If you are like me and are a native Hoosier, you probably love the peaceful setting that winter brings to our area. Go out on any morning this time of year and take stock of scenery like above. But if you are also like me, you look at the calendar and see it is late February which creates excitement for another great year of golf here at Elcona. Golf will be here soon enough, but it will take more than a few days to melt the almost 20″ of snowpack on top of the course, as well as thaw out the frozen soil. We will keep all of you abreast of the latest course conditions and when it is ready for the 2021 season to begin.
The ice and snow on greens were a strong focus for us this month. In past years where we had ice storms and a prolonged ice cover on turf, we have had to remove the ice to prevent suffocation of the turf from harmful gas buildup. Fortunately this year the ice was quite porous and we have not observed any irregularities or damage from this winter. We will continue to monitor all playing surfaces as temperatures stay above freezing the next few days to ensure the health of them.
During the deep freeze that was February, the staff and I continued to work on preparations for your golf course. Our tree management program has taken a different direction the past couple of years. While there will always be a few trees to remove for various reasons, gone are the years of removing 70-80 trees off of the property in any given winter, with our focus shifting to more of a maintenance approach to the trees that define the playability and aesthetics of the course. To accomplish this, a telescopic lift is rented for a few weeks to safely raise us high enough to remove lower hanging branches, any dead branches that are stuck up in the tree, and create a more uniform look to any stand of trees lining the golf course. Our goal with this rental this winter was to tackle 5 holes of trimming, and by the end of the week we will have accomplished that. This will be an important activity of our winter program going forward.
On the days where we cannot work outside, work inside continues. We have completed 95% of all equipment objectives, both repairs and winter maintenance. One extra project this winter has been the refurbishment of the above pictured 1965 Toro Parkmaster. This piece used to mow rough and spray fairways back in the 70’s and 80’s, but now has an important role as our water buggy. All new tree plantings are watered with this machine. The before pictures showed that is was well over due for replacement of the driver’s floor and needed a paint job. The staff took great pride in this work and did an excellent job of making this piece look new again.
Please stay tuned for the latest course news and conditions. As soon as it is ready for play, you will know and we will get you out playing. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!