As of the first week of April, most of the snow has melted off of the golf course. While watching the snow recede throughout the past month, it was evident that we had suffered some winter damage. Most of the damage was caused by voles tunneling under the snow eating turf all winter; the most notable and damaging being in the shortgrass on almost every tee top. We also incurred some direct low temperature turfgrass death at the practice facility. This was caused by a couple of cold snaps where air temperatures approached 30 degrees below zero. There were several areas where our snow cover was not adequate to insulate the turfgrass from those extreme temperatures and death ensued. The good news is twofold: 1) playability will mostly not be affected by either ailment, and 2) time and warmer temperatures along with our cultural maintenance practices can fix all of that damage. In fact, by the beginning of June we are confident that most damaged areas will be as good as new again. Luckily we had much deeper snow cover at the higher elevations of the remainder of the golf course and therefore no direct low temperature kill to speak of.
Greens were aerified after the course closed in October. They will be in excellent condition this summer. Aerification and verticutting of all other Kentucky Bluegrass areas is currently under way; a fairly early start for us which also bodes well for speedy recovery from damage.
Projects that we are finishing this spring include:
• Further improvement to the practice putting green near #1 Tee, as well as some asphalt paving in that area
• Renovating a bunker each on #3, #11, and #13
• Rebuilding the V Tee on #7, and the I Tee on #8
• Installing 2 clay tennis courts to the east of the existing hard-surface courts