Blog Post By: Craig McKinley, Golf Course Superintendent
While we are still in the grips of winter, the days are getting longer, and we are getting ever closer to golf season again at Bucks Run. People always ask the same question of Golf Course Superintendents and that is “what do you do in the winter?”. The easiest way to answer that question is we get everything done that we cannot do during our growing season (the golf season).
Let me explain. Golf course accessories need to be sanded and painted, including tee markers and signage. Flag sticks need to be re-coated in vinyl guard, along with all of our bunker rakes. There is also winter maintenance that occurs on all of our equipment. Any major repairs that cannot be done in season are finished during the winter, by our ten-year Equipment Manager Bill “Wild Bill” Phelps. He goes through each piece of equipment with a fine-toothed comb to make sure it is in peak form for the coming season. This includes grinding our reels and bedknives, and rebuilding motors.
On the golf course itself and with the frozen ground, we are able to bring out larger equipment and continue with our selective tree removal. The benefits to playability and turf quality are without question as we move forward. We have also begun to save large logs from the oak trees to be milled and used in the future rebuild of our wooden bridge, on hole #3. Not only does this save the club 80% on lumber costs, but also is a good way of us recycling the wood with a purpose. Our staff has also been busy clearing river banks of brush, to give us a better view of the Chippewa River from a few holes.
With staff not present during the winter, we are also able to do some building maintenance in our shop. This includes stripping the peeling break room floor and putting on a new epoxy. Maintaining a top-of-the-line facility allows us to continually recruit new staff in an increasingly difficult labor market.
I hope this blog has given you all a brief view into some of the work that takes place during the winter months at Bucks Run; all to provide you with a better experience in the golf season. I hope to see you at the course soon, and please remember to fix your ball marks and replace your divots.