Having temperatures, bouncing back and forth above, to below freezing, is one of the worst winter weather patterns for healthy Spring turf-grass. This winter we have experienced an abundance of these fluctuations, however, we have had one saving grace that has prevented any issues so far, this is the lack of snow.
So far this season, 99% of the greens surfaces are free of ice because the small amount of snow we had either melted off when we had mild weather or were helped off the surface with shovels and squeegees. As of February 2nd, the greens are healthy, and we have minimal ice in some low pockets on fairways and some tees. The tarps are really paying for themselves this year keeping the cold, drying north winds off the putting surfaces. We still have 6 or 8 weeks of winter left, and we know that weather patterns can do anything this time of year, so we still have the second half of winter to get through, but we are looking great as of today.
The new Turf Care Center build was put on hold just before Christmas as we ran into a small challenge. There is an area where the ground must come up about 10 feet, so that we have a large enough flat area to build on. The soil had a high moisture content and we couldn’t get adequate compaction to build. We researched buying aggregate from a quarry and pouring a 12 or 15-foot concrete wall in that corner to keep on schedule, but this would have driven costs up substantially; with no guarantee the material would have met our compaction requirements. After several on-site meetings, it was determined that prudent decision was to put the earthworks on hold until April or May when we have weather that will dry down the material allowing the 100% compaction we need to ensure success.
As with most big projects, certainly the last few at Whitevale, we encounter unexpected challenges, delays and headaches. As a club we will prevail past these challenges with patience and understanding.
The week of February 5 through February 9 I will be at the Golf Industry Show (GIS) in Texas. The educational program is second to none and the networking and access to new technologies in turf management helps me keep moving Whitevale and its course conditioning forward to keep pace with our competition in the golf market place.