Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Hawk Creek Update

The month of February was unusually warm and mild which can create challenges for Turf Managers. When temperatures rise above zero during the day and fall below zero during the night, freeze-thaw cycles occur. When these freeze-thaw cycles occur, ice buildup becomes a major concern both in playable and non playable areas.

Priddis Greens Turf Care staff, while performing their weekly golf course tours, have been closely monitoring the creek and culverts on Hawk 9-11.  While the culverts are working great, the creek has created concerns. This past week (Tuesday, March 12th) saw temperatures reaching 12 degrees Celsius. As a result water breached over the berm and started spilling into the treated effluent pond on Hawk 9 because of the buildup of ice throughout the creek. The pond level remains low throughout the winter to allow room for spring runoff and treated effluent water over the non irrigated months.

Creek breaching into the pond

Turf Care staff, with the help of an outside contractor, cut trenches into the ice to create channels for the water to run. Also with the help of a hot, mobile pressure washer, Turf Care was able to create channels underneath the two pedestrian bridges.

Turf Care staff cutting a trench into the ice with a chainsaw

Turf Care staff opening up the trench

 Contractor using large hoe to remove ice from creek bed

End result

Removing the ice from the creek bed helped to make room for running water caused by snow melt. This made an immediate improvement in these areas and Turf Care staff will continue to closely monitor through the remainder of the spring as we get into the warmer temperatures. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Golf Course Update

As Superintendents in this region, we all wish for snow cover during the winter months.  It provides a layer of insulation for the turf and helps protect it.  However, March 15-April 15 is a crucial period of time to be monitoring snow conditions on the golf course.  When temperatures start to rise and the snow begins to melt, the quicker the better.  This will lead to the drying of the turf and less opportunity for freeze thaw cycles that could potentially weaken the turf.  

Current conditions at Priddis Greens see areas of exposed turf on south facing slopes to 18 inches of snow cover in low lying, shaded areas.  The Turf Care team will be watching the forecast in the coming weeks very closely as temperatures will dictate when we decide to start snow removal on the course.  There is a fine balance needed as to the timing of removal.  Ideal snow removal timing will begin as the long term forecast shows day and night time temperatures not dropping very far below zero.  If we remove the snow to soon, the turf can be exposed to low temperatures and cause possible injury.  If the snow is not removed, this can lead to the formation of ice and possible disease pressure.  
Section of 17 Raven Black/Silver Tee, March 13, 2013

4 Raven Left Rough, March 12, 2013

When the Turf Care Sr. Management team deems the long range forecast favorable, snow removal  will be our first priority.  The sequence of snow removal will begin with areas that have little sunlight exposure and poor surface drainage because we want to prevent standing water and dry those areas out.  Secondly, Turf Care staff will blow paths to all on course catch basins to encourage runoff to travel to these locations.  Again, the goal is to prevent standing water and dry the turf out.  Lastly, manual snow removal with shovels will begin on delicate areas of the golf course.