Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So Far, So Good

The last few days of relatively warm temperatures have allowed for the snow to snow to slowly dissipate throughout the golf course. Areas of the course which had previously been covered by 14" of snow have been reduced to about 6". To date most greens and fairways remain snow covered, while higher, wind swept mounds are now free from snow. I have extensively toured the golf course over the last couple of days in order to more closely examine the condition of the turf. Since most fairways and greens are still covered in snow, I removed snow from areas which are typically susceptible to winter damage. At this point, I am pleased to report nearly all of the turf which I uncovered looks healthy. We can thank the warm temperatures that we received around New Year's Eve and Day. As was mentioned earlier, nearly all of the ice was melted during this time. The turf looks undamaged and free from all potential pathogens which can cause damage during prolonged periods of snow cover. At this point, the plant protectant materials which were applied last November appear to be doing their job very well. Small representative samples are a good way to determine if there appears to be large areas of damage, but as always, I will reserve final judgement until larger areas of turf are exposed. A gradual spring warm up will suit us best, as damage may still occur due to extreme temperature fluctuations, but so far, so good.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Blizzard Of 2011 Hits NSCC...What About the Turf?

As was discussed in the previous entry, NSCC was saved from another potentially disastrous spell of winter damage when nearly 100% of the ice melted on New Year's Eve. Ice damage is often the most devasting and uncontrollable type of winter damage we face at NSCC.

Since the time of the melt, NSCC had received a few small snow showers, enough to provide sufficient snow cover to insulate the turf from the freezing temperatures that we often realize in the Milwaukee area. Without snow cover, the exposed turfgrass plants are susceptible to drying out over the winter. This winter drying, or dessication, is common in areas of little snow cover where cold and dry winter winds whip across the turf surface. The front of the green on 7 White is an area where this may typically occur at NSCC due to the high elevation and exposed face of the green.

After touring the golf course following the blizzard conditions of the last couple days, it appears that the 18-plus inches of snow we received stayed put in most areas to prevent large scale dessication injury to the turf. While many of the bluegrass mounds located on green surrounds and bunker complexes are now exposed following the 30 mile per hour winds, the putting surfaces remain well covered. The golf course is truly beautiful right now, appearing more like a lunar surface than a country club. In same places, the snow has drifted over six feet high!