Posted May 20 2011, 07:08 AM by Cathy Erickson
For some reason, Spring is still taking it's sweet time showing up in Minnesota...cool temperatures, wind, and scattered storms (not to be confused with Sam's scatter shooting!) have not made our transition to golf season (which is what I call summer) very smooth. Trees are finally starting to see some leaf buds and green grass is starting to replace the brown dead patches that seem to be bigger than ever this year. I think I may have reported awhile back that I was a little worried about how our golf course would winter after having some serious issues in 2010. The news we got was a mix of a little good but mostly bad as the snow melted away and we saw what we had to work with.
The good news is that the fairways are starting to come around. There are some patchy dead spots all over, but for the most part things looked good. The greens on the other hand are a whole other story.
Our course is a mix of old greens and new greens after we converted from a 9-hole course to an 18-hole course back in the mid-'90s. The old greens are a hearty, thicker grass that holds up well but were considered "slow" by green standards. When the expansion happened they used a more sensitive grass and sand foundation (rather than our natural clay base) that allowed for better speed but also ran the risk of damage if it wasn't properly maintained. And we have been plagued with keeping those greens in shape ever since. Just when one green woulds start coming around, another would fail. It was a never ending battle.
At the end of last season our "new" greens were in pretty crummy shape. Thatch and lack of watering was killing off major portions of the green and even a fall aeration did not seem to help. We knew that those greens were going to need some TLC as soon as snow disappeared. What we weren't expecting was the death of 3 of our 5 old greens, with the remaining 2 having significant winter kill. When I first saw #10 green about 2 weeks ago I had a literal pain in my chest...it was heart breaking to see a green that has wintered well for over 60 years be almost completely grass-less. No one has really been able to explain what happened, and I guess it really doesn't matter, what does matter is that we need to grow grass...and fast!
And that's where Mother Nature has been kind of a pain in the neck...for the last month we've been attempting to crack the 60 degree mark on the thermometer with very little success, and sun must be hanging out in Texas because we haven't been seeing it much lately. We also had to wait for the gound temperature to warm up so they could turn on the irrigation and see where the winter breaks are...and I guess they found some. According to people in the know, you need sun, water and warm temps to grow grass and we've been lacking all 3 up until a day or so ago.
We opened 9 holes at our course just over a week ago - we have 2 temporary greens, one nice green and the rest are patchy at best. But at least we're playing golf!!!
One other present we got from the winter was 25 dead electric carts. Don't ask me what happened, becuase I don't know about that stuff, all I do know is that there are about 100 batteries waiting to be picked up and I assume new ones are on their way.
So it's been a challening start for golf at my happy place, but I played 18 holes yesterday with one of my favorite golf pals, and for the most part all of the bad stuff didn't seem all that important...I was just happy to be swinging golf clubs ( new Callaway 3 & 7-woods!) , dropping a putt or two, and getting beat by one stroke on the last hole. I continue to have daily conversations with Mother Nature and hopefully she'll get to our requested "to-do" list soon.
I am ready for golf season!
PS...I'm heading down to the Womens US Open sectional qualifying being held in the Twin Cities area on Monday - no LPGA stars on the tee sheets, but you know me and dreamers!! I'll report back next week!
Filed under: Spring, US Womens Open, happy place, Mother Nature, Golf, Cathy Erickson, greens
When I found Tees2Greens website and forum I found a happy place. There were great people there and in 2009 they asked me if I wanted my own blog space. It was a dream come true!! The site is down now, but I was able to get all of my posts to be able to post here. I will always be grateful for all of the Tees2Greens folks!!