Winter Happenings in the Links Dept.
Links Superintendent Travis Olson gives an overview of all the projects he and his team have been working on over the offseason. Even when the course is closed there is work to be done!
This winter the Links Department has been very busy. We have been working on a number of projects that will help make the course even more beautiful for the upcoming golf season. While we have completed many projects, some are still ongoing.
Every winter our Mechanic and Turf Technician, Quinton, goes through our entire equipment fleet to make necessary repairs and services. This includes reel and bed knife grinding, oil changes, bearing replacement, fabrication, etc.
Refurbishing Tee Markers
This winter we power-sanded all of our tee markers and re-painted them followed by a clear coat sealant. They are looking good as new and ready for another season.
This winter we removed all of our bench boards and sent them to a woodworking shop to be re-planed. We are currently in the process of sanding and staining the bench boards. No more slivers!
Tree Work with Arborist
Winter is a great time to have the Arborist out on the golf course. The ground is frozen and can sustain the large bucket trucks and grinders, minimizing damage to the turf. This winter we were able to focus on a few trees that were becoming a safety hazard.
Removal of Debris Dump
We are in the process of removing the debris pile between the 9th and 14th tee. We have made a lot of headway but still have some work remaining. Once the ground firms up from our recent warm front, we can resume work.
Clearing Drainage Basins
During a warm front in mid-January, most of our snow cover melted. Catch basins needed to be cleared of leaves and debris to allow for water to drain off the fairways.
Pumping standing Water
In areas where the drainage basins could not keep up, we needed to pump excess standing water to avoid the formation of ice which could potentially damage large areas of turf.
Monitoring Snow and Ice Conditions
Throughout the winter I walk the course to check specific areas for ice formation and damage. Depending on the time of winter, we may decide to remove snow to expose ice in hopes it melts before causing damage to the Turf.
Each winter I attend the Western Canada Turf grass Association Conference and Trade Show. At the conference I attend education seminars and networking opportunities with other Superintendents. This year the conference was in Penticton, February 15-17.
Once the course closes for the season and the snow is on the ground, we still have quite a bit of work to do … And you thought we had winters off! Winter projects really give us a chance to get caught up and ready for another no-stop golf season.
This winter we are expecting some winter damage as the course has experienced a great deal of inclement weather. Temperatures of -43C with the wind-chill and multiple freeze-thaw cycles, the turf has certainly been pushed to the limits in some areas.
With that being said, we are itching to get back out on the course and we can’t wait to get things going for the 2017 golf season. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone back out on the course in the coming weeks, it won’t be long now!