March 11, 2015

An Early End To Winter

It seems like 9 times out of 10 in early March we should be dealing with winter weather still, but mother nature has different plans this year apparently.  With already a thin snowpack of only 5-6" on the ground, it didn't take but a few days of 50 degrees to remove the winter wonderland look from the golf course.

When the melt first began late last week, we immediately went out and removed all of the snow from the greens in order to get down to the ice layers that formed back in December and January so they could melt off immediately.  Regardless, some of the ice had been on the ground since mid-December (about 80 days) which means death for Poa Annua more often than not.  

Some of the heavier ice areas were about 1/2" thick.
This particular areas was from 16 green.

The front edge of 14 green had about a 1" thick ice dam.  We struggle with this area
every year due to a lack of proper surface drainage.

Fortunately, the ice that formed was very spotty.  Combined with a few areas in some collars that likely dessicated during the open periods during the winter, I am feeling fairly confident that our winterkill this year should be fairly limited.  Collin and I have been out on the greens daily this week cleaning up some of the sand topdressing from last fall and have been constantly picking grass plants out of the surface to evaluate their health.  So far, most areas appear to be doing pretty well.

One of our first orders of business after the greens dried up a bit was to get out
and start dragging around and cleaning up the sand topdressing from last fall.

With the lack of snowcover for part of the winter on some greens,
the frost crack are especially bad.

Lastly, we cleared all the snow off of our bentgrass nursery and installed a cover
over it in order to jumpstart its growth.  We plan on using all of this sod ASAP
to repair any damaged areas on the greens and collars.

It looks like the big spring warm up is going to last through the weekend before going back to near normal next week.  We will continue to evaluate the melting and drying of the golf course over the next week or so and give everyone plenty of heads up when it looks like we might be opening.