December 17, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Without a doubt, we are off to the best winter we have seen in the 3 years I have been here.  2011 didn't bring us a single snowflake until New Years Eve, leaving the turf to suffer the effects of brutally cold temperatures and drying winds.  2012 brought us a good early snowcover, but then was completely ruined in early January by a rainstorm that created ice all over the golf course.  2013 however has brought a healthy dose of early season snow, that has the turf completely covered and protected from the elements.  We just need this snow to stick around and avoid any mid winter melt cycles or rain (knock on wood).  If we can do that, we actually stand a chance coming out in the spring looking pretty good, as long as we don't get too much more snow in the coming months (again, knock on wood.....)

Early winter 2011 was so dry and open that cigarettes thrown out of cars
in the parking lot were catching the grass on fire!

Early January last year brought us a rainstorm that instantly created
ice, all across the golf course.

December this year has brought us the perfect cover of snow
to keep the turf protected and insulated.
Last week we experienced some brutally cold temperatures, dropping as low as -21 one morning.  To illustrate how much of an insulating effect the snow has on the turf surface, I dug a small hole on 16 green and checked the temperature on the turf surface underneath about 8" of snow.  The air temperature that morning was -16.  The surface of the turf under the snow was a balmy +20.  This 36 degree difference literally is the difference in life and death for Poa Annua.

December of 2013 has definitely created a winter wonderland.  We have already accumulated a total of about 17" of snow so far for the month, with still another 2 weeks to go.  The average snowfall for the entire month is only 12", so we are well ahead of that number.  Furthermore, the temperatures have been brutal.  The temperatures for the first 17 days of the months have so far added up to an average of 0 degrees, which is a whopping 14 degrees colder than average.  Global warming at its finest....

For me, one of the best times of the year on the golf course is the dead of
winter.  The complete peace, silence, and solitude on days like this are what
make the place so special.

1 comment:

  1. What can i say? awesome! beautiful winter! Looks like a real wonderland. I love all the photos. But the best picture is at the end of the winter, give peace and silence, really the best. Thank you for sharing.