As if we didn’t get enough rain this summer, this past month hasn’t been much different. 6.65″ of rainfall was recorded here at the course over the past 30 days (it’s currently raining as I type this). The course has been saturated this fall but it hasn’t stopped the grounds crew from preparing it for winter. Leaf clean up was a small challenge compared to years prior. Most of our machinery is too heavy to take out onto soaked turf, instead a lot of it was done by hand with our vacuum. This noisier process is slower than other options but it gets the job done.
The irrigation system was shut down and winterized this past Monday. Along with both bathrooms on the course. Blowing out the irrigation system took us about 10 hours. We make sure to turn on every single head to ensure we release as much water as possible. Freezing water will break pipes and damage valves which can lead to costly repairs that involve a lot of labor. It’s always better to spend the extra time now rather than digging holes all spring.
Despite the wet conditions we were able to install 4 more drains in a couple of fairways. We added one more drain to #6 and three drains to #17. All drains were constructed using perforated pipe, gravel, a little sand, and finally sod. These drains will keep water off the turf saving it from any decline.
Snow mold is a turf disease we see throughout these wet cooler months. We combat this pathogen with a fungicide application around this time of the year. Pink Snow Mold (Microdochium nivale) affects all types of turfgrass. It shows up as circular patches ranging in size from 1 to 8 inches in diameter. The patches are tan/reddish brown with a pink boarder. Snow coverage benefits the pathogen but isn’t absolutely necessary to insight disease. Another type, Grey Snow Mold (Typhula incarnata), only occurs with 80+ days of snow coverage. Not as common here at Heritage.
Hopefully we catch a break in the weather so everyone can enjoy a couple more weeks of golf before we close the greens. At that point temporary pins will be placed in the fairways or approaches.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and as always,
Dave Norris, Superintendent