Wild Weather Leaves The Course Vulnerable

There has been no weather this winter that has caused any harm to the course, and up to this point, the course is in good shape.  However, the wild weather swings over the past week and coming days will expose the course to its highest potential for damage this winter season.  This picture was taken on the 25th when we had single digit temperatures (up from negative temperatures on 22nd).  This past weekend it started raining on Sunday and we are nearing 2 inches of rain since then.

Even more unusual than 2 inches of rain in January was record high temperatures in the 60s yesterday.  This has left the course very wet with some standing water and the ponds are overflowing in the usual areas.  Temperatures in the teens are forecasted for tonight and negative temperatures for Thursday night.  If we see negative temperatures on Thursday night, that will make a 125 degree round trip in 10 days with 2 inches of rain in the middle.  Very unusual and leaves the potential for problems.

This picture shows overflow from the pond on 17 to the 16th fairway.  This water, and other areas that are saturated, is what we would like to have more opportunity to drain before temperatures dip below freezing today.  Potential damage from this scenario is freeze damage which was addressed in the post: Winter On The Course: Freeze Injury.  Please check the linked post, it goes into more detail about freeze injury.
The only areas on the greens and tees that had standing water was the valley on 12 green, which was no surprise.  This morning we did remove a strip of sod from the green to better drain the extra standing water before it began to freeze.  We laid the sod to the side and will return it to the green later.

This picture shows the removed strip and the water removed from the surface.

These weather patterns have many courses scrambling to remove any water they can.  We have done what we can, now we will have to wait and to see what may come of it.
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