Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Greens Update

Spring is in the air! What is that white stuff still doing on the ground?

#18 fairway March 22nd
It has been a record breaking winter throughout the Midwest.  Below freezing temperatures, and snow storms this winter have nearly rewritten the historical data record book.  There are definitely signs of warm weather ahead in the trees as new buds form and snow banks have begun to rapidly recede.  It's getting close to time to trade those snow blowers and shovels, for a golf cart and putter!

I would like to thank my winter staff; Shannon Storey (Assistant Superintendent), Jim Lough (Spray Technician), and Jose Marcaida (Equipment Technician) for all of their hard work this winter.  At the start of winter we were able to make some significant shop improvements.  A new parts room was created, and our warm storage area  was opened up to better facilitate equipment parking and repair.  This group of employees have put in a tremendous amount of work in servicing, repairing and painting our equipment fleet to "like new condition", which will be ready to go this spring.  Also their efforts are recognized in braving the freezing cold temperatures to remove the abundance of snow and keep our club house grounds open.

This March, 27 trees were removed from the property.  These trees were in extremely poor health related to Imprelis injury.  In April, 54 arborvitaes will also be removed and replaced at #14 tee, #16 tee, and #11 green.  The greens committee continues to focus on all trees on the property, and are creating plans to plant new trees in areas of need at Forest Lake.

Keeping things Positive!
Finally, this harsh winter may have some effects on our turf and playing surfaces.  At the moment about 50% of the golf course is still covered in snow and ice.  In exposed grass areas the appearance is a very dormant tan state.  Green grass will not start to appear, until temperatures warm up into the mid to high 50's.  Turf buried under ice and snow for long durations of time can lead to turf loss commonly referred to as "winter kill".  Our region will experience some level of damage from these conditions, though it it is too early to tell.  I have provided a link to the MSU turf team's most recent report (below), to provide some insight on this winter's effects on turf.

MSU Winter kill Letter 2014