A behind the scenes look into maintenance practices including past, present and future development plans of the Lac la Biche Golf Club.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Course Update.

Since my last post, the crew and I have been extremely busy prepping the course as best we can for our members and guests. Here is a list of whats happened the past few weeks and short term plans for next week.

- Back 9 opened April 25th
-Front 9 opened May 1st
-All greens have been fertilized twice (Once with granular and once with liquid)
-All greens have been double verticut and are being cut 5 times a week
-Greens #4, 7 and PG have been over seeded with our new seeder
-All tees have been verticut, fertilized and are being cut 3 times a week
-The fairways have been cut twice already and are greening up nicely (Fertilizing within 2 weeks)
-This week we are tank watering greens daily (Roughly 12 greens a day)
-The pump house has been assembled and planning on priming the lines next week
-Fairway isolation valve on #14 tee and #17 tee have been replaced. 6 more to go
-Replaced back right head on PG. 12 more to go
-Changing holes (Prep) 3 times a week
-Raking bunkers 2 times a week
-Rolling greens 2 times a week
-Cutting rough and tee fronts today and tomorrow

This doesn't take into account all the raking, divot repair, limbing, installing all course supplies (tee signs, ball washers, garbage cans, sand and seed mix buckets, rakes, tee markers and advertising signs) Wet areas roped off, painting ALL CART lines, cart storage work, burning natural areas and branch pile, etc etc...Couple this with Jack and Dave prepping all the equipment and it doesn't take long to burn daylight.

As for next week, the plan is to shut down the front 9 Monday to core aerate, over seed and top dress the greens. Then the same for Tuesday for the back 9 greens. Weather permitting and barring no break downs, all 18 greens will be in play for Wednesday. I'm planning on priming the irrigation lines the same time so next week is going to be a very busy week.

Till then, enjoy the course and for more current news and conditions follow me on twitter.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The past few days, I've really started to see the benefits of twitter and how valuable it can be to the blog and informing members and guests as to what's happening at the golf course. For those not accustomed to twitter, this is what it is: Twitter is a free on line social networking service and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". These tweets can contain pictures and links to websites and videos. Worldwide there are over 140 million registered users generating over 340 million tweets and 1.6 billion search queries daily. A powerful tool to say the least.

Anyone wanting to follow me on twitter can do so by adding me: LLBGOLFSUPER69  For those not interested in twitter, you can still view my tweets through the blog. If you look to the right hand column, you will see Twitter Updates. At times there may a link within the tweet which can be viewed. Often it`s a picture but it may contain a video or website as well. Check back often and stay updated as to what is happening on the LLB Golf Club. For more in depth information on projects or maintenance practises, my maintenance blog will be the place for that.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Ice On Greens.

#12 Green. Back left portion prone to ice and water
buildup due to topography.
(Taken March 26 / 2012)
 This past week I kept busy chipping away at low lying areas of ice on the greens. Some areas are worse then I expected with almost 75mm (3 in) of ice. The worse ice accumulation I have ever had here. Pictured are some of the worst cases. Time will tell how they look once the area dries out and I'm able to pull back the tarps. Today marks the 91st day that we received a large amount of rain and the beginning of ice on the course. If you recall from my "Wacky Winter" post (Feb 21 / 2012), bentgrass can survive ice cover from 90 - 120 days and poa roughly 60 days. We have exceeded the poa threshold and quiet possibly the bentgrass threshold as well. I will update you soon on the condition of these areas on the greens.

#12 Green. 50mm (2 in) of Ice cleaned up
and water shovelled away.
(Taken March 26 / 2012)

On a positive note, the weather has co-operated the past few days and I expect all 20 greens to be ice free by Sunday or Monday. Currently about half the greens are already clear. With warmer temps, it won't take long for the tarps to "work their magic" and break the turf from it's dormant state. Next week will be a busy one for me as I monitor green conditions and begin prepping the course for play. There is still a ton to do particularly cleaning the course of branches, burning around the dug out, #1 and 2 pond and the long area beside the driving range. The old putting green tree also needs to be bucked up and hauled away. I think Lance may also open the range either this weekend or very early next week?
#8 Green. Another low lying area prone to ice and water
accumualtion. This area had over 70mm (2.75 in) of ice.
(Taken March 30 / 2012)

#8 Green after Ice and water removed.
(Taken March 30 / 2012)

Friday, March 23, 2012

One Week Since I Snow Blowed Greens.

#4 Green. Compare this picture with the one I took Mar 15
right after snow blowing.
 The weather has co-operated fairly well this past week. Clear night skies has allowed temperatures to dip well below zero but we are still ahead from where we were last year at this time. The forecast for next week looks very favourable and I expect the greens to be ice free by the end of next week. The importance of surface drainage at this time can not be over stated enough. 

#14 Green. Prior to snow blowing last week, this green
had 23cm (9 inches) of snow.
 Over the next few weeks, we will be keeping a close eye on the greens and making sure to "push off" any standing water that may be present. Standing water on the greens which has the ability to re-freeze can lead to crown hydration and disease issues. ( See Feb 21 / 2012 Post)
At times like this, any sub-surface drainage that maybe present is not operational since the ground is frozen.


#12 Green. Back left corner of green and collar holding
excessive water/ice from poor surface drainage.
I'm anticipating winter kill issues here.

#15 Tee. There was 25cm (10 inches) of snow here. Clearing
off now will allow the tee to melt a lot quicker and recover
in time for course opening.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Clearing Off Tees.

Fortunately the weatherman was wrong yesterday with their Snow Fall Warning for Lac la Biche County. We received a light dusting but nothing too concerning. Today I cleared off Tees #2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17 & 18. The rest were either clear or had next to nothing on them. If things continue as they are, the driving range could be opened for the middle of next week. For sure by Saturday and Sunday (Mar. 31) if Lance is ready to start working weekends. The back 9 still has a solid 20cm of snow especially along the shaded tree lines. Exposing the greens and tees now will allow the turf to recover sooner then later. Lets hope for a constant melt and an early opening. My next post will show before and after pics of the melt we have been experiencing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Snow Blowing Greens.

Yesterday I plowed all the cart paths so that we have full access to the golf course. Today I rented a Toro Dingo with 48inch snow blower attachment and I have to say I'm very impressed with this machine. The rubberized tracks provide plenty of grip and the diesel engine has enough grunt to throw the snow a long ways. The one downside is the drive and steering controls. It's very tiring for the thumbs and wrist but I'll suck it up for the efficiency it provides. In 5 hours I was able to blow off greens #2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and the nursery. If all goes well I will have the back 9 done by the end of tomorrow. This is the first time in my 10 years at the club that I have snow blowed the greens. With warm temps expected for the next few weeks, I thought it best to rid the greens of potential water (snow) and ice and let the greens breath a bit. As stated in my earlier post
( Feb 21/2012)  ) I'm very concerned with the amount of ice that has blanketed the golf course this winter. It's been a winter unlike any I've ever seen.

Dingo in action on #4 Green

#4 Green done and cleaned down to ice. Ice is approx. 35mm

#3 Green. Keys are sitting on top of tarp. Notice ice in background
which is no longer clear in color like it was in January.

#3 Green. Our worst green for snow and ice build up.
The berm around this green drains and retains water
which makes no sense why it was built this way.
Before I snow blowed, there was 37cm (15 inches)
on the backside of this green.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Break Down of Capital Plan

As promised from a few posts ago , I wanted to list all projects that are being addressed in the golf clubs capital plan. It is broken down into 10 years but the reality is it's very in depth and more like a 15 or 20 year plan. One thing for sure, it highlights all the issues plaguing the golf course and once addressed, elevates the standards of the golf course immensely. Here is the break down of the 10 year Capital Plan and a brief explanation of it's importance:

2011:    Clear cut bush and trees behind #7 green down to #9 blue tee. 
             #8 is considered our signature hole since it has incredible views of the lake.
             This view has become very limited due to brush and tree growth since the front
             nine was built in 1989.
             New 50 x 80 Maintenance Shop.
             The existing maintenance shop (formally the original club house from
             the 1950's) is much too small to satisfy our current needs. This includes
             working on our growing fleet of equipment and accommodating staff.
             IS PRIORITY FOR THE 2012 SEASON.

             Green Bunkers #4, 8, 9 & 18.
             The bunker sand that was used when the course was expanded in 1989 is
             beach sand which is common in the area. The sand itself is not that bad
             considering it was free. The issue is all the rocks which should have been
             screened prior to delivery.

             Fairway Drainage #2, 3, 4 & 9.
             Drainage is an issue all over the course. The back 9 is much higher in
             elevation and in many areas flows across the front 9 and eventually
             to the lake.

             New 30 x 80 Cart Shed.
             Every other year we continue to add to our current Club Car fleet.
             When I first arrived in 2003, we had 20 new carts. Today we have
             over 50 and could use more.

             New 24 x 50 Maintenance Shop Roof.
             As stated in my previous blog, the flat maintenance roof was in dire
             need of replacement. Because the cinder block building itself is still
             in excellent shape, a new roof would supply many years of service and
             some much needed storage in the future.
             Tree Planting Front 9, 13 & 18 Fairway.
             Lac la Biche resides in the Boreal Forest Zone which comprise of many
             poplars and deciduous trees. My first year here I transplanted over
             150 spruce trees though out the course. There are still many areas that
             could use trees and not only help differentiate holes, but also provide
             some protection from errant golf shots.
             New Starter Shack.
             During busy times it would be nice to welcome golfers and make sure they are
             teeing off on the proper 9. Often times tourists will inadvertently head to #10
             tee. Some members will also try to "sneak" onto the back if the course is busy.

2012:    Pave Front 9 Cart Paths.
             In 2010, we constructed brand new tee to green cart paths on the golf course.
             We did over 4.3km and the beauty of doing this was during wet periods,
             we could still allow carts to be used. At times we will use the 90 degree
             rule or cart path only. It's nice having this option on the course. Cart paths
             also direct golfers to the next hole so it's next to impossible to get lost.

             Green Bunkers #10, 11, 12, 13 & 15.

             Fairway Drainage #10, 11, 12 & 18.

             Tree Planting Front 9.

             Retaining Wall #2 Green.
             The right side of #2 green drops off significantly down to the cart path and then
             to the ditch (creek). By installing a retaining wall along the left side of the cart
             path around the green, we would gain roughly 6 yards of flat surrounds.
             This buffer would save a lot of golf balls that narrowly miss the green and end
             up in an unplayable position.

2013:    Pave Back 9 Cart Paths.

             Green Bunkers #14, 16 & 17.

             Fairway Drainage #13, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18.

             New 18 x 24 Fuel Shed.
             Our existing fuel shed is in horrible shape and needs to be replaced.
             It's showing signs of rot, is no longer level and leaning too much forward
             and the tin on it is bent and full of holes. It also needs a containment
             feature installed to house potential gas or diesel spills.
             Rain Shelters #3 & 12.
             The course currently has 2 rain shelters (#6 & 15 Tee) and the addition
             of 2 more would be welcomed attractions. These shelters provide
             protection from sun, wind, rain and serve for a hang out area while
             waiting for golfers playing on the next hole.
             Redo Wash Bay.
             The addition of a re-vamped wash bay is needed on the course. The process
             should be 2-staged. Stage-1 should be a compressed air station where the bulk
             of grass clippings is removed from the mowers. Stage-2 is a wash area to
             clean off grass residue which is acidic in nature and wreaks havoc on
             reel blades. This process would eliminate the smell associated with
             decomposing wet clippings and make for easier clean up.

2014:    Upgrade Fertilizer & Chemical Storage Building.
             The current fertilizer and chemical storage building is very sound and has a
             proper all steel floor. It does however need proper containment around it
             to stop potential run off from a spill. It also requires proper venting.
             Upgrade Pump House & Building.
             Over the last 23 years, the pump house has settled and shifted a lot. This can
             be attributed to where it was built (over hanging the dug out) and the fact that
             before the soft start system was installed last year, the starting of the pumps
             was very aggressive and created "mini quakes" to the foundation. The routing
             of the pipe exiting the pump house also needs to be re-done.

             Redo #1 & 2 Pond.
             Not only are these ponds too shallow and prone to aquatic weed and algae
             infestation, they leak very badly and need to be constantly filled by the
             irrigation system. The ponds need to be re-dredged, deepened and then
             clay capped to retain all its water. The addition of fountains would also
             help aesthetically and keep algae at a minimum.
             Redo Benches at all Tees.
             9 years ago, Job Core built and donated the current benches to the club.
             They have held up fairly well over the years but because they were built
             with non-treated wood, they are starting to rot and need a lot of work.
             New benches built from composite materials (re-cycled plastic) would
             last much longer while retaining its new look.
             Rebuild Par 3 Tees.
             The "island" tee boxes particularly on the whites are far too small and take a
             beating through out the year. Constant sand and seed divot repair work occurs
             on a regular basis and it's still not enough. With the increase in rounds over
             the past 5 years. these tee boxes need to be 3 to 4 times the size they are now.
             This will allow divots to repair properly and vary the width and distances
             to the hole which provides a lot more variety.
             Audubon Certification.
             The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses is an award
             winning education and certification program that helps golf courses protect
             our environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf. 
             By helping people enhance the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats
             that golf courses provide, improve efficiency, and minimize potentially
             harmful impacts of golf course operations, the program serves as vital
             resource for golf courses. I will get into greater detail in a future post
             regarding the certification process.
2015:    Club House Expansion & Kitchen Upgrades.
             The club has seen an increase of green fee players and tournaments over the
             years. By moving the pro shop downstairs this winter (2011-12) and
             enlarging the restaurant seating area; this should help alleviate some
             crowding issues. The kitchen needs to be upgraded and expanded to
             service our guests more efficiently.
             Rebuild Tees #3, 4, 11 & 17.
             Like the par 3 tees, these are too small and need to be levelled correctly
             to account for the settling that has occurred when they were originally built.

             New Fairway Bunkers #1, 3, 6 & 9.
             The golf course for whatever reason was constructed with only 1 fairway
             bunker (#4). I think this was done purposely because the back 9 is very
             narrow and surrounded by a lot of unplayable bush. The addition of fairway
             bunkers on the front and back 9 would help catch balls before they roll into
             the bush. I'd sooner have a long bunker shot into a green instead of
             "bush whacking" and hopeing I even find my ball. Speed of play would
             also increase with new fairway bunkers.

2016:    Redo Club House Roof.
             The asphalt shingles on the roof are in the early stages of drying out and
             curling up. Heavy winds also reek havoc on the shingles. I think a tin
             roof would look better and last much longer then asphalt shingles.
             Rebuild Tees #5, 7, 9 & 18.

             New Fairway Bunkers #11, 13 & 16.

             New Tee Signs.
             With all the new design features implemented on the golf course over the
             years, it's time to up date our tee signs. Cart paths, tees, bunkers and ponds
             have changed and need to be included with new tee signs.

2017:    Construct New Chipping Green and Practise Bunker.
             Would aid in the over all membership / guest experience for the club.
             Would also help especially when we host tournaments.
             Construct New Driving Range Fence.
             Relates to my July 27 / 2011 post. Is not only a safety issue but would
             cut down greatly on "lost" range balls.

             Construct New Driving Range Tee.
             Relates to my July 27 / 2011 post. The 3 tiered driving range tee is much too
             small and should be moved closer to #8 blue tee to better align the golfers to
             the range. It needs to be elevated with one level and the addition of mats
             should be considered especially during wet periods and when divots need
             time to fill in.

2018:    New Pump House & Vertical Pump Upgrade.
             The original pumps and motors are not powerful enough to run our irrigation
             system efficiently. Rated at only 600 GPM means longer run times to irrigate
             the course. In fact, half the fairways can only be watered at night while the
             other half gets water the following night. Not very productive at all especially
             during the heat of summer. A 1200 GPM system is the minimum we should
             have with 1600 GPM being optimum especially as future expansion occurs.

             Redo Decking @ Club House.
             With breathtaking views of the golf course and lake from the club house deck,
             traffic and the elements has rendered the decking too slick and hazardous for
             the public. Composite decking would be a lot more practical and last
             many years longer.

2019:    New Irrigation Controls and Satellite Upgrades.
             The current Rainbird Vari-Time satellite controls are outdated and their
             "pin setup" is considered old school and not efficient. Compounding the
             problem is they are unrepairable and are no longer available to purchase.
             Digital controllers are much more efficient and the norm.

2020:    Rebuild Greens #1, 2 & 7.
             Not only are these greens small (the largest is #1 at 4200 square feet), the false
             fronts of these greens reek havoc on any ball the lands short. Any red pin here
             is considered tough since the topography of the green can see balls continually
             rolling off. These 3 greens are the main reason I keep green speeds under
             10 on the stimpmeter. Any higher and frustration levels would be too high.
             Pin placements are also very limited on these greens.

As you can see, the 10 Year Capital Plan is very in depth and comprehensive. As the years progress, certain projects could be added or deleted depending on our needs at the time. By addressing all of the above, the aesthetics and play ability of the course would propel the club to one of the best in the province. We can thank Lac la Biche County for seeing the golf course as a huge asset to the area and making the commitment to provide a memorable golfing experience at an affordable price.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

What is a stimpmeter?

I found an interesting video put out by the GCSAA addressing what a stimpmeter is and what it actually measures. It seems members, particularly low handicaps want lightning fast greens. The reality is most golfers (15 cap and higher) would have a hard time controlling putts on these greens. The majority of our members and golf clubs else where have golfers that fall into this category. Another limiting factor for lightning fast green speeds is the topography of the greens. Our greens being small with false fronts would not bode well for super fast stimpmeter readings. Think about #1, 2, 5 and 7 green for example. During July and August you can expect green speeds at our golf course to run around 10 and rarely higher.
Enjoy the video.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

10 Year County Capital Project Update

In 2009, the golf course entered into a purchase agreement with Lac La Biche County. After lawyers from both sides hammered out a deal, the golf course and all it's fixed assets (with the exception of all turf equipment and tools) was sold to the county. In exchange the club would operate as it always has.  We are still run by a board of elected directors, we are still a "not for profit society" (meaning any profits or deficits go back into the golf club), all daily operations are performed by "non-county staff" and any equipment, tools, course supplies and operating practises are accomplished with out county assistance or funding. So why did we enter into this agreement with the county since it seems things are operational like they always have been? The biggest caveat for the golf club was the guaranteed infusion of capital to address all future capital projects for the club.
At the suggestion of the county, I produced an in depth and comprehensive 10 Year Capital Plan valued at approximately 4 millions dollars. (In a future post I will highlight all projects addressed in the 10 year capital plan) Being non profit and open for roughly 6 months of the year, the club found it difficult to address certain capital projects without taking on too much debt. The county saw the golf club as a great asset to compliment it's parks and recreation facilities. The golf course is a big draw to both locals and visitors who can play a beautiful course at a very affordable price. Here is a list of accomplished projects with pictures and approx. pricing that have occurred since 2009:

2009:    Re-shaping and Paving of parking lot & town water and sewer upgrades. (400K)
             (See Apr. 24/2011 posting)

2010:    50hp and 25hp Irrigation Pump Rebuild (25K)
             New Irrigation Soft Start System (26K)
             Pumper Truck Irrigation Well Clean Out and Dug Out Work (9K)
             New Tee to Green Cart Path Construction & Gravel (92K)
             (See |Apr. 7/2011 posting)
             Out House Septic Tanks (9K)
             Stucco Work on the Club House (30K)
             Barricades for the Parking Lot (12K)

2011:    Re-Gravel Existing Green to Tee Cart Paths (19K)
             Paving of #7 Cart Path / Access Road (46K)
             Cart Shed Construction (53K)
             New Maintenance Shop Roof Construction (16K)
             Basement Up Grades and Carpeting / Pro shop Relocation Downstairs (12K)

Pumper truck sucking out water well. 60 truck loads and almost 20 cubic yards of
sludge and debris removed. No wonder pumps and irrigation heads were failing.


Pumps and electric motors being pulled from pump house.
Notice the clogged inlet screen at bottom of pump.

Rebuilt pumps and motors being installed in pump house.
Dropping motors onto pump shafts.

Septic tank placed and ready to be buried. Out houses behind
driving range tee, #4 green and #15 tee completed.
GLBY paving #7 cart path and access road from club house
to maintenance shop. (approx. 500 linear meters)
Completed 8 feet wide path. Edges to be completed
in spring 2012.

Prepping and levelling base for new 30 x 80 cart shed.
Approx. 105 cubic yards of gravel brought in.

6 x 6 laminated treated posts and cross members in place.

Bottom framing completed.

Roof trusses built on ground and ready to be lifted onto cart shed.

Rafters being dropped into place.

All framing done. Ready for exterior cladding (tin), soffit work and garage doors.

Completed cart shed able to hold 60 carts.

Starting construction on the 24 x 50 maintenance shop roof. Hard to believe this
building was the original club house when the first 9 holes were built in the early 1950"s.
Apart from the roof, the building is still very sound all be it too small for our needs.

Roof trusses in place and ready for tin.

Completed roof and they way it should have been done years ago.

The past 3 years has seen a lot of improvements to the golf course with many more to come. Almost $750,000 has been spent to date. Without the purchase of the golf course from Lac la Biche County, none of these projects would have come to fruition. The members and visitors to the area are the beneficiary's of this merger. On a personal level, it's an exciting time for me spear heading projects and working closely with the county to provide our members and guests a scenic and enjoyable golfing experience on a "true gem" of a course.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Whacky Winter

Going into my 10th year at the Lac La Biche Golf Club, I have yet to experience the type of winter we have so far. Even life long locals can't remember experiencing a winter like this. Above normal temps (with the exception of Jan 14-21), rain (minimal snow) and the occasional high winds has created a virtual ice scape of the golf course. Good news for a relatively "easy" winter but potential bad news for the golf course. There are 4 winter kill concerns golf superintendents dread in this province. I will highlight each and explain why they damage turf.

1) Turf Pathogens (Disease)

Pink Snow Mold
The most common winter turf diseases that affects our turf is pink snow mold (Microdochium nivale) and grey snow mold (Typhula incarnata). Pink snow mold (also called Fusarium Patch or Microdochium Patch) is most common in spring and fall when temperatures fall between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius. It's name can be misleading since snow cover is not necessary for the disease to be present. It's relatively easy to diagnose especially when white-pink mycelium is present on infected leaf blades. Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus (Fuzz seen on mold). Cool and moist conditions on growing turf can favour the development of the disease.

Grey Snow Mold
Grey snow mold (also called Typhula Blight) generally requires at least 60 days of snow cover to develop. It's problematic especially if turf is high in nitrogen (not hardened off), high in moisture, poor draining and high in excessive thatch. Control of these diseases is best utilised using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. This entails a combination of Cultural, Biological and Chemical controls which I will discuss in a future post. 

2) Crown Hydration

         Crown hydration occurs when turf breaks dormancy, takes in water and then suddenly freezes. Damage usually occurs when warm temperatures are followed by quick drops in soil temperatures. Plant hardiness is generally reduced at this time when exposed to thawing. Free moisture(usually from melting snow or precipitation) around the crown of the plant freezes and draws water from the cell. This form of winter kill is more likely to occur in early spring once the snow begins to melt and there is excessive moisture present. Low-lying areas on turf where water sits, poor drainage, and heavy soils are more prone to crown hydration. Problematic greens on our golf course are:
#3 (back), #4 (middle) #5 (right side) #8 (left side), #11 (middle), #12 (left side),
#13 (right side), #15 (middle), #16 (middle) and #17 (middle).

3) Ice Damage (Anoxia)

Ice Damage on a Green
       Perhaps our most problematic winter kill issue. Typically we experience a January or February thaw. This free water then collects into low lying areas of the greens and re-freezes causing ice. The formation of an ice layer prevents oxygen from reaching the turf (anoxia). Because the turf is suffocated, toxic gases are produced (carbon dioxide) and the turf dies. Studies have shown that bentgrass (Agrostis palustris) can survive ice cover 90 - 120 days whereas annual bluegrass (Poa annua) can survive up to 60 days. These numbers are not exact and winter kill can occur in as little as a months time. Greens mentioned in the crown hydration section are at particular risk of ice formation. Unlike fungicides that can protect turf from diseases form 120 to 150 days, no amount of fungicides can protect the turf from ice damage (anoxia). The best control is not allowing free water from occurring in the first place. A next to impossible task in our climate.

4) Dessication (Wind)
      Desiccation can best be described as "drying out" or dehydrating. Plants that are dormant do not actively take up water like they do during the growing season. When turf is exposed to dry wind, leaf tissue and other above ground plant parts may dry to the point of unrepairable damage. Open areas and very low amounts of soil moisture can increase the potential for dessication damage. The best control is a consistent snow layer which insulates the underlying turf. Normally not a problem here but potentially so with our lack of snow this winter.

#3 Green (50mm of Ice)
My biggest concern this winter is the potential for severe ice damage on our greens. We recorded over 70mm of rain the first week of January. This was followed by freezing temperatures that encased the golf course in ice. Last week I chipped away on the back of #3 green and found 50mm of ice. This currently represents our thickest ice on the greens while the average is roughly 20mm. It would be easy for me to stress and lose sleep over the amount of ice on the course. The reality is, time will tell if we experience any winter kill. The good news is we had a great fall where the turf hardened off, my fungicide applications went down without a hitch, I top dressed all the greens heavily with sand and all 20 greens were tarped. Lets hope for an early spring so that the ice layer doesn't exede the 60 or 90 day window.