Today is National Golf Lover’s Day. This day was created to give golf enthusiasts a special day to test their swings before winter hits. Besides offering several products for golf course turf care, a lot of our staff enjoy the game of golf. There are several things that superintendents can do for winter golf course preparation. These involve both preparations on and off the course. To celebrate National Golf Day, today’s article will focus on winter golf course preparation.
Winter Golf Course Preparation
Preparing the Golf Course for Winter
One of the most important things to do before the snow flies is to trim back tree limbs that hang over your course’s buildings. These tree limbs can easily damage a building’s roof if they fall during a winter storm. Tree limbs can also fall due to the weight of snow pulling them down. In terms of your course’s turf, never forget to apply nitrogen fertilizer. This will be stored in the turf’s root tissue which will give it vital carbohydrates that help it survive the winter and give it early spring growth.
You also need to make sure your greens are protected as they are the most susceptible to winter damage. Easy ways to do this are to increase their exposure to sunlight. Trim back tree canopies that are hanging over any of the greens as they may be blocking out the sun. You can also invest in a turf blanket to protect your greens. These protect the greens from the elements, but they also prevent unwanted foot and animal traffic. If you purchase a turf blanket that is high quality, it will allow sunlight to pass through and warm up the soil. Greens should also be monitored all winter long. Snow might need to be removed and soil samples should be taken to monitor turf health.
Preparing the Clubhouse for Winter
Managers often forget that a lot of the property damage that occurs over winter can happen in the clubhouse. 70% of that can come from broken pipes that have frozen. Burst pipes can cause flooding which in turn leads to costly water damage. Clubhouses are often vacant in the winter so this damage may go unnoticed for long periods of time.
You can prevent this problem by preparing outdoor hose bibs, not placing water sprinkler lines and pipes in unheated areas like basements or crawl spaces. You should service your clubhouse sprinkler systems regularly and check them for trapped water. Insulating pipes also helps as well as caulking and insulating piping vents to prevent the leakage of cold air. It is always a good idea to check the clubhouse for damage after excessively cold weather and if there are leaks, repair them and clean up the water damage as soon as possible.
Winterize your Golf Carts
Golf carts can be very susceptible to cold weather damage. Always take the time to winterize your golf carts in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Winterizing golf carts is essential as the facility that houses the carts will likely not have access to heat. Fluid levels and batteries must be topped off and stored as directed by the cart’s manual. Winterizing the battery is especially important as there have been cases where golf courses have lost their entire maintenance building from fires caused by failed batteries being ignited.