Learning about the golf means learning about the golf course. Golf course maintenance is a huge part of what makes this sport so beautiful. When extreme weather conditions hit it’s up to the groundskeepers to make those do or die decisions (literally for the grass). Right now certain parts of the country have been faced with harsh winter storms. What does that mean for golf courses? I found a nice little article by the USGA on what they do in these situations.
Managing the turfgrass in cold temperatures like this winter their are two options, one wait and allow nature to take it’s course or two take action. Frost allows for quick fixes letting golfers get onto the course in a timely manner (we’ve all been in this situation even a newbie like me). However, this does create that off color turf color that is kind of an eyesore on the course. When walking on the frozen ground you leave your footprint and damage the ground. Waiting for it to melt avoids these problems but also doesn’t let that eager golfers onto the course as soon. Snow and ice removal is a whole other can of worms. If you prematurely remove the snow the grass may not be better off. Grass can actually survive better under the snow for about 120 days (learn something new everyday).
Heat-not that we have experienced this in a while but it extreme temperatures heat can also harm the grass. Regular site maintenance is generally halted when this occurs. This is because the weakened turf is at a vulnerable state and could be as they put it ‘the final nail in the coffin’. Managing recovery of the putting greens is also another priority that is brought up during the summer months. More like the decision to repair or not to repair. Reseeding and recovering the ground can be a lengthy process and you have to make the decision whether it’s the right time and if it’s worth your time.