Blog Post By: Craig McKinley, Golf Course Superintendent
This year has brought a great golfing season. This summer treated us to an abundance of fantastic golfing weather, and with people being cooped-up, it also brought a new excitement for the game of golf. It was amazing to see a lot of new faces, and a lot of new players out and about this summer. With all of the negative things that happened this year, we have all been reminded that spending time relaxing and spending time outdoors is important, often overlooked, and golf has all that in spades.
Golf this time of year often comes with colder night-time temperatures and frost delays in the morning. Although these delays are often inconvenient, it is to ensure the health of the turf. Check out this short video on USGA Frost Delays and why they are worth the wait to play.
Winter Prep & Fall Clean-Up
Prepping Bucks Run for winter is all about making sure the turf goes into winter healthy so that we can have strong healthy plants emerge in time for next season. For example, we raise the height of cut on our greens starting in mid-October to give the turf more leaf tissue to carry out its primary job of photosynthesis. Just like adding more solar panels to an array, adding leaf tissue gives you more surface area to absorb sunlight, and in our plants case, create and store more energy.
Another step in keeping the golf course healthy is the dreaded aerification process. I, just as much as you, dislike seeing putting surfaces disrupted. However, this step allows us to incorporate fresh sand into the greens profile, allowing air and water channels for healthy root growth and a healthier soil. It also relieves compaction on surfaces from a long season of foot, cart, and equipment traffic. We appreciate your understanding while we carry out these important processes this time of year.
Snow mold applications are also applied to our greens, tees, and fairways after growth has ceased. There are two types of snow mold that we deal with -- one being Grey Snow Mold, which we would see under extended snow cover, and Pink Snow Mold, which can occur even without snow cover.
Our other priority is cleaning-up the golf course, which during leaf season at Bucks Run is quite a challenge. Just as a quick insight into the amount of leaf clean-up done at Bucks Run, we average 25 labor hours per day, for approximately a month and a half, just to keep the golf course clean enough for play. Our goal before the weather makes this impossible is to always "put the golf course away completely clean" and leaf-free. This makes it easier for us to focus on other projects in the spring, and allows for the golf season to get going right off the bat.
We look forward to seeing your out enjoying the remainder of the season, and please (even though greens have been aerified) fix your ball marks and replace your divots.