di page ini. This website is maintained and managed with my own money. I’ve done my best to not allow advertisement on this site so far so that I can be independent. I’m going to start to ask for donations and see if I can get enough to sustain it that way. Donations start from $2.

$2.00

Posted in Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Padang, Padang Bola, Padang Golf, stadium | 1 Comment »

Know little little.

Posted by mynormas on January 29, 2018

false knowledge danger

Sometimes when I talk to people-in-charge, this thought comes to mind: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

You know who originally said that? I didn’t, so I did some research and found that it was actually part of a poem by Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) but the exact word he used was ‘learning’ and not ‘knowledge’ but after a hundred or so years later, commentators were substituting it so often that everyone took for granted the original saying was ‘knowledge’.

Whatever the word was, what is implied by the sentence is that some people are so overconfident of their knowledge that they make bad conclusions. They talk based on what they know without considering what they don’t know.

They may have done something similar or worse – heard of someone doing something similar – and they assume that that knowledge covers it all. It is the end all and be all of the situation.

So, when they encounter the same situation again, they assume they know everything there is to know and apply the same solution. Which may happen to be the correct solution too, mind you and this perpetuates their assumption that they know everything there is to know.

But sometimes, they are not completely right and they don’t know why. And sometimes they know enough to break (or kill) something but not understand enough to fix it. Trouble is, when they broke it; they still have not learnt that there is more to be learnt.

Hey… I am guilty of it too. I am not a plant pathologist or an entomologist so I don’t know enough about how a fungicide or an insecticide works; I just know enough to apply and control the problems that I see. But sometimes my clients or my staff needs to see my confidence and therefore I play the part while researching for more info.

The difference is that I am mindful that I DON’T KNOW it all; that I know I can and should look it up or ask others for more info. As Lao Tzu says “To know yet to think that one does not know is best”.

To know more about pesticides I went to the Agriculture Department to learn more and found out that there is an exam for Pesticide Applicator’s Licence. No classes; they just give you a book, you study it and sit for an exam. I met someone who has sat for the exam three times and failed. I passed. I always thought that meant I had the licence until I saw the small print on the exam slip that says “This is not the licence”. Have you ever tried calling or emailing a government agency? I gave up on the licence but at least I have bragging rights on passing the exam.

The difficulty is when the person-in-charge, imbued by his confidence gives an order that may make things worse or just are not relevant at all to the situation. If it doesn’t work; he blames it on the implementer or the equipment. Never was it about him, his order or his knowledge.

That is not the worst part yet. There are two more worse kinds of people.

One is the guy (have yet to meet a lady like that) who is so super-confident and will not listen to others – at all. I find it hard to deal with them especially when they are in a high position to give orders. Reminds me of the Peter Principle; when someone is promoted and promoted until he reaches uh… beyond his maximum level. I am usually brought in to have a word with him; over lunch or drinks (he wouldn’t hire a consultant of course; its soooo easy to maintain a golf course).

Two is the guy who know enough to use his knowledge to mislead others. I once met a golf course owner who insisted on using a fertiliser I rarely find. I asked him “Why?” and he told me it was sold by a friend. When I met the supplier and asked him about it he told me – with a giggle – “I have too much of it in stock”.

I have this feeling that I may not get my message across because I dare not use titles or positions like GMs or Committee Chairman or golf pros or members or bosses but I suppose that will have to do, I wouldn’t want to offend anyone.

A little learning is a dangerous thing
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain
And drinking largely sobers us again.

Alexander Pope
An Essay on Criticism 1709.

Alright. I believe what Mr Pope is trying to say here is that learning only a little may give us a sense that we know so much but after learning more of it, we will realise that there is a lot more that we don’t know.

I pray to God that I belong to the second group.

Posted in Golf club, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents | Leave a Comment »

Air Keluar Sikit

Posted by mynormas on January 15, 2018

Sewaktu saya mula mula bekerja di padang golf pada tahun 1993 sebagai seorang Pembantu Superintenden bekerja di bawah seorang warga Australia, antara tugas pertama saya ialah mengorek semula longkang longkang subtanah di seluruh bunker, fairway dan rough dan membuang kain geotextile yang dibalut dikeliling paip saliran.

Saya mengambil masa hampir setahun juga (kerja lain masih perlu dibuat) untuk siap  semua 18 lubang. Kenapa kami buat begitu? Meskipun padang golf itu dibina di atas satu kaki pasir dan pada setiap 30 meter terdapat longkang subtanah besar untuk membawa air keluar dari padang tetapi hampir seluruh fairway dan rough padang itu menakung air.

Ada lubang par 4 yang saya gelar nya sebagai par 2 kerana yang boleh digunakan hanyalah tee dan green; yang lain menakung air. Seorang Sultan (kini almarhum) telah menggunakan buggy untuk masuk ke dalam fairway dan buggynya terpaksa ditolak keluar beberapa orang pembantu kerana terbenam ke dalam fairway.

Saya ditugaskan untuk menanda kawasan GUR di fairway yang menakung air dan kawasan tersebut sangat lah besar sampai kan saya tak jumpa hujung kawasan yang saya tanda.

Salah satu puncanya ialah kain geotextile yang telah dibalut di keliling paip saliran telah penuh dengan selut dan tidak lagi membenarkan air masuk kedalam paip untuk di salirkan keluar padang. Maka bila padang telah tepu air, air akan naik ke permukaan. Untuk makluman, padang itu direka untuk rata (flat) maka aliran permukaan juga amat minima.

Saya tergeletek bila hampir 20 tahun kemudian bila saya melibatkan diri dengan padang bola sepak, saya dapati hampir semua sistem saliran menggunakan kain geotextile.

Jangan salah faham, bukan penggunaan geotextile itu salah. Tetapi, pada pandangan saya, sikap ‘copy paste’ tanpa selidik menyebabkan beberapa kesilapan teknik.

  1. Menganggap bahawa paip saliran itu lah longkang dan membalut paip untuk menahan selut.
  2. menggunakan kain geotextile bersama sama dengan lapisan ‘topsoil’ yang terdiri dari tanah selut atau tanah liat halus yang berhijrah ke bawah dan ke sistem saliran serta menyumbat kain geotextile tersebut.

Saya sendiri, sejak tahun 1993, menggunakan kain geotextile untuk longkang subtanah hanya sekali dengan rela (kadang kadang spec dalam BQ suruh guna maka saya guna tanpa rela) iaitu di satu lubang di padang golf saya yang terletak di tempat di mana tailing iaitu sisa perlombongan dibuang.

Ya Allah. Tanahnya rasa macam padat tetapi bila kita korek longkang subtanah 1 kaki x 1 kaki, tak sampai 10 kaki kita korek, longkang permulaan korek sana dah mula roboh. Ia sangat tidak stabil. Jika saya guna batu agregat di dalam longkang saya, tailing itu akan masuk ke celah celah batu agregat dan menyumbatnya.

Maka apa saya buat ialah saya balut KESELURUHAN LONGKANG SUBTANAH dengan kain geotextile kecuali bahagian atasnya. Maka kini tailing tidak boleh masuk ke dalam SISTEM saliran saya. Air boleh masuk dari atas.

Geotextile around subsoil

Geotextile di keliling longkang BUKAN di keliling paip. Tapi sebenarnya saya lebih suka bahagian atas TIADA balutan.

Jika saya balut hanya paip, tailing akan sumbat batu agregate kemudian kain geotextile dan air tidak boleh masuk ke dalam paip. 

Nampak tak perbezaan nya? Saya balut seluruh longkang; orang lain balut paip sahaja. 

geotextile subsoil (4)

Kain geotextile keliling paip; akan tersumbat di jangkamasa panjang. Jangkamasa pendek; ia akan melambatkan pergerakan air masuk ke dalam paip dan seterusnya keluar dari padang.

Di longkang subtanah lain, saya tidak menggunakan kain geotextile dengan rela. Malah di beberapa projek, saya korek dan koyakkan kain geotextile yang dibalut di keliling paip.

Kalau tak sumbat pun, kain geotextile akan melambatkan air masuk ke dalam paip sedangkan kita mahu air bergerak pantas keluar dari padang. Kalau tidak, kita kena tambah bilangan paip.

Baiklah, itu satu prinsip. Prinsip kedua dalam pemasangan longkang subtanah yang saya amalkan ialah longkang saya perlu membawa air keluar secepat mungkin supaya ia tidak mengumpul keladak.

Bagaimana? Menggunakan kecondongan paip dan juga mengamalkan kelurusan pemasangan. Kita sambung dalam posting akan datang.

Maintaining this Website. Sumbangan.

Saya menyumbang ilmu secara ikhlas melalui laman web ini. Tetapi pengendalian laman web ini perlukan wang. Sedikit sumbangan anda amat membantu. Anda mendapat manafaat dari laman web ini? Sumbangan bermula dari $2. Jangan lupa ‘Like’ artikel ini; ‘Follow’ laman web ini dan klik mana mana iklan di page ini. This website is maintained and managed with my own money. I’ve done my best to not allow advertisement on this site so far so that I can be independent. I’m going to start to ask for donations and see if I can get enough to sustain it that way. Donations start from $2.

$2.00

Posted in Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Landscape, Maintenance, Padang, Padang Bola, stadium | 2 Comments »

The Price of Good

Posted by mynormas on December 27, 2017

So… it has been five or was it six. years since I started this consultancy thing. And yet I still get the “There is such a job as a GRASS consultant?” look and question. Even on a TV morning show once. Yes there is and he is doing pretty well too.

I’m lucky I’ve got a good and comfortable car. This car has been driven over 320,000 kilometers now (for you Americans, Liberians and Myanmarese; that is 200,000 miles) to clients almost all over the peninsular of Malaysia.

skoda odometer cameron

The odometer of my Skoda

That’s right, I’ve been to the far edges of the country vising golf courses. Come to think of it, I’ve actually straddled the border with two other countries on Malaysian golf courses built at borders.

I’ve been to golf courses that really need my help and I’ve been to golf courses that think they don’t need my help. I use the word ‘think’ because some one at the club management level invited me over because he thinks I am needed but the person-in-charge doesn’t agree  so ends up I’ll be there with an uninterested superintendent/supervisor/manager or he won’t even be there at all. I have been standing in a field with the management but the superintendent is  ‘too busy’ or on ’emergency leave’ or untraceable “He WAS here this morning”. Then the face of the management who invited me will change colour.

Of course those were the days when I first started and I offered help for free or ‘pro-bono’ as the intellectuals call it. Nowadays I don’t do free and in fact I charge a hefty fee so I get to meet the big bosses wherever I go. I find that people pay more attention when they have to pay more money. One busy boss insisted I do a presentation to him the day after my visit. So I’ll do a PowerPoint presentation that night in a hotel to present to him the following day. It started out as a six-month contract but I ended up consulting for the club for almost 30 months.

Since 2016, I have been doing football fields and landscaping too. And I’ve gone further with this. There is a lot more competition in the pricing war but in the quality battle; I usually win.  Pity most decisions are made based on pricing but when they want quality, I get it delivered. So when do I get jobs? When the shit has hit the fan. Examples are (let me know if any of them rings your bell):

  • When the tournament is a few weeks away and and the field is wet or the greens are slow.
  • When the VVVIP is visiting next month and the grass is not green enough (they’re actually red; no kidding).
  • When they have spent thousands or even millions and they didn’t get what they were expecting.
  • When they need to open for play and the field/course is not ready to open.
  • When no other consultant has the right idea (coz they need more money!) to do it. I actually turned down a project three times but they keep coming back to me.

Achievement 1

In 2017 I’ve been to a place in the middle of nowhere, to see if the hard-core golfers there could build a golf course. I’ve been to a high-security clearance place where my bags were x-rayed like what you see in the airports and all five fingers were scanned every time I entered and left the compound, where I had to consent to background checks for me and my wife. I have met, spoken, discussed with royalty about grasses. Not bad for a ‘grass guy’.

I’ve been to a lot of places and achieved a lot in 2017. And my services have helped quite a lot of people all this while. I think in 2018, I deserve to treat myself to a raise.

If you happen to fall into one of the categories above, do give me a call at O3-5I3I-OO66 (and please let it ring for a long time)  or write to me at mynormasATconsultant.com.

Achievements 2

Posted in Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Padang, Padang Bola, Padang Golf | Leave a Comment »

Zoysia Greens

Posted by mynormas on August 3, 2017

There are many more Zoysia greens in Malaysia than I know. I’m not sure if that sound right; like, why should I be expected to know everything about Malaysian greens right?

But the thing is identifying grass is not easy and many grasses on greens or fairways have been misidentified and eventually, a different (read: wrong) approach to maintenance was employed.

One golf course insisted they had Tifdwarf on their greens and it took about 11 PowerPoint slides of their grass side by side with Tifdwarf and Zoysia cultivars from various golf courses to convince them that it actually is Zoysia. The fact that many fertiliser and machinery suppliers have also said the same thing before me helped too.

I wonder how many more clubs that actually have Zoysia on their greens but does not recognise it or are in denial? There was this one club who continues to try replant the Zoysia on their greens with Tifdwarf. I told them that Zoysia is a lot more robust than Tifdwarf and that “Resistance is futile”. He persisted and planted almost 20 hole-cutter-sized Tifdwarf sods on the Zoysia ‘colony’ of the greens. When I came back a month or two later, the Zoysia had overwhelmed the Tifdwarf sods and colonised even more of the green.

I admit it is hard to identify Zoysia because it can be almost the same as Serangoon except the leaf blades are harder to the touch.

Here’s a combo picture of four golf courses in Malaysia with Zoysia greens. Until I stitched this combo picture, I didn’t realise that the Zoysias could look so different. The two top ones had smaller leaf blades compared to the two bottom courses. The difference is that the two top courses bought their Zoysia from nurseries and planted the Zoysia on their greens while the two bottom clubs had their greens invaded by Zoysia over the years. What is surprising though is that only one club had Zoysia fairways while the other had Cowgrass fairways; so where did the Zoysia come from? It is a mystery to the superintendent too but then to be fair, he was barely three months there when I met him.

Comparison Zoysia

The names at the bottom of the pictures are the Malaysian states where the clubs are located.

How are the greens’ performance? Quite good compared to greens of other grasses located nearby. They’re not as fast, but in some instances, they’re not as dead either.

One superintendent says that his Zoysia greens can give him speeds of up to 9 feet. I measured the one in Sarawak at 8 feet with no recent rolling or double mowing and they were using ordinary agriculture fertiliser too (which I thought was danged impressive) while one other club thinks it is around 7… or 6.

“Can I borrow your Stimpmeter?” I said, wanting to be sure of the speed.

“No”

“Do you have a Stimpmeter?”

“No, that’s why I can’t lend you mine”

“Do you know what a Stimpmeter is?”

“No, that’s why I don’t have one”

I started to open my mouth to  say something else but then thought better of it, I mean, with such impeccable logic, there really is no point in asking further.

Zoysia grass do have a place on greens; after all, rather than spending a large sum of money trying to maintain a grass that just doesn’t want to grow on your greens, might as well grow the grass that volunteers to be there, sometimes on its own accord.

Many years ago I was visiting a club that was in the process of renovating their course and I noticed that the pin was set on a patch of light green grass on dying greens. I knew that Zoysia can tolerate a high salinity irrigation water better than other grass and because this particular course is in a coastal area, reminded the officer taking me round to test the water of the irrigation pond. Why? Because then it will be easier to choose the grass that is suited for the renovation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Had to find a picture where a poor green (and the visitor) can be anonymous…

So, if you do have Zoysia on greens, don’t be shy about it. The greens can be good greens and you can turn it into a marketing attraction too (thats what I told one club but I think they are going to renovate their course with another type of grass anyway).

Zoysia on greens? Manage it and be proud of it is what I’m saying.

Posted in Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Landscape, Padang Golf | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Kesian Rumput

Posted by mynormas on February 23, 2017

Meracun terlalu besar dan tidak sama rata.

Meracun terlalu besar dan tidak sama rata.

Pernahkan anda melihat orang menggunakan racun untuk rumput yang tumbuh pinggir jalan? Atau di tebing longkang? Saya selalu lihat ini dan saya akan tertanya: siapakah yang kurang pandai di sini? Orang yang tanam atau orang yang meracun? Dah tanam lepas tu racun: itu kerja kurang pandai. Apa pun alasan, kalau ia tidak dilakukan dengan pengawasan ataupun pemikiran; ia memburukkan pemandangan.

Saya faham, memotong tebing atau ‘edging’ adalah kerja rumit dan memerlukan kesabaran. Ada orang guna mesin sandang dan ada orang guna cangkul. Saya pernah tengok orang guna scraper untuk buat kerja edging ini.

Kenapa mesti bersusah payah? Kerana sama seperti kaum lelaki yang baru lepas gunting rambut; tebing atau edge yang dipotong kemas memberi gambaran kekemasan kepada suatu kawasan rumput.Beberapa tahun dahulu seorang rakan sekerja pernah memberitahu saya yang pemain golf berkata mereka dapati padang golf saya adalah sangat kemas dari biasa dan mereka tidak tahu kenapa. Saya tahu; tahun itu adalah tahun pertama saya melakukan kerja-kerja trimming tepi jalan.

brushcutter-path-edge-002-2

Nampak kemas, kan?

Saya tidak faham bila saya lihat di tempat lain, orang lebih gemar menggunakan racun untuk mengawal rumput di tepi jalan. Kalau buat dengan berhati-hati mungkin ia boleh di terima, tetapi selalu, ia dibuat ala kadar  dengan semburan yang besar dan tidak sama rata. Selain dari tidak cantik, masalah weed sucession juga akan timbul jika racun yang sama digunakan setiap bulan.

Kesian rumput. Baik tak payah tanam kalau nak di racun.

Kesian rumput. Baik tak payah tanam kalau nak di racun.

 

pgr-primo-comparisonSelain dari menggunakan racun, saya mencadangkan penggunaan pembantut pertumbuhan rumput atau kalau mengikut DBP – regulator pertumbuhan yang akan melambatkan pertumbuhan. Ia perlu di ulang sembur tetapi begitu juga dengan racun. Kesan sampingannya ialah rumput akan tumbuh lebih padat kerana ruas atau nod nya semakin rapat. Jika anda ingin maklumat lebih lanjut (dan nak tahu apa orang putih kata) Google ‘Plant Growth regulator for turf grass’ atau hubungi pembekal anda.

Saya pernah menggunakan PGR jenama Primo pada kadar 6ml untuk satu knapsack kerana kekurangan pekerja untuk menjaga kekemasan tepi jalan saya. Tentunya saya lakukan ujian dahulu untuk mempastikan jumlah itu tidak terlalu tinggi atau rendah untuk rumput spesis itu.

Posted in Fields, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Landscape, Lanskap, Maintenance, Padang, Padang Bola, Padang Golf, Rumput halaman rumah, Rumput secara am, stadium, Taman | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Racun; membunuh

Posted by mynormas on November 23, 2016

Kebanyakan racun yang digunakan di padang golf adalah untuk membunuh makhluk perosak. Tetapi jika salah bancuh dan salah sembur, racun yang sama boleh membahayakan rumput, tukang sembur dan pengguna padang (pemain/penonton). Sementara itu, salah bancuh dan salah sembur juga boleh membazir masa, racun, tenaga dan menyebabkan kelalian atau imuniti makhluk perosak (serangga/kulat) kepada racun yang digunakan. Ramai orang tidak sangka penjagaan padang yang profesional perlukan pengetahuan matematik untuk beberapa kiraan; salah satunya ialah untuk mengira jumlah racun yang perlu di sembur.

bad-spray-rough

Salah satu nozel semburan itu terlebih racun.

Berapa banyak padang yang menggunakan alat penyemmbur racun tetapi tidak pernah kalibrasi alat mereka? Adakah mereka membunuh, membazir atau melalikan?

Di sini saya sertakan slaid yang boleh digunakan untuk kalibrasi alat penyembur. Sebagai bonus, dalam slaid itu jug termasuk tips untuk penyediaan alat tersebut sebelum penyemburan. Ia adalah sebahagian dari kursus penjagaan padang yang saya lakukan.

Kita perlu amalkan penggunaan racun yang berhemah dan lebih bertanggungjawab, terutama di musim hujan.

Amat malang sekali bila kebanyakan padang di Malaysian hanya menggunakan pekerja asing tanpa latihan dan tanpa peralatan keselamatan untuk penyemburan racun yang berpotensi sangat merbahaya.

Di kebanyakan padang di Malaysia, pembekal akan latih pekerja, pekerja itu akan latih pekerja lain, yang kemudian akan latih pekerja baru, yang akan latih pekerja baru turun kapalterbang minggu lepas dan seterusnya bertahun-tahun kemudian.

 

 

 

Posted in Fields, Golf club, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Greens, Landscape, Lanskap, Padang, Padang Bola, Padang Golf, Rumput halaman rumah | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Teluk Intan Golf &CC

Posted by mynormas on November 8, 2016

The town of Teluk Intan is situated about 170km northwest of Kuala Lumpur. It doesn’t sound very far but it is actually 50km away from the North-South Expressway and you have to drive along a rural road flanked by oil palm plantations. Yet about 20 minutes away from this town, lies a golf club. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been asked “There’s a golf club in Teluk Intan?” when I mention the club. Its actually a good club; simple design, flat fairways, decent greens, cheap fees and few golfers.Truth be told, I was their consultant for about three years. I avoid talking about my clients because I think of it as a client privilege that I don’t talk about it, but we’ve mutually parted ways and I feel that I just had to write about this golf club.

map-tigcc-far

Gives meaning to the phrase ‘in the middle of nowhere’ right? Be the first of your friends, or rather, be the first WITH your friends to try the course and the town. To you non-Malaysians, I just want to point out that that’s the Malacca Straits on the left.

First, lets talk about Teluk Intan town itself. Legend has it the original name of the place was Teluk Mak Intan; ‘Teluk’ is the Malay word for bay and ‘Mak Intan’ is said to be the name of a beautiful lady who happens to be the daughter of a prominent business man based there (it wasn’t a town yet back then). Other sources (Wikipedia) says that she was a prominent business woman herself.

When the British colonialists came to the area, they decided it was a good place to set up a port to transport all the tin mined from the surrounding areas so they built a railway line (now defunct), a port (ditto),  a town (still there) and presumably a golf course (not immediately but one was built eventually).

The then-Resident of Perak, Sir Hugh Low in 1874 wanted to give the place an administrative status and it became a town. Probably some ambitious lower-rank bureaucrat finds it difficult to pronounce ‘Mak Intan’ (Hugh Low himself was said to pronounce it as ‘Malunting’) and/or thinks it wise to stroke the ego of the then acting-governor of the Straits Settlement, Sir General Archibald Anson and renamed it as Teluk Anson in 1882. Gee, I wish I had creative (read: ass-kissing) subordinates like that. It wasn’t till 1982 when the then Sultan of Perak, DYMM Almarhum Sultan Idris II changed the name back to Teluk Intan.

The golf club was originally in the Teluk Intan town itself but in the 1990s the local authority offered the club members a bigger piece of land enough for 18 holes in exchange for the 9-hole club and clubhouse in town. The local authority actually owned the land so I don’t think the members had much choice anyway. The local authority still owned the new club and they found it more efficient to lease the club to an operator.

The new course was what one would call a flat course, mainly because it was built on a flat piece of land with no hills whatsoever that they can use to shape the course. It was also close enough to the river that flows to the sea that it had a high water-table that limits any digging to shape the course too. The green was… different and what I mean by that is that it is different from most clubs and different from one green to the other too. But hey… as I said earlier, the greens were more decent than a few Klang Valley golf clubs I’ve seen so let’s not make too big a deal about that.

Its quite a ‘lonely club’ in the sense that if you look at it from the air, all you see surrounding it are oil palm plantations. Here’s a picture of it at night. The picture in the daytime is a little bit crowded with clouds.teluk-intan-google-earth-lonely-club

I suppose originally it was maintained with a complete fleet of machinery but like many golf clubs in Malaysia, no plans were made with regard to long-term machinery replacement and they keep losing machines. On top of that, they also lose workers and after that, golfers; when the novelty of a new golf club and in fact, the novelty of golf wore out. Fewer and fewer golfers came by until one day some KL golfers forgot there was a golf club in Teluk Intan.

A few years back, one of the original investor in the operating company left and the remaining investor, a self-made rags-to-riches guy decided to take positive steps to rebrand or renew the club. I was engaged for a one-year period and a hefty sum of money was forked out to purchase new machinery.

A year later there were obvious improvements and even the local council praised the changes at the club. Of course this is all comparative, either in terms of current condition compared to its condition in previous years and to other clubs in the area. I was asked to stay on as consultant for two more years after that. I guess you could say I was the de facto superintendent.

More importantly this, this is a case of a little club that tried. It wanted to improve and it did its best to improve. It would be a shame if golfers continue to ignore it. The operator, the owner, the committee and the staff worked hard to improve it with limited resources. I’ve seen urban clubs with better resources, experienced staff and educated superintendents that don’t give a hoot about course conditions, preferring to play the victim game and blame the weather, the budget, the construction, the boss, the committee, the grass, the previous superintendent; anyone but themselves.

Teluk Intan G&CC is the only long-term client that insists I do a presentation at a meeting to their biggest boss every month, where he will then question the superintendent and club manager. Other clubs make do with a written report that usually go unread or perhaps misunderstood (except perhaps by the superintendent who sometimes ignore it). There is also another exception to this; one club who insisted on written reports and whose superintendent was being targeted for early retirement went through my reports with a magnifying glass, accusing the superintendent of NOT implementing my recommendations. He was – diligently. Which resulted in his greenspeed increasing from an average of about 7’6″ to 9′ plus (one green had a reading of 11′ +) in two months WITHOUT reducing their cutting height. Don’t get mixed up: this is not Teluk Intan G&CC I’m talking about: this other club’s superintendent’s job is now safe; mine wasn’t; my contract wasn’t renewed and seven months later, this club up north close to the border of Thailand (are you reading this?) still haven’t paid me my fees yet. Teluk Intan pays me regularly.

In Teluk Intan G&CC, the green fee is cheap, the fairways are nice, the greens are small, the bunkers are shallow and the design is what I would describe as ‘Highway’ type of design, y’know, the kind where bunkers are in the rough and the fairways are like roads leading to the green. The cost of hotel and food in Teluk Intan is pretty low too.

It is perfect for new golfers or hackers or for those who like to play without pressure of other golfers, without feeling being cheated by high green fees with bad greens or just to have fun playing on a totally different course. I know your home club is good, but how many times can you play the same course over and over again?

Should the temptation of ‘cheating’ on your club arise, call Teluk Intan Golf and Country Club at: 016-417 2661 and speak to Khairul Anuar, he’s the friendly Club Manager or just go to their website for more details. While you are there, don’t forget to visit the leaning tower of Teluk Intan and other attractions too and do stuff.

 

Posted in Golf club, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents | Leave a Comment »

Tukang Kebun Glamour

Posted by mynormas on October 20, 2016

23 tahun selepas saya memulakan kerjaya dalam bidang penjagaan rumput di Malaysia, saya masih lagi menerima soalan: “Ada kerja macam ni??”. Jadi saya rasa teruja dan seronok bila berpeluang bersama-sama dengan orang orang yang mempunyai kerjaya yang sama, dari serata dunia di Bukit Kiara di seminar anjuran GCSAM/AGIF. Kehadiran saya ke seminar tersebut telah di taja oleh GulfRich Corp. Terima kasih.

Khemah syarikat yang menunjukkan mesin baru mereka.

Khemah syarikat yang menunjukkan mesin baru mereka.

Perkembangan terkini bidang penjagaan rumput telah berkembang pesat berbanding dengan apa yang saya lalui 20 tahun lalu. Kini terdapat mesin pemotong rumput besar (mempunyai lima unit pisau pemotong atau dipanggil 5-gang mowers) jenis hybrid yang kelima-lima unit pisau pemotong nya di putar menggunakan motor elektrik dan juga mampu menyalurkan tenaga elektrik ke putaran tayar dan mampu menaikkan kekuatan keseluruhan mesin, di bantu dengan sebuah enjin Kubota 25 kuasa-kuda, kepada sekuat 40 kuasa-kuda.

Saya juga tertarik kepada mesin pemotong yang mempunyai pisau jenis reel yang boleh di laraskan kekerapan pemotongan nya (frequency of clip) yang memberi pemotongan lebih rapi dan kemas. Saya percaya ini perkara yang pertama seumpamanya di dunia.

Atau pisau rekaan Jepun yang mempunyai ‘offset’ yang boleh di laras utk memberi pemotongan yang lebih agresif dengan hanya menjarakkan di antara reel dan bedknife. Saya di beritahu ini adalah teknologi eksklusif kepada jenama ini sahaja.

Saya jumpa sebuah alat yang nampak sempoi tetapi mampu mengukur luas kawasan melalui sistem GPS dan mampu menyimpan data di dalam komputer anda. Ia juga mampu mengukur kelembapan tanah serta EC (electrical conductivity yang memberitahu kita tahap ‘kemasinan’ tanah dan juga sebahagian jenis baja). Dengan alat ini kita mampu mengukur kelembapan padang pada waktu siang selepas siram dan juga lapan jam kemudian. Sangat berguna kepada orang yang tidak mahu meneka dan mahu lebih bersifat saintifik dalam penjagaan padang mereka. Insya Allah saya akan order satu untuk kegunaan saya.

Alat canggih mengesan keadaan tanah untuk rumput (Jejaka tampan tidak termasuk).

Alat canggih mengesan keadaan tanah untuk rumput (Jejaka tampan tidak termasuk dalam pakej).

Berapa orang dari kita yang boleh kata kita potong rumput setinggi 4mm? Itu setinggi beberapa keping duit siling ya. Tetapi dengan teknologi sekarang, ada orang dah potong hingga 2.8mm. Cuba lihat pembaris dan beritahu saya di mana kah letaknya 2.8mm atau 3.6mm. Kini ada tolok canggih untuk mengukur ketinggian rumput begitu; sementara itu ada antara kita masih potong rumput padang bola dengan brushcutter sandang belakang. Untuk pengetahuan, padang bola di potong pada ketinggian lebih kurang 25mm. Boleh kah anda ukur ketinggian potongan dengan brushcutter?

Itu hanyalah sebahagian sahaja dari kemajuan terbaru yang datang ke negara kita. Kami di khabarkan akan ada pemotong rumput robot yang akan sampai ke negara jiran tidak lama lagi. Sementara itu, masih ada di kalangan kita yang bertanya “Ada kerja macam ini?” bila kami kata kerjaya kami adalah penjagaan rumput.

 

Video untuk mesin hybrid.

Video untuk pisau bolehlaras FoC.

Video untuk mesin buatan Jepun dengan offset bolehlaras.

Posted in Fields, Golf Course, Golf Course Superintendents, Padang, Padang Bola, Padang Golf, Rumput halaman rumah, stadium, Taman | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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