Friday, January 25, 2013

Snowy benefits

As we anticipate another minor snow today after a bone-chilling arctic blast this week, I wanted to mention a few reasons why some snow can be GOOD for golf courses!

First of all, snow DOES NOT MEAN

  • that maintenance staff are out sledding all day
  • that maintenance staff are sleeping in and taking time off
  • that maintenance staff are having hockey tournaments on the frozen ponds
We are busy as always, finally at a time of year where we can "cut back" to working a 40 hour week.  So in addition to being able to complete indoor projects such as refurbishing course accessories, doing equipment repairs & maintenance, painting and re-organizing shop areas for improved work flow, etc, SNOW has some really great benefits for the turfgrass system as well!

Insulation - A fresh blanket of snow will help insulate the grass from freeze injury from very cold temperatures as well as protect the turf from desiccation caused by whipping winds and low humidity that are common during the winter.   The resulting potential turf loss associated with these weather extremes is called winterkill.  A very deep freeze can also injure root systems of trees and shrubs.

Recharge ground water - as snow melts, it can provide a great way to recharge ground water in the soil so there are deep water reserves for next spring and summer.

Give the turf a break! - As much as we love all you dedicated winter golfers, the reprieve from foot traffic for the period of time there is snow cover is very beneficial.  When the turf is not actively growing, there is no way it can grow out of (recover from) traffic injury.  And while foot traffic is very much reduced this time of year, there are still plenty of days between December and February where temperatures will at least hit the 50 degree mark.  The cart traffic around the course, and foot traffic around the greens and tees, causes the turf to be really beaten down with no chance for recovery until grass starts growing more readily towards the end of March or early April.

So bring on a little snow, and we'll look forward to seeing you back out here once it melts!

When there is snow on the ground, we do NOT permit sledding, cross-country skiing, or any other activities including walking on the courses for your SAFETY.  

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