Thursday, March 8, 2012

So it begins...Greens will open Saturday!

After one of the mildest and lowest snow total winter's (to date anyway) it's not surprising that we are off to one of the earliest course maintenance starts that I can remember in the past twenty -two years here at SCC. This week has been a bustle of activity as we've tried to get as much work done as possible before either rain (or snow!) softens ground conditions and/or cold temperatures potentially return.

The photo's below show some of our activities this week. As many of my colleagues in Chicagoland were thinking, while attending the GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show just concluded last week, "as soon as we return, the season will be upon us"...I guess we were right! I'll try to recap the Conference & Show, if things slow down again soon, but right now we"re...rapidly, "off to a new season"!

 Covers were removed Tuesday as daytime temps climbed into the 60's and night time lows forecast to remain above freezing or only slightly below. Covers did their job again of protecting from drying winds, winter traffic (skiers, snowshoe-rs, walkers), animal damage, geese damage, and enhancing green-up among other benefits.

 Firm soil conditions, and a rolling too, allowed us to get a sand topdressing applied to fill in remaining slight depressions from last years late aeration session. The sand was smoothed and broom incorporated and then we received a perfectly timed .2" rainfall to "wash in" sand into turf canopy.

 A mowing today has greens looking very good and just about ready to open for play.
Saturday is target date if weather cooperates as forecast.

 Green surround clean-up and then bunker smoothing and raking in process here. Plan to have all bunkers ready on Sat. as well.

 Last photo of ice rink for this winter. Pumped out yesterday and nearly disassembled today. 
Received some good use on the few days it was available but all is reusable and hopefully we'll have a bit more skating conditions next year!

Mother Nature always keeps us challenged! This is a disease called Microdochium nivale, a.k.a. Pink Snow Mold, that is active on No. 2 tee. In spite of applying plant protection products, this disease likely had perfect growth conditions under the cover  (same as used on greens) used on this Par 3 tee to promote early growth and divot recovery from late fall use. Perhaps ideal fungal conditions were present and the plant protectant concentration was insufficient? The longer turf length on tees perhaps provided higher leaf canopy moisture which this fungus enjoys as well?
Not too damaging and warmer conditions will aid recovery in a timely manner.

Much to do this time of year and I'll keep posting as often as possible. One new technological item that I've started to do, to disseminate course information very often and very quickly, is using Twitter. I'm just getting started but I've tweeted a few times, adding a photo and a few lines of text, about most of the above items.
I plan to use it often as it's much quicker to get out information (though not nearly to the same detail) as compared to this blog. I'll do both but I'll likely tweet very often and perhaps multiple times in a given day as items of interest emerge. I'll also eventually link this blog to twitter when I figure out how to do it! For those interested, sign up for a free twitter account and follow me @ scc1897

Happy 2012 Golf Season.  

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