Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow Melt, February 2011

This could be considered an addendum to my post from a few weeks ago (Snow and Ice Management from January 31) and I will treat it as such. Through the week of February 14-18 we experienced a considerable warm-up and melting of almost all of the snow that had accumulated this year. The downside to what we experienced is that as the snow melts it obviously leaves behind water that at times has trouble leaving putting surfaces. To aid in the water getting off of the surface we have been attempting to move the snow out of the lower portion of the greens where the ice tends to form. Below is an example of that from our 8th green.

As you can see from this picture, as I pushed the snow to the higher part of the green it drains to the low then off the front of the green. The low areas are where we experienced damage last year and those are the areas that we want to prevent ice build-up.

As the snow melts, it drains down the front of the green and at times hits a bit of a problem at the front of the green where there is a slight rise in the grade of the green running into the approach. In the fall of 2011 we spend a lot of time stripping sod from the edge of the green into the approaches to gain this surface drainage back that had been lost from years of topdressing.

In many of those areas the green is draining very well and in others a small amount of sod work will need to happen going as much as 6" to 1' onto the green to get the grade sloping down the entire way onto the approach. In areas where the grade isn't steep enough I have taken a shovel and cut a trench in order to get the water to move more quickly off of the surface. In the image above the trench was cut on Thursday when there was a large puddle sitting on the green, the picture was taken on Friday and as you can see all of the water has drained off. I realize that these are unsightly and will be for a few weeks into the golf season, I think it is a small price to pay if we are able to keep the putting surface alive as a result.