Spring is Here?
Golf courses throughout the region are trying to kick off the season, but “Old Man Winter” keeps trying to throw a monkey wrench into the plan. Cold temperatures and the occasional light coatings of snow are inhibiting turfgrass from breaking dormancy at many facilities. The calendar says spring is here but we need Mother Nature to cooperate.
The recent weather pattern not only slows the opening of some courses but inhibits the superintendent’s ability to quickly improve course conditions. Golfers are chomping at the bit but must be patient. Soon enough the weather pattern will change and superintendents will be able to dramatically improve playing conditions.
In addition to normal spring cleanup, many superintendents are facing the added problem of repairing winter damage to golf course greens. Varying degrees of injury have been reported throughout the northeast after experiencing one of the harshest winters on record. Superintendents are prepared to initiate their recovery plans as soon as weather conditions are favorable. Warmer soil temperatures are the key to successful recuperation. Aerification, overseeding and sodding of injured greens must be timed accordingly for rapid recovery.
One of the toughest things superintendents will face is communicating to golfers the importance of staying off renovated areas of greens. Some holes will need to have temporary greens and some greens will simply have affected areas roped off. The worst case scenario for a superintendent is succumbing to the pressure of opening damaged areas too early. Tender young turf plants need to be “babied” until they are strong enough to support foot and maintenance traffic. Newly established turf plants must have every opportunity to mature if they are to survive the stress of summer which is only three months away.