As write this I am watching blizzard conditions outside my office window. Normally I am okay with this but with us being in April now I am not gonna lie-this winter is getting to be very annoying. The forecast is showing a dramatic warm up for next week which is good in that that means the snow will melt faster and we can get outside and get the necessary work done before opening. The bad thing is that I do worry about potential flooding danger for the entire area with so much snow on the ground. Any way you look at it, I look forward to moving on to the 2023 season.

I wish I could give you all a better idea as to how well the turf came through this long winter but I believe that it is going to be a few weeks before we really know. My spider senses tell me that we should be okay. We aerified greens deep to end the season and this combined with unfrozen ground should mean that any water that filtered its way through the snow percolated through the surface before forming an impermeable ice layer. Clear ice is bad and often results in dead turf. I think, however, that disease pressure this winter has been quite high.

My experience has shown that large snowfall amounts over unfrozen ground equal high disease pressure in the form of snow molds.

Snow Mold Damage 4-21-2014 Tower, MN

The turf on the left has been treated with fungicide applications from the previous October/November. The smoked area on the right has not. Of interest as well is the vole (small rodent) damage in the green turf in the foreground. They like to tunnel under deep snow and create networks of tunnels in the turf. Neither of these types of damage is that big of a deal on fairways and rough though severe damage may require us to fertilize more that we would like in order to drive recovery. My thoughts are that we will likely see this kind of scenario once the snow is gone-treated areas from the previous fall looking alright (though there might be some breakthrough) and untreated areas with developed disease activity. All this being said, we really do not know at this point-we can only speculate.

Winter survivability is a very difficult thing to predict on golf courses. I have seen years where I thought we would be great and we were stung and I have had years where I was mentally ready to deal with extensive winterkill and the course came through great. Either way, we are prepared to deal with whatever it is that we discover in a few weeks. It is what we do.

I look forward to seeing you at Nemadji this year.