Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Work for the Grounds Department

As I type this, we have once again been covered with snow but thankfully not the 12" that was predicted but closer to 6". Thus far the winter has been pretty moderate with no extended periods of extreme lows and no real melt off either with the exception of the last week of January and the current 15 day forecast shows much of the same weather we have been having recently.

Since I began here on January 18 quite a lot has been happening, I have of course been meeting with vendors to figure out which products best fit the needs of the course and working on writing my chemical and fertility programs to highlight bentgrass health with the hopes of increasing that population. I have been spending time getting to know and work with both Mike Kudrna, our Assistant Superintendent and Dann Steltenpohl who is the club's mechanic. Through this I am hoping to address the most serious equipment needs to get the golf course heading in the right direction and more specifically targeting the greens.

A fair amount of time has also been spent on the golf course tending to the greens that have been under snow and ice all winter. Throughout the first week of February Mike and I spend most of our time removing the snow from the greens as best as possible with the equipment that we have. After the snow was cleared to within 1" of the putting surface or ice I applied gypsum which contains a large amount of calcium. This has a few benefits, first and foremost the calcium will aid in melting the ice regardless of sunlight. Many people apply something dark whether that is fertilizer or a safe tracker or dye in order for the sunlight to warm that product and melt the ice, at the time I looked at the forecast and there was no sunlight predicted in the next 15 days according to The other benefit is that gypsum is a standard deficiency in many mid-west soils therefore it will provide benefit to the subsurface while not giving any flushes of growth in the spring the way a fertilizer like Milorganite would have.

Aside from those items and the obvious snow removal from the parking lot I have had the opportunity to meet with the other employees of the club as well as a number of the members and I am starting to get very antsy and wanting spring to get here so we can get on the golf course and get the property ready for a great 2010 golf season.

Until next time I hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics, especially the USA Hockey game last night! I look forward to seeing everyone around this spring and summer.