Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The season is in sight.....

Turf sighting on 7 green!
With the bright sunshine and warmer temperatures we have experienced in the last week, the beginning sights of turf and the rapid melting of snow has brought the beginning to the golf season much closer.  Over the last few days, much of the snow cover has shrunk in depth.  Many of you ask each year when the golf course will be available for play, and I thought I would discuss the two main variables that go into answering that question.
  1. The ground must be completely thawed out.  This is for two reasons.  One, there is no path for melting snow to drain down if the ground is frozen.  The water either stands on the surface (or percolates down really slow) or runs off of slopes to any low area.  Two, excess machine and foot traffic on frozen ground can lead to root shearing on turf plants, which leads to poor turf quality and a longer window for the turf to green up. 
  2. The soils are mostly to completely dry and firmed up.  This is self explanatory.  Wet soils lead to damage from machine traffic and compaction.  Playing surfaces also need a period of time to allow proper drainage so we can begin to work them into the firm surfaces you are accustomed to. 

16 day forecast as of 3/11/15
With the above forecast (as of 3/11/15), the entire snow pack should be gone by the middle of next week.  The frost layer is not as deep as last year (9-18", compared to 36" last year), which is good!  The typical roller coaster forecasts we are accustomed to in Michiana will give ample opportunity for the soil to open up and defrost, but there will also be days where progress will be slower. 

It seems like the opening will be similar to last year, but as all of you are aware, that can change quickly!  I will give ample updates via this blog.  Rest assured the season is very close! 


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