Mother Nature has definitely put your superintendent to the test once again. Experiencing the harsh northern climates that we do each year; I believe most superintendents have come to anticipate and expect turf issues coming out of winter but have we ever seen a spring like this…? Since my time in NB I’ve dealt with my fair share of turf damage and last spring certainly had its challenges coming out of winter, but in my 27 years in the turf industry, this by far has been my most challenging spring dealing with turf desiccation and turf recovery.

To give you a glimpse of what I have had to deal with over the last two months, here are a few before & after pics of what all our greens looked like coming out of winter and how they have transitioned to where they are today. Keep in mind the only green that survived the winter was #16.

“Mother Nature and I have not been getting along, and she’s been very hard to live with all Spring.”

There are many more greens I could have posted but I think you get the “picture”. Our greens have certainly come a long way in a short amount of time. So, what’s the recipe you ask? Lots of coffee, a sip of scotch before bed, many sleepless nights and a shoulder to cry for starters… but when its all said and done and the prep work has been laid, its patience and time. Waiting for Mother Nature to work in my favor has been most frustrating.

The process of bringing turf back from the dead is quite intensive and requires specialized maintenance techniques and resources to do so. We can also manipulate the grow of turfgrass by the use of germination tarps but inclement weather and climate can hold us hostage when expecting the out-comes we want.

As we approach the end of June, much of our turf has now recovered with a few areas left to fill in. The greens are rolling much better and a good top-dressing over the next week will smooth our surfaces even more. Our putting green continues to also improve. I’ve never seen it completely wipe out so this is a first. It is now open for play and the pins are cut strategically to give you the best roll for your buck.

  • As we continue to move throughout the golfing season, perhaps we all could note the following points:
  • When carts are permitted on the fairways, be mindful of the 90 degree rule at all time.
  • When carts are permitted on the fairways, be mindful of the 90 degree rule at all time.
  • Many areas on our fairways still need time to fill in so please avoid worn surfaces and drive around… not through.
  • Our putting surfaces have come a long way and are filling in nicely each day.  Please respect golf etiquette and fix ball marks and keep traffic to a minimum over areas that are still filling in.
  • Divot boxes have been placed on all par 3’s and on the driving range tee deck. Please take the time to repair any divots you create and perhaps fix your neighbour’s as well.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate our Royal Oaks members. Your faithful support to the club and your words of encouragement and understanding has meant a lot to me, especially this spring. It has actually helped continue to give me strength and motivation to persevere through these tough few months. Its very disheartening to see our greens and fairways come out of winter like this especially when we work so hard to keep them healthy. Thank you for your patience and believing in the kind of community we all are striving to create here. Your support has not gone unnoticed. My door is always open for conversation and your input is always appreciated.