Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snow, not ice... this is a good thing!

I receive questions nearly every week asking how the current weather is affecting the greens. In determining the health of the greens, it is important to understand the different forces that can impact the grass negatively and understand what the ideal situation is. For us, the best thing that can happen is to experience a period of time with below 32 degrees to allow the ground to fully freeze then follow that up with a blanket of snow for insulation. In this scenario the snow acts as a blanket against the extreme cold that we experience here in the upper Midwest.

One of the difficulties in determining the health of the plant is that we are dealing with a living breathing organism and it is difficult for me to say exactly what is happening. I can only answer based upon what scientific data shows along with my instincts and experience. What I can tell you right now is that we are not currently experiencing any ice cover on the greens here at Kenosha Country Club, there was a small amount on the front right portion of #9 green but that has since been removed. Most of the greens have at least 70% snow cover and many are entirely blanketed which is a beneficial, natural insulation.

The snow that we are currently experiencing (December 21, 2010) has covered the golf course and we will have to wait a few days to determine if it is all good or if some has formed into ice.

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