Good day to all, I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving with plenty to eat and good family reunions. This morning was the coldest day of our winter season so far. We had a low temperature of 34 degrees with a very heavy frost. Tee times had to be pushed back by 1 hour to allow most of the frost to burn off. My crew is in cleanup mode with mostly minor cutting and picking up leaves.
I figure this would be a great time to explain why we do some things this time of the year.
Fairways - while the grass slows down considerably during this time of the year, until it goes completely dormant it will still grow. We still cut the fairways but generally only twice a week until dormancy kicks in and then only once a week. This is to cut the divots up more then anything though.
This would also be a great time to say that during the winter months I would prefer that you place as many divots back in their spots after you hit your shot instead of just sand, or if needed with a little sand on top. Since grass will not grow much this time of year, simply filling the hole with sand stays as a hole filled with sand, and with our higher heights of cut the divots are less likely to be pulled out of the hole by our mowers.
Tees - We will still cut tees twice a week in order to help clean up the divots like we do with our fairways.
Greens - our greens will go in and out of dormancy many times during the winter months. My program for their grooming is determined by their dormancy periods. I often alternate rolling with our mowers with the mowing when needed. By rolling the greens we are knocking down any small mounds of dirt that is kicked up by the flat worms as well as removing the morning dew.
Our green speed increases drastically when the greens go dormant. So if the greens look more brown then green, expect them to roll really fast. The extreme speed also forces us to start using more pin placements closer to the middle of the green. This is due to so many balls that would roll past the cup and back off the green.
Also remember that becasue the greens are not growning or not growing much the cup holes heal over very slow if at all. due to this fact we try to stretch out the time between changing the cups to lesen how many unhealed holes we have throughout the season.
This would be a great time to watch the USGA video on frost delays that is linked within this site.