Friday, December 11th, 2009

The "Big Chill" has been reeking havoc on a few things around here. We don't normally shut down the irrigation during the winter because the frost rarely gets deep enough to damage anything. So far this frost has far exceeded last years depth and we are starting to see broken sprinklers. We have shut down the pump station so we won't have a big mess as things thaw out. We will have to turn the system on slowly with a watchful eye and look for wet spots developing.

Everything around the shop has been shut down and winterized. I did not make it down to the cart barn assuming that it was all taken care of. After inspection on Friday I found the water filters for the ice machine shattered and the hoses still connected to the pressure washer. I guess I should have gone down there earlier and had them drain the entire system knowing that it was going to be a long and hard freeze. To avoid oversights in the future we will write up a procedure for all weatherization for the entire property and make sure all department heads are properly trained.

The most dicey time of a major freeze is when things start melting. Aside from the usual freezing rain that can occur and potentially drop the nets, pipes that have cracked will start leaking and will need to be addressed. The greens are frozen well below the bottom of the cup and will need some time to thaw. If we end up with a lot of rain that can be good and bad. Good that it will enable the frost to thaw more rapidly but bad because the greens will get real swampy. Until they are able to perk water through the profile we will need to stay off of them. If we were to allow traffic on the greens in the swampy state we will damage them severely in which they would not heal until spring. They would also be unplayable due to the standing water. However, the tricky part is if we have started play for the day and the rain begins and the greens start puddling, it will be imperative to end play for the day and issue rain checks.

I will be around all weekend and will be watching the weather closely as we transition from the cold to the warmer rain.

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