Well, looks like our Pisten Bully grooming season this year will total 14 days….maybe I shouldn’t jump the gun. I suppose it’s possible we get get another big dump and cover up the ground again, but as of today’s weather report the odds of that don’t look so good.
We had adequate snow cover to use Big Red from 1/11 until 1/27. On Sunday 1/28 the temps warmed up to rain level again and we had four days in row of melting snow, chinook winds and close to 50 degrees on Tuesday 1/30!! We tried grooming with the ginzu on Wed. morning 1/31 but it was an ice layer and futile.
This morning I walked 16 fairway in a pair of tennis shoes and the snow was never more than ankle deep. We are discussing how to keep snow on the greens for as long as possible to conserve soil moisture vs. our normal challenge this time of year – how to get it off as soon as possible.
These two pictures show a startling contrast to the difference of today vs. one year ago.
We finally got a good dump of snow on Thursday night 1/4. Close to a foot of snow fell overnight with plentiful wind followed by warm temperatures at sunrise that settled the snow and made it very pack-able. Brandon spent all morning on the roller, then switched to the Pisten Bully for its maiden voyage of the season. The end result was an excellent track with only isolated pockets of dirt still showing through on the exposed windswept knobs. We followed that up with additional Pisten Bully groomings on Sat., Sun., Mon, and Tuesday. The track was as good as ever by then.
The not so great news is how the storm started out. On Wed. 1/10 it rained hard all night with temperatures right on the verge of freezing. We headed out on the course with shovels and snowblowers first thing Thursday morning to shovel drainage channels into the greens. As the day went on the temperature dropped steadily and the water running across the surface of the greens was freezing right before our eyes. By the end of the day we had dug herringbone drainage channels across every green but they were sheets of ice. The entire course is covered in a layer of ice of this writing on 1/17 and our fingers are crossed none of the crowns became hydrated before it froze.
My last post of 2017 and the big news is…the weather! Surprise Surprise. This time last year we were just entering one of the snowiest January’s on record. This winter so far has been one false start after another. Christmas eve we got what looked to be a good storm but only dropped about 4 inches. As of this writing, we are trying to groom with the ginzu but there is only about 2″ of snow and many parts of the course look more golf-able than ski-able. Hard to ‘figger but we’ll take whatever we can get. I don’t foresee that the shallow snow pack will be detrimental to the golf course come spring save for a few more dessicated south facing slopes, but it should really help to keep vole damage to a minimum. On the positive side, the ice on the skating pond has been phenomenal this year and we were still able to do sleigh rides, lots of members took advantage of both through the holiday.
Here’s hoping the first post of 2018 is all about how much snow we have!
A month ago I posted a comment that we had completed our fungicide applications in the nick of time before the big snows came. Well…a little snow came, then rain came, then more rain came, then the sun came out and it’s been dry for two straight weeks. A stark contrast to the way we started the last two winters. It’s now December 7th and the ground is still bare. JHMR has marginal to poor skiing conditions on about half the mountain, and Snow King is eeking out an opening today on one run of man made snow. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, it means we’ve been able to get a lot of things done around the shop we normally don’t have time to do. Suffice it to say we’re getting a slow start to winter and the soonest we will be able to get the nordic track open according to today’s weather forecast is 12/20.
As a side note, last year we had the nordic track opened just after Thanksgiving and had a few weeks of good skiing then it rained for 3 straight days and we were back down to a 2″ base on 12/20. So maybe by new years we won’t be all that much different than last year???
Worried what all the rain did to our snow mold fungicides, we applied a second time to greens on 11/28th. Well worth it for the peace of mind.
During The Invitational, on July 13th, a 2.5″ irrigation line cracked and broke in the short game area at north practice. It turned out to be a tricky repair because the line had been modified from a previous renovation to the short game area and there were hundreds of wire splice bundles in the way of the repair. Cody did a great job persevering to get the repair done despite hot weather and a big tournament happening simultaneously and the pictures of the project are worth sharing in the blog…