The past week I arrived home, from vacation, with a sense of excitement. The days were getting closer to my predicted opening date of March 9. I toured the golf course on Wednesday morning and was very pleased with the condition of the golf course. So much snow had melted by the time I was back and the water was making its way off the golf course into our streams and ponds. There was minimal ice standing on greens or low areas of the course.
Thursday morning I was surprised to awake to 3″ of new snow cover on the ground. It looked like another round of the magical winter wonderland we have seen so much of the past five months. By the end of the day most of the snow had melted and turned into additional moisture for the ground. All of the moisture is truly a blessing with dry conditions these past two years.
It has been a long winter with snow cover since the middle of November. Our first winter storm dropped 3″ of snow on November 14. We eventually had freezing rain that remained under the snow all winter. It was an extended time to have ice cover on the greens without having concerns of possible turf damage.
The putting green surfaces look great. There is plenty of moisture throughout the soil profile and the turf plants look very stress free at this time. The grass looks to be ready for spring golf weather. Hopefully the weather continues to show no extreme temperature fluctuations. That type of weather could cause a lot of turf issues at this time of the year. Warmer nights will continue to push the frost level lower in the soil profile.
I’m hopeful the golf course will be open for play in the next couple of weeks. The weather patterns can change and conditions can go from optimal to setting us back in a matter of days. Once the course becomes ready for cart traffic the driving range will be open soon followed by the golf course.
The golf simulator has been rented several times this past week. I plan to have a set schedule to have the machine available during the off season. I will schedule more time for part time staff to work in the clubhouse so it doesn’t limit the availability.
This coming week some of the part time staff will return to work as we finish preparations for the season to begin. Painting of amenity items needs to be completed along with some final equipment set up practices. There are also branches around the golf course that need to be cleaned up. Waterways need to be cleaned of debris. Several ash trees, infected with EAB, need to be removed from the golf course. The clubhouse hours will be more flexible as well.
Lastly, don’t forget about the 2023 Virtual Membership Drive deadline of April 15. Pay your fees by this date and you will be enrolled in a gift certificate drawing. Everyone can use a gift certificate now and again. Payments can be made online, at city hall, or in the clubhouse.
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Enjoy the remainder of your day. If there are any questions or the need for further information please get in touch with me.
Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer
101 W 5th Street
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301