Friday, April 12, 2013

Course Conditions and Opening

The snow has finally melted and the rains have finally subsided--at least temporarily.  An unusually long winter has taken hold of the Upper Midwest.  Masters weekend, the unofficial start of the golf season, is upon us.  Unfortunately, we remain locked in a miserable weather pattern.  Due to the lack of sun and warm temperatures, the golf course remains locked in a winter-like state.  In fact, soil temperatures have yet to reach 35 degrees Fahrenheit on the golf course.

It goes without saying that the lack of spring weather has delayed the opening of the golf course, especially in contrast to the extremely early opening of 2012, but how much longer do we have to wait?  Rest assured that the golf course maintenance staff monitors conditions on daily basis.  Each year we keep what is in the best interest of the golf course turfgrass in mind when determining when it is appropriate to open.  It appears that the over five inches of rain that we received this past week has ushered the frost from the ground, clearing another necessary hurdle prior to opening.  Conversely the abundance of rain has also left the course in a very soggy and fragile state. 

We typically like to see the turfgrass plants actively growing prior to opening so that they are able to withstand the damage that occurs due to the traffic of daily play.  Usually this means that we have mowed the putting surfaces at least one time.  Since the frost has just left the ground, soil temperatures will now more easily increase with the onset of some sunny days. 

The golf course maintenance staff is ready and excited to open the course for the 2013 golf season.  As usual we will open the course when we are certain that walking traffic will not have a detrimental affect on the turf.  Given the upcoming forecast, more cold and wet weather, I believe that it is unlikely that we open prior to next weekend (4/20).  Should conditions allow, we are prepared to open earlier.  Unfortunately, another week of cold and dreary may delay opening even further.  We appreciate your understanding and patience in this manner and look forward to providing you with a wonderfully conditioned course in the upcoming year.

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