Due to the fact the northeast is getting more than a foot of snow this week, you’re probably not thinking about spring. Despite this, late winter is an optimal time for superintendents and grounds crews to start planning for spring golf course openings. Though there still might be snow on the ground, a lot of things can be done to ensure the course has a smooth and timely opening. Few things can deter eager golfers so even though you may have colder spring weather, it is likely that only snow will keep them away. Our article today will be focused on planning for spring golf course openings.
Check the golf course grounds for winter damage. This is one of the most important things that needs to be done for planning spring golf course openings. Fallen and damaged tree limbs are a common problem that you’ll likely need to take care of first. Besides removing the fallen limbs, you’ll want to thoroughly check the trees to make sure there are no limbs that are damaged and may fall. These limbs can be extremely dangerous to golfers and grounds crews. If you don’t have the capability to take the trees down, you’ll want to hire a tree removal specialist. You should do this sooner than later as these specialists get extremely busy in the spring. You’ll also want them to come out when the ground is still hard so you don’t have to repair tire tracks in the muddy ground.
You’ll want to check your supply inventory too. You’ll need fertilizer, seed, fungicide, and more to get the course looking its best for spring. It is also a good idea to check the supply of cups and flags. The sooner you order the products, the sooner they will arrive. We have several options for the purchase of fertilizer, seed, and fungicide. They can be picked up at any of our northeast locations. Check the equipment on the course as well so you can repair them or order replacements if needed. Golf carts, ball washers, sunscreen, and bug spray dispensers are all susceptible to winter damage so make sure you check them so they can be fixed before opening day.
Later winter and early spring is a good time to apply the chemicals you’ll need to keep the course looking good over the summer. To keep the weeds in check, you’ll want to apply pre-emergent herbicides combined with fertilizers to ensure weed-free rough. You can also apply wetting agents to improve the soil’s water-holding capacity in areas where irrigation is harder to achieve. You’ll also want to blow out your irrigation system to ensure it is in good working order. This can still be done when there is snow on the ground but take into account this can take multiple days.