Friday, March 21, 2014

The Winter of Our Discontent

Meanwhile in Canada...

This picture says a lot about the winter that ended yesterday - lots of snow and ice underneath.  It's the first full day of spring and there is plenty of snow on the ground and more in the forecast.  Lets hope things turn around quickly and the snow will disappear very soon.  We are eager to see the turf and a little concerned based on the weather experienced this winter.  It started with the ice storm in December which left hundreds of broken limbs in its wake.  The cleanup will start as soon as we can get on the course and will take several weeks with assistance from our tree service.

More concerning is the ice layer that formed on top of our turf.  We cover most of our greens to help protect them from ice but winter covers can create their own problems especially when they have been in place for a long period of time like ours have.  The greens we don't cover do not have a history of winter damage but that may change this year.  It's impossible to say what this spring will bring until the snow melts, the weather warms up and the grass begins to grow.  The process of winterkill is not particularly well understood and there are many variables at play.  We try and play the odds and influence what we can but in the end, Mother Nature has the final say.  We are closely monitoring the situation and are ready to take action when necessary.  I will be updating this blog regularly as spring approaches to keep everyone informed of course conditions and projected opening dates.

We have completed our winter tree removals.  The vast majority of the the trees removed were dead, dying, or diseased.  To ensure transparency, a professional arborist marks the trees to be removed and a permit must be granted by the Region of Waterloo before any trees come down.

This spring will be busy as we have to finish up the construction project from last fall.  We have 10 bunkers left to add sand to and some haul roads around the course to re sod.  The sand will be added before the course opens but sod is not generally available until at least the middle of May.  We also have to finish growing in the new 11th and 12th greens.  For that we need some nice weather - here's hoping the winter of our discontent is made glorious summer - and soon!

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