Thursday, January 26, 2017

The State of the Course

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

This winter we have experienced average temperatures and snow accumulation; however, on January 10th 2017, we accumulated 1” of rain.  Rains this time of year are unfavorable because the turf is dormant and the ground is frozen, resulting in an impermeable surface; so any water drainage is purely surface drainage into either a drain or creek.  That being said, the temperatures during the rain storm dropped from 38 degrees to 15 degrees resulting in an ice storm.  Since the time between the rainfall and the deep freeze was so quick, the majority of the rain was unable to drain and remained on the surface to then freeze.  Overall the course has an average depth of 1” of ice and 4” of snow covering all greens, tees and fairways.

The picture above was taken January 18th, 2017

Since the picture above was taken, there has been considerable amount of melt throughout the course but much of the course (mainly low lying and shaded areas) remains under ice.


#5 Green Before 1/18/2017
#5 Green Before 1/18/2017

#5 Green After 1/24/2017
#5 Green After 1/24/2017
#5 Fairway Before 1/18/2017
#5 Fairway Before 1/18/2017
#5 Fairway After 1/24/2017
#5 Fairway After 1/24/2017

The good news is the majority of the golf course (about 90%) is bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass; which are both highly winter tolerable grasses.  In fact, bentgrass can survive under ice around 90 days.  The Grounds Department has started a log, tracking when the ice formed and what date(s) to check for turf damage.  If we are near the turf damage date(s), we will take measures to remove the ice.  Currently the ice is a benefit, providing protection from other forms of winterkill (crown hydration, low temperature kill and desiccation).