Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The March issue of Sideline 30 came out not too long ago. And of course all of us who contribute an article has to have it put together and submitted about a week before the issue is released. As you probably know I was very optimistic about conditions on opening day, but also cautioned that weather may still have a negative impact if we got into some extreme temperature swings and a freeze thaw pattern. I also told you if we did, our plan was to shovel slush and vacuum water to do everything in our power to prevent damage. Well wouldn't you know after writing the article we did get a snow fall followed by warmer temps which turned everything to slush!
So...............out came the shovels!
(Between writing the Sideline article and yesterday we have received almost 15 cm snow and 4 inches of rain. Temperature have been as low as -14C and as high as 8C)

#1 green in the midst of having the slush and some water pushed off the surface.
We also utilized a small gas powered snow blower on some of the heavier areas.

A shop Vac has proven the most productive, and least damaging way to remove water from our greens. Not every green, or the entire surface of any green needs this much attention. Only the low areas and greens with high Poa are at extreme risk of damage.

Water is dumped anywhere it will flow away from the green.
In all we have shoveled and vacuumed parts (or in a couple cases all) of 13 greens over the last 3 weeks. All this back breaking work has paid off as we are currently in great shape!
We will not be reliving the dead Poa areas we had to deal with last spring.
This late in March the likelyhood of a weather event killing turf is very low! I think we are finally far enough through the winter and spring to safely say we will be in awesome condition on opening day!
As a matter of fact, the worst damage we have sustained, is from vandals who broke through the gate last fall and drove across the 14th green.

These tire marks look worse than they are. The ground was frozen at the time and this visible damage is to the leaf of the plant. So once we get some temperatures where the plants begin to grow, this damage will be mowed off and not cause us any issues.

Below is the 8th green, photo taken March 21st. The vast majority of greens do look this good. The tarp was removed from here and installed on the 1st green to help raise soil temperatures and give the turf a jump start.
And perhaps the one last question everyone is wondering about is.........how did the 12th green make it through the winter??? Well, scroll down and see for yourself!

Although we only have three weeks and three days until opening day, the course is wet and very soft. As anxious as we are to get the clean up started, we have to wait until the ground firms up or we will cause extensive damage! It's gonna be a busy three weeks!!!