Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Second Melt Down

( 2011_03_30 - Hole 5/6 Composite )

Well we can see some turf again! Though there is a cool down expected next week, it looks as though we might get rid of most of the snow by this weekend. A good rain would go a long way to clearing the course of the winter white stuff. In my walk around this morning this was no water ponding in any of the usual places, so my guess is the frost is pretty much gone throughout the course. And where it isn't, the drain tiles appear to be all open so the water is able to exit quickly. A guess as to when we might be open for play... Ask me next week and I might have a better idea. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


( 2011_03_22 - #12 Green )

Yesterday Brandon and I went for a walk to see how the water was moving and the ice was melting. There were quite a few greens where we could see a lot of turf and the above picture of #12 green is a good example of what we were seeing. However there were a couple that showed some signs of poa annua death in a very sporadic pattern, greens #16 and #7.

( 2011_03_22 - #16 Green ) 

( 2011_03_22 - #7 Green )

Some of the turf loss is obviously caused by where the water was sitting in the low pockets, the back and center of #16 and the back and front of #7. Weak Annual Bluegrass, freeze/thaw of water, perhaps smothering under ice cover for the entire winter; These are all possibilities of why we lost turf in these areas. I will say it is a bit early to declare the spots completely lost though. When things start to dry and warm we will be able to better determine if there are any living plants in these spots and take the actions we need to take to get the turf back.

It is amazing what changes in 12 hours though. Today we are looking at a blanket of 3-5" of heavy wet snow covering the entire golf course. So when it starts melting off we will be back out making sure the ice is getting broken up and water is moving off the green surfaces. And other then the few spots of potential turf loss, the turf looks pretty good coming out of winter. It appears the snow mold chemicals we used for protection over the winter have worked, and the vole damage is much less then anticipated. Let's hope this is the last blast and spring is right around the corner.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Melting

( 2011_03_17 - Ice layer on #10 green roughly 3/4" thick )

Here comes spring! Well it has to be right around the corner anyway the way the snow is melting and the water is running. It's nice to see some grass for a change, the white stuff has been around since before Thanksgiving last year. Currently we are looking pretty good on the golf course. There is about a foot of snow on the greens and beneath that is about 0.5-1.0" of ice. After chopping through some of the ice today we found the turf beneath in good shape still. Once sign of problems would be the smell of death when you expose the turf under the ice cover, and so far everything smells good. I know for many they don't want to hear this, but what would really help us out is a quick thaw. The sooner the snow and ice can go at this point the better off the turf underneath should be if weather continues to warm up. Over the next week or two we will be monitoring the condition and taking any action we need to in order for the snow, ice, and water to leave quickly. Let's hope for some continuing warm weather.

( 2011_03_17 - Snowmobile tracks on #3 green )

I know it should not surprise me, with everything we see on the news and in the paper these days, but it still does. We have the golf course snow fenced around most of the perimeter, bright orange and very visible all winter long. It should be obvious we are trying to keep people off the course during the winter months and do not want traffic (save for the occasional skier & snowshoer). So what happens when a short section of fence falls and we don't get it up right away? Disrespectful law breaking idiots is what happens. Thankfully there was plenty of snow this winter that this should not cause any major problems. And the ice layer under the snow should only further aid in preventing injury.