December at Swope
Is it December, is it March, is it June....who knows?!
First off, Merry Christmas and happy New Year to everyone, what a year it has been. I had completely given up on winter and started planning what my life was going to be like working year round with growing season weather. Luckily, I was able to quit planning. With this cold front coming in literally with the New Year, the course is finally ready to shut down. The difficulty with the warm temperatures this late in the season is that the turf doesn't know if it's time to start dormancy or continue using it's energy for growth. Therefore, we were throwing water up until the last week of December. Now that we have average temperatures in the 20's coming up, and with the winterizing (fertilizing/spraying) of the greens done, the course will be ready for its winter slumber. As will I.
Before the cold set in, there were two applications that needed to be done to the greens. We put down a winter fertilizer. This will help the plant have nutrients to store throughout the winter, and to utilize once spring comes around. Secondly, we spray a wetting agent and a fungicide. The wetting agent will help disperse and filter down snow melt on the greens, and the PCNB fungicide will prevent snow mold and a handful of other fungi that appear in the spring. Snow mold appears after a green has been covered in deep snow for a prolonged period of time. Places like Colorado or Montana have a higher susceptibility to this issue, but besides protecting against that, it will suppress Wakia patch in the spring. Wakia patch are the little lime green circles that show up when the plant comes out of dormancy, it's simply and aesthetic issue, no turf death, but with the application of PCNB now it will improve our chances of avoiding it.
Trees on 5.
If you lived in the Midwest, you experienced one hell of a wind storm mid-December. This knocked down trees and branches like the Chiefs knocking down everyone in the AFC West. We were lucky to only have a few large limbs and a couple trees on the periphery of the course. However, we have had some trees on the course that have been dead for a year or two, they constantly shed old limbs, causing continuous clean up throughout the season. We went ahead and removed 2 trees on #5 to the right of the second fairway, 2 trees on #9 near the front tee box, and 2 trees on #15 near the end of the fairway. These trees were oaks, so they were cut, split and stacked behind the shop after the smaller limbs were hauled off.
Always adding to the firewood pile.
We continue to sell firewood here at Swope, best deal in town as my loyal customers have told me!! If you or a friend has a wood burning stove, a fire-pit, or just like to burn wood, please come and buy a load. We sell it for $75 per truckload, or $100 if you want it delivered within reasonable distance. The money we make from this goes into our Carne Asada fund, so we can have a few Fridays during the season to relax as a crew and enjoy some grilled meat, a cold Corona, or an orange flavored Jalisco together. Shawshank's Andy Dufresne said it best: "I think a man working outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds."
Have a great New Years everyone and thank you for all your patronage throughout this long season. We expect to always push this course in a positive way and are proud to do so.
From June to January, 2021 to 2060, Fix your divots!!!!