December 19, 2014

Winter Turf Update

Its that time of year again to start analyzing how mother nature is treating our golf course in the off season.  We've had a mixed bag of winter weather in my time here at GFCC, but this winter is turning out a lot like the winter of 2011-12.  We've had a very dry fall in September and October that is transitioning right into a dry winter as well.

For those of you who have followed this blog for the last few years, you know that this is a double edged sword.  Obviously, a dry winter means our likelihood of experiencing a significant flood next spring is dramatically reduced.  Conversely, a thick blanket of snow is the number one protection the turf needs in order to survive the winter.

We ended November with about an inch or two of snow on the ground.  Not much, but it was just enough of a blanket to keep the turf insulated during the first big cold snap we had at the end of the month.  Unfortunately, December has brought us just enough warm days to melt that little bit of snow, and then has deposited a small film of freezing rain and fog.  Fortunately, the temperatures in December haven't been too cold yet, but the exposed greens that now have a thin layer of ice and frozen sand on them is certainly less than ideal

There wasn't much snow at the end of November, but it was just enough.

Unfortunately the December thaw left a lot of puddles of ice in areas that didn't
completely melt off.  The following days of freezing rain didn't help the situation.
We still have a lot of winter left to go, but at some point we need a window of warmer, sunny days in order to go out and try to melt or shovel off the remaining areas of ice. After that, a good dumping of snow would be great.

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