Old Man Winter Hates Golf!!!
Looks like Old Man Winter is going to blow through North Carolina next week and bring some frigid temperatures our way. Because our greens are Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda, we plan on installing covers Tuesday. We will be closed all day Tuesday in order to prep the greens and install covers.
The extended forecast is iffy, so we’re not sure when we can remove the covers, but it looks like, at a minimum, we will be closed Tuesday, January 16 through the following Monday, January 22.
One very important thing to note, the weather forecasts that you see on local TV or cable weather outlets always forecast for Raleigh. When they mention “colder temps in the outlying areas”, that’s what we are, outlying. So we decide whether or not to cover based on more local forecasts as you see above.
When do we cover? Generally if temperatures are going to be above 20 degrees for the low and above 40 for the high for a day or two, then we will not cover the greens. However, if that pattern looks like it will persist for several days, then soil temperatures eventually lower to the point of plant damage or death. If temperatures are forecast to drop into the teens or stay in the 30’s, we always cover as a precaution this time of year.
“But, but, Suchandsuch Country Club in Durham or Thisandthat Golf Club isn’t closing! You’re just being overly cautious or dramatic.” Maybe, but Suchandsuch Country Club probably has Bentgrass Greens that are Cold Season grass and will survive the low temps and ThisandThat Golf Club might be re-growing grass this spring and summer.
“Fine, but Thursday’s going to be almost 50 degrees! Why don’t you open then? You’re crew is just lazy.’ YES, Thursday IS going to be beautiful! NO, this crew is anything but lazy. It takes ten people about four hours to install covers on all greens and four hours to stow covers when we take them off. So, if we try to open on Thursday, by the time we get them all off, we’ll be starting right back on #1 to put them back on for low 20’s Thursday night. Let’s just let some free solar heat keep those soil temperatures up.
“My yard is Bermuda, I don’t cover in the winter and it’s beautiful in the spring.” That’s awesome, you’re doing GREAT! Generally Bermuda yards are grown at 1/2 inch to 2 inches which provides lots of insulation. Our greens are .185 of an inch in Winter and around .110 of an inch during the Spring and Summer. That’s not much insulation.
So, there’s some science, some intuition, some experience, some sweat (yes, there have been some tears), and definitely some praying involved in the decision to cover greens and close the course to you. But be certain that it is all to have an even better playing surface on the 355 other days of the year.
Thank you as always for your continued support, understanding, and friendship. If you have any questions about our greens cover policies or decisions, or would like to experience the fun in installing and/or stowing the covers, leave a message for Scott in the Pro Shop and he’ll be glad to talk with you.