The closing process at a golf course is quite detailed and lengthy. It is not like an office – shut the lights off and close the door.The planning starts now. In late August we were seeding and topdressing areas on fairways that need some help. We could not get it done sooner due to weather conditions – too cold too dry too hot – grass seed is fussy!!
The dreaded aeration process started as late we could push it – after our almost last tournament. And early enough that the greens will repair before our special 2Man scramble in honour of our late Head Pro – Ron Babcock. We normally do 9 holes one day and the other 9 holes the next day. But we managed it all in one day. With a small crew already stretched, Russ and I will be holding shovels and not computer mice for these days. We punch holes, remove and dump the cores in areas of fairways needing a lift, blow the rest of the chaffe from the green, apply a special fert that the grass loves, topdress with a serious layer of specified sand and work it in with a brush or a coconut mat. Water it and let the grass rest. Pretty simple? Pretty exhausting. But you will taste the fruits of this labour next season.
The 2 Man was the weekend after Thanksgiving and is always sold out. The super puts pins where he would not normally dare for the daily fee golfer. Putting becomes an artform. Accuracy trumps length. And everyone has fun.
Once it was done, we needed to drain the irrigation system :
– Shut down and winterize the pump system
– Open every gate valve on the system and let it drain.
– Open strategic turf valves on certain fairway – let it drain.
– rent a 1400CFM compressor, hooking it up to a special valve outside the pumphouse.
o Let it run for 2 days with all of the above valves open, and cycle through tees and greens continuously.
– Pray that you got it all.
We then waited for the Tombstone Tourney which is our last official event.
We waited for the first snow.
After that, we picked the best weather day we see in the forecast and closed the course (much to the chagrin of our members!!)
– We applied a winter application of product to prevent snow mould and let it dry on the plant – hence the day.
We then opened for casual play while we remove all signs, tee markers and other golf-oriented items. We leave the pins in til the 2nd snow when we close the course which was November 16th – same Sunday as 2021!!
And then we opened the simulator…