Fires across Northern Minnesota this May were a pretty good indicator of just how dry conditions were throughout the entire month on the golf course. I do not recall irrigating as much in any other previous year and while many would think that this makes things tougher, the fact is most superintendents prefer this over the opposite-too much rain. We can always add more water but on this site it is not so easy to remove it. We like to be able to have control of conditions and with dry weather this control is much easier to achieve. Our production as a golf course staff this May has been outstanding as a result of dry conditions. I may say it too much but my staff makes me enjoy coming to work in the morning. They all share a commitment to the golf course that makes me proud.
To me the most enjoyable time of the year to be working on the golf course is the time period from when snow melts and the course opens to play and the time period from closing day until conditions become too harsh to work outside productively. While there is definitely more physical, “character building” type of work that requires completion before we open, the feeling of accomplishing projects that make the golf course better in the future makes it worthwhile. Add to this the fact that you do not have to look over your shoulder wondering where the next player is and spring/fall work is pretty cool stuff.
Much has changed since our last newsletter and I am pleased to report that the golf course came through the winter in outstanding condition-thanks to a mild winter and our proven methods of protecting the property from winter turf diseases. The photo below is a great example of just how effective our techniques are for ensuring consistent, quality conditions for our customers on a steady basis year after year. Sometimes turf loss is inevitable after the worst of winters, but this year was not one of those years.
I wish that I could write to say that spring is here and the snow is gone but, sadly, this is not the case at the moment. Earlier this week, I encountered a temperature of -10 degrees F on my way in to work and so winter is lingering a little longer than we would like. That being said, the long-term forecast looks somewhat promising with highs in the 40’s and within the next few weeks, with a little luck, we may be able to get a good feel of how the golf course fared over the winter season under the snow. The next newsletter should be a little more enlightening in regards to current course conditions. This might be a good time to write about something that we would like to perform as a service to our patrons.
I write this article having just finished grooming cross country ski trails on the golf course. Many of you do not make it up here to visit in the winter months and so may not have the opportunity to make it out onto the golf course to enjoy the cross country ski trails we have available for free for everyone to use. The longer trail (2 km) includes holes 1, 4, 5, 17, and 18 while the shorter loop (1 km) covers holes 9, 17, 1nd 18. Access to these trails is on the south side of the clubhouse and be sure to bring your own equipment as rentals are not available. I encourage everyone to try it as there is a certain kind of winter beauty on the golf course that is different from the summer time. In fact, you do not even have to be a skier to appreciate the golf course in the winter as the photo below illustrates: