King’s Walk for the winter?
A look into the winterization process from our Maintenance Crew
We often get asked why we close our course when weather seems to allow for a few more days of golf. Our answer is simple; the risk of not properly winterizing the course is not worth the reward of a few extra days of play. Weather in late October and early November is anything but predictable. Temperature and wind forecasts can change overnight. Below is a brief summary of what goes into properly putting the course to bed for the year. We hope this provides an explanation of when and why we close the course each year.
1. Irrigation System Blowout
Typically done around mid-October, this process includes hooking up the sprinkler system to an air compressor and then individually turning on every sprinkler head on the course, practice area, and driving range (yes, all 950+ of them!). This process gets all the water out of the pipes and prevents them from freezing and breaking over winter. Below are a few photos of what happens when a sprinkler head gets missed.
2. Fungicide Application
During this process, several fungicides are applied to all fairways, tees, bailouts, and greens to protect against pink and gray snow mold diseases that appear in the spring. Additionally, an anti-desiccant chemical is applied to our greens to act as a protective layer to retain moisture over the winter when high winds prevent desired snow cover on the course. This process takes two crew members 20+ hours and must be done when temperatures are above freezing, and wind speeds are below 9 MPH. After these applications are made, heavy foot traffic on the course can result in decreased efficacy of the chemical. Therefore, this process is usually done less than a week prior to the planned closing date.
3. Covering the Greens
The final step in the winterization process is to cover all 21 green surfaces throughout the course. Covering the greens takes a crew of 10-12 people approximately 8-12 hours to complete, and must be done in above freezing temperatures with manageable wind. We have found timely green covering to be essential in maintaining the health of the turf during winters with high winds and little snow cover. Below is a picture of what happens when a portion of the green gets missed by the covers.
A Special Note from Our King’s Walk & Lincoln Maintenance Crews
As we look ahead to 2024, we want to thank everyone for another great year. As always, we look forward to seeing you all out on the course Spring 2024!