Winter is hanging around longer than anticipated this year compared with 2012. The average start date at Ridgeway is usually around the first or second week of April. Unless the weather makes a dramatic change it does not look like that will be a reality in 2013. We will keep you up to date on golf course conditions both on this blog and with emails from the proshop.
Harsh winters can cause problems to golf turf. This year’s culprit so far is ice. The greens and fairways have been covered in
ice since January 27th leaving 2-3 sometimes 4” of ice in
spots. Ice is a problem if it persists
for periods of more than 60 days on Poa annua
and 90-100 days on bentgrass. Gas gets
trapped under the ice and forms a toxic cocktail wherein the plant suffocates
from lack of oxygen. This phenomenon is
This past Friday and Saturday we took it upon ourselves to
remove the snow from our putting surfaces, which exposed ice to the sun. In order to speed up the melting process we
applied a blue dye to darken surface of the ice. Friday was sunny and 9 of the greens became
ice free. Saturday the sun did not
appear like it was forecasted, so none of ice melted on the remaining 9 greens. Those remaining greens have had the snow
removed and painted with blue dye. It is
a matter of warmth and sun, that will determine how fast these greens melt
ice. The long range forecast looks
favorable for that to take place at the end of this week.
One of the tell tale signs of anoxia is a rotten egg or
sulfur smell once the greens have melted.
A number of golf course superintendents in Wisconsin have reported this
smell on their greens in the past couple of weeks. On Saturday I did not detect any foul smell
on the greens that were ice free. At this
point it is too early to be certain if any turf loss has occurred. If turf loss has occurred you can bet that
Poa annua is the species that will be
affected. This is why our management
strategy is aimed at reducing the amount of Poa annua on our golf course.
That being said, we have made great strides in the area of Poa reduction
and that will help this spring as opposed to past years where the dominant species
was Poa annua.
Check in weekly for more updates on golf course