The sign on the highway has been reduced to less than 30 days til opening. The view from the highway shows mostly clear fairways and our wonderful greens. Why are we not open?
The business of growing great grass is simple if you allow for all of the factors that make it a wee bit more complicated than one might realize.
When we put the course to bed for the winter, we apply certain safe chemicals that fight the development of the tiny mycelium from becoming a raging case of snow mould that can damage the grass while there is not natural repellent – the sun. It worked again this year – our greens are in mint condition.
But that does not mean we can open. We like to get a couple of mowing cycles on them so we clean off the tips that have browned from the constant wind and cooler temperatures we experience over night. And because cutting the grass is a somewhat severe practice (for the grass at least) we need warmer temperatures to encourage the grass to grow and renew itself. This is not an on and off cycle. It has to be continuous. Hence we need overnight temperatures in the plus 8-9 to hold the heat from the naturally higher daytime temperatures. After a few days and nights like this, we will cut the greens twice, then we will open.
The fairways will be a bit behind this process – but not much.
The dirving range is usually last to open due to the wet clay base that permits the balls to plug too easily thereby taking them out of the range of the picker and a loss to us to reuse.
And before you know it, we will be in full swing with golf.
Sometime in mid-May, we will fill our irrigation pipes and will be ready for the warm winds of summer to caress the course, dehydrating the grass surfaces, which we will then rehydrate. Mother Nature took this role too personally last year – our pumps rarely ran!!
We expect to open by mid-April and since you have already read the top part, you will know that this is an aspiration – not a definition.
The simulator will remain open until the first tee is open – time to start getting the rust out of the swing!!