The management of a year round golf course can be challenging. The winter months can bring us some very favorable weather in Victoria with low temperatures and sunny days, beautiful for golfing. Then we can experience frost that delays play for hours which can be frustrating for players. Our goal is to get the golf course prepared and open as soon as possible which means that often the golf course does not get serviced. In saying that, we try to service the greens as much as possible, rolling, hole changing and cutting when required.
Even more challenging for the maintenance of the course are winter conditions like we have had in the last few weeks. We had several days of sub 0 weather and wind chills to -20C. This froze the greens to a depth of approximately 6”, then it snowed and snowed again. Now that the snow has lifted and everyone is eager to get out and golf as soon as possible we have stayed closed. Here are is why the course remains closed while there is no snow on the ground:
1- The ground is still frozen and we need to be able to roll the greens. Foot traffic on greens that have not been treated would kill the turf.
2- Micro climates on the course affect the thawing. The Highland side often thaws faster than the Pacific side. The Highland side may open for play while the Pacific side needs to remain closed due to frozen conditions.
3- Usually the best thawing happens when it rains, this causes flooding on the course which can create unplayable conditions. We want to offer the best conditions possible while not damaging the turf.
In the upcoming weeks players will observe several cultural practices on the golf course and especially on the greens. We will either vent the greens with a bayonet style tine on our aerator or use our planet air. Both put small deep slices into the green helping with air flow and drainage. Some areas look good but will stay closed, the putting green is closed for a while. It takes the most traffic of all greens and is showing signs of extreme wear and tear. We need to vent this green as soon as possible as it is struggling to breathe
Cart traffic has been restricted to the path. The fairways are at capacity for moisture and the damage the carts do is unfavorable. We will be doing some drainage over the next two months that will help. Damage to the course in the winter can last all season and we are trying to minimize it and you can help. Please do not pull over off the path at tee, green or those highly worn areas. Please keep your carts in the middle of the path.
Warmer weather is forecast for now, let’s hope we have seen the last of the freezing temperatures. We are all looking forward to spring and drier playing conditions.