Winter is definitely here and sticking around. We have been fortunate with weather so far this season that while we have still had to cover, they were not on for too long of a period. We are about a week into it now and the forecast shows we will have a week left. Hopefully this will change, but we are prepared for it.
While the new covers have been extremely helpful and proven much better, this time we did install both sets when we put them on. We used the old ones first and then covered them with the darker, thicker set. This will help hold in more favorable temperature and prevent the wind from hammering over the top. In preparation before covering, there were some things we did to help aid the covers. First, we took moisture readings over the greens to tell us how they are holding. Then, we applied a wetting agent that helps the sand profile hold onto the moisture without being overly wet. Next, we took soil moisture readings again over areas where we know the greens tend to dry out. We followed this with hand watering select spots as needed. Keeping moisture in the crown/root-zone area also helps hold more heat for the plant since the temperature will drop faster in a dried out profile. Luckily this time we also got about a half inch of rain the night before covering so our readings were perfect and where we like to see the moisture levels before covering. Last, we put the covers on. We did this while it was still warm to help trap more heat inside the soil profile. Doing both covers took a little longer than normal, but we were also very diligent about securing them since high winds were expected and that can cause problems if not staked down accordingly. We’ve had good success so far and will continue to do everything we can to aid the turf through the winter.
While the covers are on we’ve been busy. We have taken out dead trees that were not only unsightly but also could have posed a hazard as time passes. We also had a company come out and trim up the tree on #10 fairway. That tree helps make the hole but due to the growth it was starting to become too much of a hazard. The limbs were starting to get into the fairway too much blocking what should be a good tee shot leading into the second. We’ve trimmed it back so the hole is more playable. The canopy was also raised and thinned to improve the health of the tree and the turf underneath by allowing more sunlight through. This also took quite a bit of weight off the tree helping to prevent high wind damage in the future.
Hopefully the weather will soon change, and everyone can come enjoy Scotsdale again. I thank everyone for their patience and understanding the winter practices we do for the golf course.