We have had ice cover on the greens for a total of 38 days. This is a very frustrating time of the year for me right now. We have experienced some from of winter damage each year associated with ice cover and extreme temperature changes. December 28 and the 29 we had two warm days that started to melt the Snow. This turned into a slush that froze two days later. I have seen almost 4 inches is ice on a few greens and this is my concern at this time. I feel that the warm up and the low temperatures this year were not quite as extreme as in 2006. I made an attempted last week to snow blow 15 green to allow for some drainage over the weekend. Did it work? well I do not know. I have been able to see some grass and for the most part everything looks pretty good. but, what is very interesting is the ground temperature under the snow in some areas is actually above freezing and this could lead to some disease issues as well. We did apply a plant protect ant in the late fall to protect the turf from snow mold , but unfrozen soft lush turf is a excellent conditions for snow mold.
Creeping bentgrass which is the dominate turf can withstand ice cover for at least 60 days, Poa anuua will die when ice cover last for over 50 days. the warm weather over the next few days will be very good but if we were to get another heavy Ice formation on the greens I will be starting to get very nervous. There is a lot of research on ice cover and how the turf is affected I have include a link for you to read and I am sure you will be able to find much more data. The big questions is what to do. At this time I feel that I will be trying to allow for some drainage during this warm up, but access to the course is very limited with the amount of snow in some areas. I will tell you that we may have some problems with this ice and heavy snow when spring comes around but the extent of the damage is a big guessing game and the only thing we can do is cross our fingers and let mother nature be on our side. I have never been able to beat her and hopefully this year she will be good to use.
Spring is right around the corner and I am really hoping to see some turf and be assured everything is a OK