Winter-Weary Golfers Need to be Patient

By USGA Green Section
March 28, 2014

There is plenty of work left for course maintenance staffs once the snow is removed. (USGA)

Just as plenty of golfers are doing, superintendents in many parts of the country are beginning the process of restoring their golf courses to playability. Unfortunately, this winter was particularly harsh in several regions and impacted many courses. While some are gearing up for major replanting efforts, others have had to delay normal spring maintenance practices. Many golfers are anxious to help their courses get back into shape as quickly as possible. Here are some things to be aware of during the recovery efforts:

Related Content
For The Agonomist: Is Winter Over Yet?
Our Experts Explain: Frost Delays
Webcast: Severe Winter Concerns

·Fairways may have experienced injury this winter, particularly in shaded areas. Avoid using powered and pull carts in these areas.

·Damaged areas may have to be replanted with seed, sod or sprigs, all of which require frequent watering. Keep all traffic as far away as possible from these areas.

·The maintenance staff may have to give priority to repairing damaged areas and spend less time on tasks such as bunker preparation and planting flowers.

·In many areas, the prolonged winter conditions have prevented scheduled maintenance practices from being completed. For example, putting-green aeration may have to be performed later than desired.

·On those courses with damaged greens, remember that getting the greens back into good shape takes precedence over other maintenance tasks.While no one wants to play temporary greens, removing traffic from the damaged regulation greens can speed up recovery by weeks or even months.

·In many parts of the country, the turf may still be dormant (brown). Dormant grass is extremely prone to injury from concentrated traffic and will not begin the recovery process until it turns green and begins growing. Although it is frustrating to golfers and superintendents, the grass cannot be forced to grow and will do so only when temperatures rise.

·Some courses may have suffered damage to both turfgrass and trees. Debris cleanup may need to be delayed while the course superintendent focuses on repairing the playing surfaces.  

·While no superintendent views winter damage as a good thing, some make the most of a bad situation. Some might decide to convert to improved turfgrasses or begin that major tree project that has been so badly needed.

Most importantly, be patient. The recovery process takes time and is dependent on weather conditions. Recognize that the superintendent wants the course back in top condition as badly as you do. Staying patient is often the most difficult aspect of a spring recovery program.

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image