Saturday 3/7/2015 8:00 AM
It has been an unusually long winter here in Cincinnati. We had an early snowfall in November, and now a late snowfall on March 4th. The forecast however, looks to be turning the corner with high temps moving toward 60 degrees. As the temperature warms and the sun comes out, it is natural to want to dust off the clubs and get on the course for an early spring round. It is important to be cautious this time of year though. While the snow may be melted, the course is not necessarily ready for play. The greens are frozen underneath the snow. As the snow melts, the greens begin to thaw out slowly. This creates a layer of saturated soil over top of frozen soil. Traffic on the playing surfaces in these conditions can damage the plants and soil structure. Saturated soil is more prone to compaction and the roots of the plant will be sheared off at the frozen/saturated interface. This has the same effect as running a sod cutter over the greens; leaving the plant with roots as shallow as 1/2 inch heading into the season. The damage will manifest itself later as we hit the stressful time of year.
For this reason, it is necessary to restrict play until the playing surfaces have thawed completely, and dried up enough to allow traffic. While you are anxious to get out and play, we have to protect the golf course for all players in the long run. Please be patient and know that we are continually monitoring the conditions of the course and will allow play once we are thawed and are comfortable there is no risk of long term damage.
We will update conditions daily. Please remember to follow us on twitter, and check your emails to be aware of when we are open, and always check with the golf shop prior to play.
Greg Nickerson, Assistant Grounds Superintendent
firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ganick23