As the weather seemingly is taking a more permanent turn for the better, I am able to get a better look at the golf course and give a more accurate assesment of the condition coming out of the winter. I have been having some colleagues out over the past week to look at the course with me and gather ideas for how to best recover from some of the damage that the golf course has endured. Yesterday (Monday March 29) I had three visitors go around the course with me, Tom Befera, Paul Bastron who is the Superintendent at Glen Flora in Waukegan, and Scott Bartosh. It was very nice to finally meet Scott after some phone conversations and exchanges of email, and I appreciate the time he gave me to go over some of the historical points about the course. In talking with both he and Paul I found out that courses along the lake from far Northern Illinois up to about Mitchell Airport have all recieved some level of ice damage or crown hydration injury as it is called in our industry. I would like to assure everyone that no disruption to the putting surface will be done, in an effort to repair damaged areas, until the soil temperatures can sustain seed germination and the growth of a new plant. We will have smooth putting surfaces even if they don't look perfect.
I am anxiously awaiting the warm up to 55 degrees in the soil so that I can finally start what I was hired to do which is maintain the golf course. While we are waiting for those soil temperatures to rise (currently 38), you will start to see some more employees working on the course and not just myself with a backpack blower on the greens and tees. Wednesday our long time crew foreman Rene will be coming back to work followed by almost the entire crew on Thursday so that the course will hopefully be cleaned up for the weekend.
While clean-up is going on the rest of the week I will hopefully be joined by another Superintendent from a lakefront course, Tim Davis who is Superintendent at Shoreacres in Lake Bluff, Illinois. Tim has been the Superintendent at Shoreacres for 26 years and is well aware of the unique micro-climate that exists being right next to Lake Michigan like we are and I look forward to learning from him later this week.
As I end this post I would like to wish anyone reading a Happy Easter Sunday, hopefully the weather sustains through the weekend so we can enjoy some time outdoors. As always, best regards and I will be updating again in two weeks.