It's been a fairly mild winter and as a result the greens and golf course have wintered well. We are expecting a wonderful start to 2017.
If I remember correctly it was snowing Masters Weekend last year and of course the most favorable time to open a golf course in Ontario is sometime in and around the Masters. The Masters Tournament typically lights a spark under Canadian golfers to grab the clubs after a long winter. It's too far out to nail a specific opening date yet. Although, based on the long range forecast it's looking like sometime in the third week of April is a realistic time frame for opening. Driving Range will be opening Monday April 10th at 11:00 am. Hitting stations will be set up on Mats Only until turf begins active growth.
A general rule of thumb for opening a private golf course in Southern Ontario is to open 2-3 weeks after the frost comes out of the ground. During this three week period the daily average temperatures will rise and the Growth Potential will increase along with temperatures. The daily average must be consistent for growth and night time temperatures must be factored into the daily averages. Prior to opening the golf course it is important to evaluate growth rates and ensure that the turf is actively growing. Ideally, active growth indicates that the turf can recover from stresses caused by traffic. The mandate of Course & Grounds above all else is to maintain turf health, the course will be opened at the appropriate time when good turf health can be maintained, not at the expense of opening the course earlier than turf is ready.
The first mowing event is often done prior to any new growth; this is done to clean up any growth that may have occurred in the fall. Course and Grounds Staff will initiate the first mowing of the season over the weekend and into the beginning of next week. While we wait patiently for temperatures to increases Course & Grounds Staff will be busy preparing the course by executing the following tasks:
*Charge irrigation system
*Repair winter drainage system
*Remove protective fences from around greens and the pond
Please stay tuned for more updates as course opening is quickly approaching.
Golf Course & Grounds Superintendent