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.
Golf Course Superintendent