Thursday, November 1, 2012

Turn Four

I've always felt that when the Oak leaves fell we were coming out of turn four heading for the finish line and to the checkered flag of yet another golf season.  As of today, fairways have been treated with protective snow mold protectants and we've just finished de-watering the irrigation system.  Soon our attention will turn to finishing up snow mold applications to greens and green banks.  Sanding to protect the turfs crowns from winter dessication and greens roped off to prevent cross country ski damage will take another day or two to complete.  Minor details like removing golf course accessories are left to finish before our attention turns to removing the 90 plus dead trees known standing on the course.

Recent weather patterns of bitter overnight lows and their duration coupled with low daytime highs brought about discussion of course closure.  We're starting to see frost lasting well into the afternoon on teeing and putting surfaces not to mention any portion of the course that is under shade.  The frost is migrating into the soil to a depth of an inch as I write this.  With the 15 day weather forecast of much the same, my recommendation to close the course for the season was approved by the green and executive committees.  The last day for golf will be Sunday November 4th, 2012.

Bull's Eye has seen back to back years of winter injury on putting greens.  Cold spring weather has minimized inter-seeding recovery success and summers of excessive heat has taken toll in its own right.  It is never more important than now to close the course before inflicting greater wounds through play and mechanical injury.  I've often questioned at what point is the use leaf blowers/Sweepers to clean playing surfaces over semi frozen turf creating turf losses only seen the following spring.

The golf season of 2012 was as rough if not worse than 2011 from my perspective.  It'll be nice to sit down after we've put both courses to bed and compare both years weather wise. Notes will be compared, stuff that didn't work will be abandoned and what worked reinforced with changes made to mitigate turf loss in the future.  That's called planning and before you know it, the green flag will drop and another golf season will be heading into turn one.  With climate change I pray that the backstretch is a lot better than the two previous circuits around the sun.  _Mk