Monday, November 15, 2010

Course Close, First Snow

( 2010_11_15 - First snow cover #4 green )

And the season has come to a screeching halt, 8-9 inches of snow will do that I suppose. I left on Friday afternoon thinking  Monday morning would be a good day for some pictures and updates on the projects and course as we head into winter. Well, I can show you winter, and that is about all. There is not 8 inches of snow on the course, but there is at least a few still. The heavy wet snow did provide some great moisture for all the new sod we just put down. The total for the current project was over 5,000 yards, some regular height rough grass and some 1.25" premium blue.

We had everything pretty well done before this first snow volley hit. Tee markers and some odds-n-ends supplies are still being picked up today, but for the most part that is it. All the chemical applications were finished up on Friday, and that is usually the most important thing going into winter. We did not get any covers down on the greens. We have enough covers left for about a half dozen greens to be covered, the same number as last winter. As many of you know we have been phasing out green covers over the last 5 years, so to possibly not have anything covered this winter is just an acceleration of the plan in place. When I started there were 14 greens covered, over the years as the mats have deteriorated we have not replaced them and are down to about 6 greens worth of covers.

Some of the things we have done over the years to strengthen the plant and protect the turf going into winter that will not be covered has been: fall foliar fertilizers high in potassium which helps harden off the plant for the winter months and a thicker sand topdressing which helps in protecting the crown of the plant. This winter we had planned to use a turf paint which would help protect against desiccation if there is little snow cover and spring green due to heating of the plants with the dark green color. So far it is something that golf courses in the area have just started to experiment with, and we had planned to do our own experiment with it this winter.

I still think we will have an opportunity to get some covers down and even some turf paint, but if we don't I am not overly concerned. Thanks to everyone for a great 2010 season! Let's hope for a good winter and a better 2011 season.