2016 Year in Review on Twitter

December 30, 2016
A new “old” addition to the 1st tee staging area…grown on site to remain on site…01

December 22, 2016
A mentor once told me…”eat the big toad first”…character building exercise this week…16 done with 2 to go.

December 20, 2016
Blowing 9″ of snow from 4.5 acres is hard work…the alternative as can be seen in picture 1 is much harder…

December 14, 2016
Having a little fun on a frigid day…our “Canadian Made” trail groomer’s 1st run…a weight kit has replaced Curtis

December 12, 2016
A different perspective…32F or 0C under 7″ of snow cover…we will check when it gets to -12F or -24C on Thurs…

December 3, 2016
The boys and their dog…reflecting on another long, hard fought, successful season…2017 will be here soon…

November 26, 2016
Course Update: Trying out the new Ash benches on #1. This week may provide the last opportunity for temporary pins…

November 23, 2016
Last Salsco roll of the season…not greens but freshly cut bluegrass sod…one thing done ahead of next spring.

November 18, 2016
What a way to finish an incredible day…the Ash bench suits its new setting overlooking the Thames and the 8th Par 3

November 17, 2016
Exceptionally busy time of year…collar/bunker dam removals, vertical drainage chimneys + cover installations..

November 12, 2016
Great example of Club evolution…built 1958, top photos 1984, bottom photos 2015…what will the future bring…

November 10, 2016
Range tee sand topdressings can eventually lead to sprinkler head control failure…post winterization repairs…

November 1, 2016
The driving range tee decks although now closed are being prepared for next season…Graden, seed, drag, cut & sand.

October 31, 2016
Course Update: Pre-winter deep tine, needle tine & roll to move H2O and O2 prior to freeze up; sand to follow…

October 19, 2016
What a fantastic day for golf, trap shooting, tennis, irrigation system blow out + sand topdressing…rain tomorrow.

October 14, 2016
Nursery green…31 days post seeding…9 mowings…2 dry topdressings + 1st shovel sanding of apron today…

October 13, 2016
Course Update: Fall cultural practices continue…slicing and rolling fairways today, sanding greens tomorrow…

September 22, 2016
Every day brings its challenges and rewards…if not rain wash it’s a stuck sprinkler + 1st roll and mow of nursery.

September 19, 2016
High-beams catch everything in the morning…48 hrs post germination…a long way yet to the finish line…

September 10, 2016
10 ml & counting…our University crew are sporting the home made ponchos…if you can’t beat them join them…

August 30, 2016
Course Update: At the end of the day it comes down to good people, a broom and excellent neighbours @RBGrounds

August 30, 2016
Course Update: Full tilt today…3.2 acres of greens aeration complete with 1 acre and 20 ton of dry sand to go…

August 29, 2016
Course Aeration Update: Great effort today by the entire Grounds Team following yesterday’s Club Championships.

August 25, 2016
You know there deep when it requires a ramp and ladder…easily 2 days of repair from last nights rain…

August 22, 2016
Today is catch up day following last weeks 4.5″ of rainfall…the drier weather forecast will help firm up surfaces

August 19, 2016
Course Update: Step 1 of nursery green establishment begins…furthest range target green provides ideal location.

August 9, 2016
Course Update: The unsung heroes…60% of our summer Grounds Team have come & gone before 10:30 am…#beattheheat

July 29, 2016
Course Update: 12 man hrs. per hr. devoted to bunker washout repairs + full course mow and roll…Friday ready…

July 27, 2016
Course Update: It’s a double cut, roll, tree planting morning…Men’s League starts this afternoon…

July 25, 2016
Course Update: Maintenance Monday in full swing…complete mowing, venting and rolling…#lethembreath #O2

July 22, 2016
How hot is it? The FLIR doesn’t lie…canopy temps. reaching 39 C…syringing helps but add some air & your cooler

July 14, 2016
Course Update: Controlled chaos…evening preparations begin in advance of tomorrow’s Member Guest Day 1.

July 12, 2016
Growing environments do make a difference…14 green post Austrian Pines…can only push turf so far when it’s >90F

June 26, 2016
The daily morning ritual of topping up the buckets continues…a cool breeze and additional sunlight helps …

June 18, 2016
The 2016 Grounds Crew will be back at it in 30 minutes…they bring team work and a focused commitment daily #2K16

June 16, 2016
Evening push following today’s rain…the Grounds Crew will be back at 4:00 am in advance of round 1 Member/Member.

June 11, 2016
Today marks the 20th Ed Ervasti Cup…a true gentleman and humble golfing legend…http://londonontariogolf.com/news/london-area-news/remembering-ed-ervasti/ …

June 6, 2016
Course Update: Ideal weather for a Monday topdressing…greens, aprons and tees to be sanded, tined, brush & rolled.

June 2, 2016
Thank you for taking the time to rake your bunkers…the Grounds crew practice their artwork every morning…

May 18, 2016
Now and then…4 yrs ago many green sites were hidden…Men’s Day starts this afternoon….

May 16, 2016
Course Update: Growing heat units are lagging behind 2015…rough over seeding continues among tree lined areas.

May 6, 2016
Our Eagle is watching…deep scarification with sand injection takes tons of sand & a dedicated Crew…11hrs. to go

May 5, 2016
Course Update: Spring aeration and Graden process begins today..organic removal + 600 per 1000ft sand injected…

April 27, 2016
Beautiful day for a dry cut, roll and sand…Men’s League Draft Party tonight…

April 19, 2016
The only way to fill a hole…pruning of Oaks continues today along with many other on course activities…

April 15, 2016
Course Update: 1st true mowing after winters cut…Transformer turf brushes in use ahead of Sunday’s opening day.

April 12, 2016
Cold soil and air temperatures allow only for “work at the beach”…ramps help with access…rolling continues…

March 31, 2016
Yesterday’s efforts well timed…drainage improvements, rolling of greens plus 1st mowing of range tee…rain today.

March 26, 2016
A little warmth goes a long way…uncovering range tees today shows success of late fall divot seeding and recovery.

March 6, 2016
Sitting on history…these boards will be fashioned into 2017 course benches…grown on site to be used on site…

February 2, 2016
Weather conducive to pruning…undergrowth thinning amplifies Red Oak, Pines and river views…

January 29, 2016
Better light and fluffy than heavy and wet…all fairway and green side drains cleared…full melt expected…

January 7, 2017
2 days and 4 acres of snow cover now removed…warm up expected with certain rain…6″ drainage chimneys still open





2015 Year In Review on Twitter

December 17, 2015
Slow and steady…non-native undesirables, vines and undergrowth being cleaned from perimeter edges…more to come.2015-12-17

November 26, 2015
Sunset in London…all tucked in ahead of rainfall…Deb, Brent, Matt, Rob and 1 tired dog finishing things off…2015-11-26

November 25, 2015
Getting it done…collar trenches and drainage chimneys complete…last covers going on tomorrow…job well done!2015-11-25

October 26, 2015
Sand, tine, blow and roll…9 holes of tees and greens completed today…9 more holes tomorrow = oxygen benefits.2015-10-26

October 10, 2015
Seeded and covered. Using low precipitation rate hose rotors during play to flood tee deck; great when golf is busy.2015-10-10

October 8, 2015
Early October deep tine aeration and rolling now complete…additional topdressing and venting to follow next week.2015-10-08

October 7, 2015
A better shave…not only does brushing lift the grain but it is the old fashioned way of removing worm casts…

September 24, 2015
Thank you to Membership…all greens and aprons verticut, blown, cut, sanded, brushed and rolled today…smooth.2015-09-24

September 12, 2015
9 rough and green surround project was well worth the while…site lines to & from new patio much improved.2015-09-12

September 9, 2015
The 14th green has survived this summers intense stretch of heat and humidity because of new found morning sun…2015-09-09

September 8, 2015
#7 green complex has benefitted from growing environment improvements…summer stress is a little more tolerable…2015-09-08

September 7, 2015
How far the growing environments have come…before and after course photos this week…#18 green in 2012 and now…2015-09-07

September 5, 2015
This hand built, sod stacked, gravel based, lined bunker is the only bunker not to wash out today…effort worthwhile.2015-09-05

August 29, 2015
Finishing touches…the grounds are ready for today’s first summer wedding…the new ballroom extension is beautiful.2015-08-29

August 26, 2015
The quote below and accompanying picture sum up the efforts of many a student Grounds Keeper..thank you!2015-08-26

August 25, 2015
The “caboose” is back in action…short range practice facility receiving a much needed fairway aeration today.2015-08-25

August 21, 2015
Happy for our Members…it’s been a long wait but looks beautiful and sounds great tonight…live music on the patio.2015-08-21

August 21, 2015
Beautiful day; 33,000 sq.ft. of sod to be laid around new Clubhouse expansion plus, round 1 Club Championship begins.2015-08-21B

July 27, 2015
Just over half way….maximum effort and hydrated, healthy turf going into core aeration helps…2015-07-27

July 18, 2015
2 hrs. into our morning duties…foggy, humid and warm start to Day 2 Member Guest…2015-07-18

July 16, 2015
Preparations began January 4th…192 days later Member Guest begins tomorrow…2015-07-17

July 15, 2015
Finishing touches…in-house stone, landscape and drainage work being completed in advance of this weeks Member Guest.2015-07-15

June 24, 2015
Incredible example of what can be achieved when commitment and drive combine…all 3 ac. bunkers repaired in 24 hrs.2015-06-24

June 21, 2015
A big thank you to my Grounds Team this Father’s Day evening…preparing for the 46th Triangular Team Matches.

June 20, 2015
Water killed it and water brought it back…low pocketed fairway areas suffering hydration injury are almost back…

June 16, 2015
The unseen effort…60+ hrs. of labour spent daily before 10 am on bunker rotary…it takes a dedicated team.

June 3, 2015
No trespassing please…ice damage from a winters walk being helped along…seed, sod and extra effort on hole #11.

May 29, 2015
Air in and air out…2014 Woodlot Project now allows air exit and entrance…cooling effect now in place.
May 22, 2015
Perfect timing…last spring project completed today…9 bunker readied for today’s Member/Member…enjoy

May 21, 2015
Another project complete…#17 apron replaced with 1 inch Kentucky Blue this morning…turf used to expand #9 apron.

May 14, 2015
Short Range maintenance day…large putting green 12% organic matter removal with 12,000 lbs of sand injected = firm.

May 13, 2015
Almost finished…1st tee re-alignment and expansion needing a little extra…bluegrass now complete.

May 13, 2015
Quality work…Scott Hunt and his Team from Green Horizons are doing a good job finishing the 9th project…

May 13, 2015
Cool weather ideal for laying sod…project wrapping up today with Billy Bunker and sand placement to follow…

May 8, 2015
Opening up the front will allow for the bump and run…topsoil placement and shaping today…sod next week.

May 2, 2015
Steve Weisser, Rees Jones Inc. defining the line with Vergeer Golf…9th green project nearing completion…

May 1, 2015
Not totally unscathed…aggressive overseeing and recovery underway from untimely, mid-winter, non-member traffic…

April 29, 2015
Maximus Dryject being incorporated into Graden program…moving water, air exchange and firmness are the goals.

April 29, 2015
Perfect weather; 5 greens to go plus DryJect, seeding, topdressing, brushing, cutting and rolling of greens #teamwork

April 22, 2015
Using a rake…some things they don’t teach you in school…rootzone being graded in advance of 1 tee re-alignment…

April 20, 2015
Saturday’s weather allowed for final clearing, mulching and grinding of understory areas…seeding next…

April 13, 2015
Aerifying and Sisis begins…all tees and fairways to be completed before course opening.

April 1, 2015
12 green year over year…morning sunlight 100%, afternoon receives dappled light from woodlot thinning project…

April 1, 2015
2014 vs. 2015…collar dams, sunlight improvements and winter ice removal may have helped this year…

March 9, 2015
And so it begins…heavy snow pack exists throughout course…drainage channels all open in advance of melt…

February 14, 2015
Perseverance….Matt and Brent are truly dedicated Greenskeepers…even in the winter…


February 13, 2015
Woodlot thinning before and after…airflow + sunlight benefits…understory fescue and pollinator plants to follow

January 24, 2015
5 tons of black sand helped speed up the process…just a few hours of sunshine short of being cleared…

January 23, 2015
January’s weather forced steady action…snow, rain, slush, ice, snow, rain, slush…14 greens cleared, 4 more to go.

January 13, 2015
Prescription woodlot management project under way…healthy native trees promoted, hazardous declining trees removed.

January 4, 2015
And so it begins…dedicated Grounds team in to remove surface slush prior to freeze up…




Top 24 Tweets of 2014

A golf course year in review through the Tweets of the LHCC Grounds, the top 24 Tweets of 2014 (in chronological order).

#24 – March 19, 2014
“Can you believe it? Spring starts tomorrow”

#23 – April 3, 2014
“Winter injury on putting greens has been observed in every state and Canadian province in the Northeast region.”

#22 – April 10, 2014
“One fairway, 10 days after ice melt…shaded areas definitely worse off…full recovery expected.”

#21 – April 20, 2014
“Bentgrass collars lived, Poa annua putting greens lost the battle…No-till interseeding and re-grassing begins…”

#20 – April 23, 2014
“The process begins again…9 down, 9 to go…”

#19 – May 7, 2014
“Covers all off today…germination and first mowing complete…establishment and grow-in begins…”

#18 – May 28, 2014
“Seeding and hand topdressing recovering winter injury scars…long process but well worth the results…”

#17 – June 6, 2014
“9 green almost ready for regular play…fescue tree line germination begins…”

#16 – June 11, 2014
“7 green from then to now…not just there yet…”

#15 – June 15, 2014
“14 green, 44 days post germination, 8,000 lbs of sand, 2.5 lbs seed, a little water + hard work = opening tomorrow…”

#14 – June 21, 2014
“A view from afar…fescue frames the range tee complex and 14 very well…the dry weather pattern continues…”

#13 – June 27, 2014
“Before and after…17 green suffered extreme injury…8 weeks post germination…open!”

#12 – July 21, 2014
“4 pond dramatically improved after today’s mechanical weed removal…aeration and sanding continues tomorrow…”

#11 – August 14, 2014
“It’s all coming together”

#10 – August 21, 2014
“Tuesday night blitz…awesome effort by 47 committed and driven grounds crew…”

#9 – August 25, 2014
“Tournament preparation has it’s rewards…sun casting shadows across the 14th hole during the final round…beautiful.”

#8 – August 25, 2014
“Challenges can be met and overcome with the help of extraordinary people…a big thank you to my entire Turf Team!!!”

#7 – September 17, 2014
“Post tournament over seeding and recovery process almost complete…Sun, water and temperature will finish it off.”

#6 – September 25, 2014
“Solitude…a good morning walk in nature…”

#5 – October 2, 2014
“Morning sunlight is much improved across the 7th green this fall…wishing all a sunny, dry, crisp October…”

#4 – October 21, 2014
“Irrigation system winterizing begins tomorrow through Friday. Please be aware random sprinklers may pop-up.”

#3 – October 31, 2014
“Vergeer Golf doing fantastic work on hole #9…finish grading, drainage and bunker work to come…”

#2 – November 10, 2014
“Drilling and filling bird baths prior to winter freeze…hoping to improve standing water movement in shoulder in months.”

#1 – December 7, 2014
“-5C and dry allows for drainage to continue on 9th surround grading project…tree roots still abundant years later…”

Click here to follow the LHCC Grounds on Twitter and follow their efforts in 2015 in real time.

2014 Greens Recovery Campaign

Dear Members,

As you are well aware, we began a greens recovery process on April 21st beginning with an aggressive overseeding of the putting surfaces. Since that time, there has been a mix of weather. Although the time of recovery is something beyond our control, I am pleased with the progress to date. Originally, our greens suffered from 10% to 90% winter injury, and we are in the latter half of recovery.

The Golf Course Standards Committee is supportive of the intention of not opening greens prematurely, and risking the short and long term health of the greens, but I am happy to report that we are now at a point where greens will begin to open individually for play in the coming days.

Further updates will be communicated regularly regarding play for certain events and leagues in the next few weeks.

18th Green, May 8, 2014

18th Green, May 26, 2014


Q. Where are we now and when will the greens be ready for regular play?

A. We are at the most difficult time in the recovery process as the seedlings are beginning to mature while some areas remain thin. Despite the fact that excellent germination has occurred and the seeds are now visible, patience is still the number one factor.

Recovery from this catastrophic type of injury requires a minimum time of 6 to 12 weeks when recovering from seed on sand bedding. At present we are now 3 weeks post germination with 10 days of sub-optimal temperatures. Despite this news we are well on our way to recovery. The main key is having no greens open to undue early play thereby allowing the seedlings to mature through the addition of mid-day additions of seed, sand and water.

12th Green, April 20, 2014

12th Green, May 26, 2014

Q. When can we expect to play on some of the less injured greens?

A. Patience is of utmost importance as early turf cover alone does not mean the surfaces are sound. Opening of greens will begin as early as late this week on an individual basis. The initial heights of cut will be set at a modest spring height to encourage rooting prior to summer stress. As the plants reach full maturity and density, further efforts and measures will be employed to improve ball roll.

10th Green, April 20, 2014

10th Green, May 26, 2014

Q. How much extra is the greens recovery campaign costing relative to normal operating conditions?

A. The cost of recovery to the greens surfaces is primarily time and time alone. Costs to date over 2013 operational expenses is the addition of 150 lbs. of Creeping Bentgrass seed over and above the normal use of 264 lbs. of seed during our overseeding windows of operation. This additional seed comes at a cost of $2,025. A reserve of an additional 250 lbs. of seed has been purchased for later spot seeding and to protect our inventories from market shortages. Fungicide applications have been made to protect the young seedlings, however, year over year we have not incurred any additional greens applications, in fact, the cool dry month of April mitigated an extra fungicide application to all fairways at a savings of over $6,000. Fertility applications have been frequent yet timed with both soil and air temperatures. Additional fertilizer nutrient costs will be incurred this spring, however, these costs are marginal relative to the size of greens acreage.

7th Green, April 20, 2014

7th Green, May 20, 2014

Q. What are the next steps to recovery and projections moving forward?

A. Recovery from this type of environmental disaster takes a true team effort and Member support. After 23 days post-germination a tremendous amount of progress has been made. As mentioned at the Town Hall Meeting, 41 days from 100% injured turf to fully-recovered playing surfaces would be incredible. With the recent warm weather and temperatures forecast to remain consistent, the next 20 days will certainly amplify the work already done. Judicious sand topdressing and further vertical seeding will be fundamental over the next 2-3 weeks. We anticipate all greens to be open by early to mid-June with healthy mowing speeds returning by mid-July. As a recap; 12 greens received over 50% winterkill, 4 greens received less than 50% injury while 2 greens suffered less than 10% damage.

9th Green, May 9, 2014

9th Green, May 26, 2014

On behalf of the entire Grounds Team I would like to thank the entire Membership for your continued support during this difficult time. We are committed to returning the London Hunt and Country Club playing surfaces to their previous championship form over the coming weeks and look forward to an exciting and challenging summer and fall golfing calendar.

9th Fairway, May 9, 2014

9th Fairway, May 26, 2014

Letter to Membership: Range Opening Schedule and Winter Recovery

Dear Membership,

I am writing this letter to inform all Membership of the measures we at the Grounds Department are taking this spring relative to the winter injury anticipated throughout the golf course.

The delayed spring and unseasonably cold weather has not only prevented spring growth but has inhibited efforts of the Grounds Department to initiate scheduled maintenance activities. The severity of this winter’s cold and extended ice cover may have taken a toll on the predominantly Poa annua golf greens. This species of grass is extremely sensitive to both types of abiotic stresses and has succumbed at many golf properties throughout Ontario. An effort to raise soil temperatures through the use of growth blankets has been initiated. This artificial raising of soil temperatures has afforded a window into potential turf survival, unfortunately, the results are not positive. An intensive over-seeding and recovery plan will be implemented.

The long range forecast next week is for cool, dry, sunny conditions. This weather pattern is required in order to implement a bentgrass over-seeding recovery effort to repair and improve the greens surfaces while returning them to playable condition. This work, including the seeding of injured tee and fairway areas, will continue over the coming days and weeks, thereby, preparing the setting for a successful summer season. A blog summarizing the next steps to recovery will be posted later this week.

On a positive note; the Long Range practice tee and Short Range bentgrass putting green and chipping green will be open Friday, April 18. The use of the Short Range fairway and target greens will be delayed 1 week for scheduled aerification and maintenance.   These learning facilities, with improved turf varieties, are truly remarkable and afford some of the best practice in the Country.

On behalf of the entire Grounds Department, I thank you for your understanding and patience as we transition and work to restore the golf course to normal playing conditions.

Respectfully Yours,

Jayson Griffiths
Golf Course Superintendent

The Spring of 2014… Winter Injury and Recovery…

Spring is a time of excitement and rejuvination for people, plants and wildlife alike. This year is with no exception, considering the duration and harshness of the winter of 2014. This past March will go down in the record books as one of the coldest in recent history unleashing a series of plummeting temperatures well below zero. All this weather has certainly put a hold on the excitement and optimism of spring, at least for a few more weeks.


10 Green, March 31, 2014

Golf Course Update
At present the course remains 40% snow covered, with deep frost well below 3 feet in the ground. The long range forecast is for a brief warm up followed by seasonably cool weather with highs below 10 degrees. The receding snow and ice cover over the past few days has opened a window into the health and condition of the golf course. Recent plug samples are indicating that we have experienced extensive injury.  It wouldn’t be a total surprise if there is a 60% winter kill ratio and possibly higher on some greens.The remaining snow and ice covered turf on fairways, tees and rough have been examined and show early signs of health, although we are still many days away from warming temperatures. The accumulation of ice above saturated frozen soils in December and January coupled with extreme temperature fluctuations through March has made this winter the most severe in over 30 years. Would the perforated covers have made a difference on the greens this winter? The answer to this question is no and we would be faced with the same situation. The covers are permeable and were never designed to prevent water from flowing through the plastic weeve and freezing to the surface of the greens. The 4 inches of solid ice stayed in place for well over 60 days due to the severe length of cold from January through late March. This layer of “frozen concrete” smothered the grass and prevented any gas exchange to the air above, leading to death by anoxia. The use of covers, however, to artificially increase soil temperatures and promote the germination of bentgrass seed will be used over the coming days and weeks. A detailed restoration and recovery plan has been established and we are now preparing for the next step in this process.

Golf Course Traffic and Injury…
In light of the saturated, frozen conditions and fragile turf health a decision to withhold spring golf has been implemented. The transition from frozen soils to saturated wet conditions is the most critical time for avoiding additional turf damage. The plants will be awakening from over 100 days of snow and ice and have very little energy reserves or capacity to receive additional traffic.   At this time last year we were well into our spring clean-up and maintenance programs, including the first cut to fairways. The current saturated conditions need time to thaw and drain and will certainly delay on-course equipment operations for the foreseeable future. All efforts will be made to open our range facilities at the earliest possible time to give Members an opportunity to prepare for an eventual spring opening.

Course Preparations
There is much work to be carried out this spring; winter recovery will be our top priority. Our spring maintenance schedule, including the coring and verticutting of greens, tees and fairways will be crucial in the establishment and incorporation of new bentgrass seed. Weather permitting, the following course activities will be completed by the Grounds Team over the next 3 weeks and include:

  • Winter debris and branches cleaned and removed
  • Dressing of landscaped beds
  • Long range maintenance, set-up and opening
  • Short range maintenance, set-up and opening
  • Greens, tees and fairways cleaned of winter debris prior to scheduled maintenance activities
  • Overseeding and covering of injured greens with new and improved cold and heat tolerant grasses
  • Irrigation system start up
  • Undergrowth and brush removal from greens complexes 7, 9, 10, 11
  • Bunker maintenance will be delayed due to frozen soil conditions


April 2, 2013


April 1, 2014

Talking Points…the Silver Lining

  • With the severity of the winter, we are anticipating weaker Poa annua this spring with slower growth and potential losses. Nature determines survival; although a slower transition to bentgrass over time is preferred and injury was not desired, an opportunity presents itself…
  • Our long-term goal has been to strengthen our golf course, particularly the greens, with reliable, genetically superior creeping bentgrass varieties.
  • The long range Tree Management Program has now been initiated and will be a key factor in promoting morning sunlight and air movement in an effort to establish and maintain an environmentally stronger species of grass.
  • All cultural practices will be carried out in such a way as to minimize the impact to Membership with the ultimate goal of providing superior, healthier putting surfaces.

The Grounds Department is excited to make the 2014 Golf Season a memorable one and we appreciate all the support that we receive from the membership. Thank you!

Upper Thames Regional Conservation Authority Update: Spring Melt Progressing Slowly….


The glacier like deposits of ice and snow are finally receding across the golf course, exposing signs of a long winter. Over the coming days a significant amount of solid water in the form of snow and ice will melt and flow into the Thames River basin. A brief update from the UTRCA below indicates early flood control measures are in place. Please follow our twitter and blog updates for further course conditions.

“A relatively cool and dry spring thus far has produced some melting of the snowpack over the past several days. Warm daytime temperatures of near 10 degrees Celsius are forecast for the next two days, with temperatures dropping closer to zero overnight. There is no rain in the short-term forecasts, but the warm temperatures will cause water levels to rise above where they have been for the last several days. Serious flooding is not anticipated at this time.

A snow survey taken today indicates that the southern portion of the Upper Thames River basin has an average of about 30-40 mm of water equivalent with 40-50% coverage remaining. In the north there is still mostly 100% snow coverage, with an average water equivalent of 60-70 mm. We expect most of this remaining snow to be melted by the end of the day on Tuesday.

Residents are reminded to use extreme caution near all watercourses. Any remaining ice cover is unstable and dangerous, stream banks are slippery, and water is very cold

Flood control reservoirs at Fanshawe, Wildwood and Pittock are at seasonal levels, and will be operated to reduce the effects of flooding. UTRCA officials are monitoring the situation and will report on any changing conditions as necessary.”

March Madness…

General consensus is for an extended period of cold weather this spring, the scope of which has not been seen for many years. The prolonged forecast is rain today followed by a lengthy stretch of unseasonable weather. Efforts, including the use of black sand, are being implemented to melt ice and create openings on all green surfaces. This winter’s extended hold on spring is summarized below in a series of pictures and graphs. Please follow the Jayson Griffiths or the Club on Twitter to receive regular updates of course conditions and activities.


7th fairway – March 18, 2014


7th fairway – 1 inch of ice and 7 inches of snow


1st green – March 18th, ice removed




December 23rd to March 15th82 days of snow/ice cover
78 days below -0C
54 days below -10C
23 days below -20C

All cultural practices will be carried out in such a way as to minimize the impact to Membership with the ultimate goal of providing superior, healthier putting surfaces.


Winter Grounds Update

The winter of 2013/2014 has delivered historic snowfall, temperature and mixed rain events.  As I have previously mentioned in earlier blog entries and newsletter articles; an insulating snow cover affords the golf course turf the best scenario for successfully surviving the winter.  The use of heavy snow blowing equipment has enabled the Grounds staff access to the golf course to both work and observe winter conditions.  In surveying the golf course, the following list details primary areas of concern for winter damage along with the current status of LHCC:

  • Snow Mold Fungi – There are primarily two types of snow mold fungi which can present problems to turfgrass.  “Pink Snow Mold” prefers no snow cover and is active when moisture and temperatures rise just above freezing.  “Grey Snow Mold” prefers extended periods of dense snow cover.  The Grounds staff preventively treat for both types of snow mould fungi through the use of plant protectants in late fall.  These materials discourage activity of both types of fungi.  We have not found any fungal activity on the greens, tees and fairways, however, the duration of plant protection is limited and we will monitor the turf conditions in the coming weeks.  

  2014-02-21a   2014-02-21b

  • Desiccation – This type of winter injury is associated with exposure of turf to cold, drying winter winds.  The extent of damage is dependent upon location of the green and duration of exposure.  Prior to winter a layer of sand topdressing was applied to all greens to help protect the plants from this type of injury.  In addition, Mother Nature has provided a natural blanket of snow cover this winter.
  • 2014-02-21cIce Cover – Since dormant turfgrass plants require both oxygen and the ability to release carbon dioxide, a prolonged, thick ice cover poses the greatest risk for winter turfgrass damage.  The two pre-dominate turfgrass species found on LHCC’s greens, tees, and fairways, Creeping Bentgrass and Annual Bluegrass, are quite different in their ability to tolerate ice cover.  Research shows a great variance in survival duration anywhere from 30 to 120 days. Bentgrass can survive over 90 days of continuous ice cover while Annual Bluegrass can be completely killed in as little as only 30 days.  It is important to note that not all ice is the same.  For example if we received a couple of inches of rain on a warm day, then the night time temperature dropped significantly, a hard, impermeable layer of sheet ice would be formed.  This type of ice presents the largest potential for turfgrass suffocation.  The ice which can be currently found throughout the grounds at LHCC has not formed in this manner; rather was formed by a rain event on top of thawing snow, and has not been frozen by a quick freeze.  Air bubbles are abundant throughout most ice, indicating that gas exchange is quite possible.


The precipitation event above occurred over two days with temperatures just above freezing producing over 20mm of rainfall.  The rain fell on an existing snow pack and penetrated to the frozen ground below resulting in slush and ice formation.  Ice cover and Crown Hydration can produce catastrophic losses to turfgrass.  The following link from Michigan State describes various factors influencing “Winter Injury”.


  • Freeze-thaw Cycles – These cycles are most damaging when they occur in the late winter months.  Once the turfgrass plants begin to awaken, the tender new plants are very susceptible to crown hydration and freeze injury.  The plants imbibe water and a sudden drop in temperatures can actually rupture the plant’s cell walls causing immediate death.  While we can’t control the weather, the best we can do is manipulate the plants growing environment and provide appropriate nutrition to help the plants store enough carbohydrate reserves to remain viable throughout the winter.


As you can see, the golf course is an active place during the winter months, even though the plants are not actively growing.  While all necessary preventative measures were put in place last fall, the LHCC Grounds team have been diligently monitoring the greens surfaces.  Following is a picture showing turf plugs awakening after varying durations of ice encasement.  These samples were brought indoors to de-harden and initiate new growth.  To date all samples have shown signs of life without the smell of toxic gas which is an indicator of the presence of methane.  It should be noted we are now beyond 45 days of ice cover with extended cold temperatures forecast for the coming week.


Seen below;  the Grounds staff over the past 10 days have taken advantage of sub-zero temperatures to gain access and  use heavy equipment, tractors and snow blowers in removing over 20 inches of snow cover from  4 acres of greens surfaces; including the opening of multiple surface channels to expedite rain and surface runoff from the forecasted warm-up and rainfall.  An insulating layer of fresh snow, crushed snow and ice however, remained prior to yesterday’s rain event as next weeks’ temperatures are forecast to be well below normal.






An opportunity to remove the ice cannot present itself soon enough, as the “clock is ticking” and the turfgrass plants are working on a finite amount of carbohydrate reserves.  The Grounds staff will be monitoring the winter weather daily and will act at the soonest available opportunity.  As mentioned earlier, a prolonged stretch of above freezing temperatures are required to both assist in removing the ice layer while providing tolerable survival air temperatures.

All cultural practices will be carried out in such a way as to minimize the impact to membership with the ultimate goal of providing superior, healthier putting surfaces.

Growing Environment Improvement and Tree Management Plan Begins….

A long-term, sustainable effort has been initiated to improve the quality of turf and tree health throughout the golf course. The 5 year Tree Management Plan was developed to not only address the increasing number of declining, hazardous trees but also to improve fundamental growing environment factors, namely; seasonal sunlight and airflow.

Work along the right side of number 9 has resulted in the improvement of airflow from the Thames Valley below and has also enhanced visual site lines. This seeded forested area will be encouraged to develop a natural groundcover of fescue.

Number 9 before…


Number 9 after…


Number 9 before…


Number 9 after…


Number 9 after…


Number 9 after…


All cultural practices will be carried out in such a way as to minimize the impact to membership with the ultimate goal of providing superior, healthier putting surfaces.