For many golfers the memories of the record setting drought and temperatures of the summer of 2012 are behind them. Golfers will be excitingly anticipating a new 2013 spring golfing season and ready to pick up right where they left off at the end of last summer.
However, the weather influences of last summer, or any season for that matter, have a significant impact on the health and condition of the golf course during the upcoming 6 to 12 months. For example, at NCC we are still approximately 8 to 10 inches deficient in rainfall and moisture from normal annual rainfall and snow amounts. This means that the turf and trees entered fall and winter season in a dry and somewhat stressed condition and will therefore enter the spring in that same stressed condition.
Managing a golf course is very different from managing any indoor operation. Indoor operations can be controlled. Outdoor weather conditions which significantly and totally influence the management of a golf course are uncontrollable. Therefore the golf course will play different everyday.
The photos below from late last summer and into the fall exhibit just a few of the stressed conditions in some of the areas of high golf cart traffic in the fairways and the extremely dry conditions in the roughs last summer as a result of record setting heat and drought.
The 2700 trees on the course uptake hundreds of gallons of water from the soil subsurface.
Quote from Dr. Derek Settle - CDGA Turfgrass Pathologist
"Presently the lack of snowfall for Chicago does not bode well (my professional opinion). We have not seen winter desiccation of turf (sand-based systems particularly vulnerable) for several years. This might be one... we shall see. Or in layman's terms if you prefer: "No Snow = Uh Oh for Chicago's Fine Golf Turf."
The lack of winter snow can leave the turf vulnerable to low temperature kill and winter dessication. We could use a few inches of good snow cover.
The high winds last night tore the covers off the two new red nine greens. Assistant Superintendent John Morris braves the 10 degree weather Sunday morning to replace the green's covers. The covers are utilized to protect the young turf from winter ice and wind damage.
Snow Finally on January 24th Much Needed for moisture and turf protection