COURSE CARE
Winter Weather And Communication Improvements For 2015 February 3, 2015 By Adam Moeller, agronomist, Northeast Region

Todd Raisch created a Twitter account for The Ridgewood Country Club Grounds Department (@RCC_Grounds) to provide updates to golfers on important course updates.

Recent snow storms have hit the Northeast and many golf courses are now under a blanket of snow. Snow removal is an annoyance for homeowners and it is particularly challenging for golf course superintendents. Many parts of New England reported 15-20 inches of snow or more, leaving many superintendents weary after hours of removing snow from course parking lots and sidewalks. Unfortunately, ice formation on putting greens has also been reported at many golf facilities. Ice damage was severe and widespread in 2014 and many superintendents are worried about how their course will hold up this year. Superintendents should begin to communicate with their course officials on the state of the golf course after the recent storms and highlight ice presence, thickness, and duration of cover. The video Sampling Greens For Winter Kill is a great reference for superintendents that need to monitor turf conditions underneath ice.

Golf facilities without snowpack and with cold-hardy golfers are facing tough decisions on opening for play. The total number of golf rounds played in the U.S. was reported to have slightly increased in 2014 and many golf operators are hopeful this trend continues. However, allowing play on golf courses in the winter – when the turf is growing very slowly or not at all – is a difficult decision. The USGA Green Section Record collection Managing Winter Play is a great reference for superintendents and golf course operators looking for answers on balancing winter revenue versus winter injury potential.

Communicating with course officials and golfers is one of the most important parts of being a successful superintendent. Superintendents are increasingly utilizing blogs and social media to inform their clients of upcoming agronomic programs like core aeration, daily cart-use policies, and frost delays. Dan Meersman, director of grounds at The Philadelphia Cricket Club, has an excellent blog that keeps golfers informed about pertinent maintenance activities throughout the seasons. Meersman also uses his blog to highlight key staff that golfers often see working hard on the course throughout the golf season. Click Here to view The Philadelphia Cricket Club Grounds Announcements blog. Todd Raisch, superintendent at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J., uses Twitter to keep golfers informed of golf course maintenance activities like frost delays, course closures and winter projects. Blogs and social media can be powerful and effective tools to inform your golfers on important topics and activities at your course. Learn how to use these tools now and you will be better able to communicate with your golfers this season.

Source: Adam Moeller (amoeller@usga.org)

 

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