COURSE CARE
The “Off-Season” January 22, 2013 By Darin Bevard

Varying amounts of snow and frigid temperatures have limited the work that can be accomplished outdoors. This does not mean that your golf course maintenance staff members are not keeping busy!

  

The “off-season” is anything but, and there are many jobs to complete indoors.

The second cold spell, but first Arctic blast of the season hit the Mid-Atlantic Region earlier this week with bitter cold temperatures, high winds and some snow. A couple of the local golf courses that I drive by regularly looked like ghost towns. For sure, there were no golfers, but there were no members of the maintenance crew to be seen either. Does this mean that there is nothing going on at the maintenance facility? Hardly.

During the winter months, your maintenance crew welcomes periods of freezing weather to complete jobs inside. Last winter, persistent mild temperatures presented challenges for getting some tasks completed inside. The little things that often go unnoticed, unless they aren’t done, are often completed inside of the shop. Refurbishing golf course benches, painting tee markers, making the ball washers look like new and equipment maintenance, especially sharpening mowers, takes a lot of time to complete. The winter is also a good time to spruce up the maintenance facility with a new coat of paint or other in-house enhancements. The winter pace is not as hectic or stressful as the summer season, but do not think that the maintenance staff is not busy.

The cold weather has prompted some calls to our offices concerning potential winterkill of bermudagrass in the region. Winterkill is always a concern, but with the temperatures experienced and predicted to date, bermudagrass populations should be okay, overall. There is still a lot of winter left, but weather conditions in October, November and December were such that bermudagrass hardening should be sufficient to tolerate the rest of the winter in most cases. Time will tell.

Online registration for this year’s regional meetings is now available. One can register from USGA web page under “Upcoming Events.” Scroll to the meeting you want to attend or you can follow this link: https://www.usga.org/register

March 5, 2013 at Country Club of Virginia, Westhampton Course, Richmond, VA

Event Code for this CC of Virginia meeting is: 305013

March 12, 2013 at Woodholme Country Club, Pikesville, MD

Event Code for Woodholme meeting is: 31213

Our regional meetings cover a broad range of topics that are relevant to golf course superintendents, golf professionals, club managers and golfers in general. We hope to see you at one of these meetings. 

The Mid-Atlantic Region agronomists are part of your agronomic support team. If you have a question of concern, especially now, give us a call or send an email. You can reach Darin Bevard (dbevard@usga.org) at 610-558-9066 or Keith Happ at (khapp@usga.org) at 412-341-5922 

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