Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mid-winter turf report

     Winter arrived early back in December with 5cm on the 5th, followed by another 15cm on the12th. This forced us to lay off staff sooner than we had anticipated. Now we reach  Mid-January, and it feels like early April, Just try and figure out the weather patterns in Southern Ontario!

     All the important pre-winter preparations to all turf areas were completed before the snow arrived. The interlock parking pads at the two practice greens were completed, (other than sod installation) before the weather changed, however we did not get as much of the range tee interlock parking area completed as we had hoped. Once the weather breaks in the spring it won’t take too long to get the interlock for the range tee deck installed.

     The warm weather and rains that we recently received are not at all what we had anticipated or hoped for in January (Just over 3 inches, or over 75mm rain fell here in January). Last week we had 7 greens with snow and Ice cover, while all others were 100% clear. Kyle and I spent Friday pushing snow off these greens with both heavy equipment and hand shoveling.
     Our efforts paid off and all greens are now 100% free of snow and Ice. The long-range forecast is predicting a cooling trend, which will put frost back into the upper portion of our thawed soils. This trend is perfect for the health of our turf.  It’s too early to guarantee what spring holds, but we are now half way through winter and on a steady course to having a strong opening day.

     We did lose one White Pine to the left of the 11th green during a storm after New Year’s, but I am confident had I not mentioned it, not a single member would have noticed it missing come opening day.

Other tree work to remove dead/dying and potential hazards is also being completed. Most of these removals will not be noticed. The exception to this may be one very large ash immediately west of the club storage. We had hoped to turn this into a center piece for the entrance to the club, but it just wasn’t to be, and it must be removed for the safety of everyone.
      Winter is a time for us to recharge our batteries after a long stressful season, but with that, I can assure you that Kyle, Scott and I are here 5 days a week preparing equipment, planning maintenance strategies, keeping abreast of new research and technologies and preparing to hire and train new staff for the upcoming season. These efforts are imperative to seamlessly execute maintenance scheduling to make the 2017 season one that we will all proudly boast about to anyone that will listen. Kyle and I spent most of last week in educational seminars to continue to expand our knowledge in the latest agronomic research.

     The membership surveys have again been a success this year, providing us with positive feedback, as well as identifying some areas of weakness or concern. Plans are already in motion for improvements for 2017, more details on this in the first addition of your sideline 30 for 2017, which is only weeks away.

   I hope all members are enjoying the off season. It wont be long at all before we welcome you all back.