We as a staff have begun the transition to winter maintenance in full force, while still being able to work outside on projects, such as adding irrigation heads along our western entrance with US 20. This area dries out quite quickly so the turf will benefit tremendously and look much better to all who travel by it each day.
One other large step we completed this month was preparing the turf for winter, whenever it decides to show up here. Plant protectants were applied 2 weeks ago to all playing surfaces and green surrounds to defend the plant against fungal disease. Yesterday, a heavy blanket of topdressing sand was applied to the greens, and you can see by the below picture, was thick and not broomed in like other sand applications.
The reason behind this is to maximize the protection and insulation the sand provides the Poa annua, the predominant grass on Elcona’s putting surfaces. The close up view with a microscope below shows how the sand tightly protects the crowns of the plant from winter desiccation and cold temperatures. This sand also promotes a smoother, firmer surface coming out of winter.
In our industry, we liken this final heavy application to putting a blanket on the greens and “tucking them in for the winter”. Bob Vavrek of the USGA has written a great article further explaining this application that you can access here. This application combined with the beginning of frozen soil conditions, it means also that the golf course will be closed for the foreseeable future until conditions permit safe play again.
What a great year for golf 2020 has turned out to be. The most rounds since 2007 were played at Elcona, and it was so nice to see many of you enjoying your golf course, trusting it to be a safe haven for you and your family to recreate. We also hit the jackpot weather wise to complete a major renovation of the golf course, something that was in doubt 3 months ago. Thank you for all of your support and I hope each of you have a Merry Christmas with your families!!