After a long snowy winter it is good to welcome you back to Estonian Golf and Country Club!
The greenkeepers have been keeping very busy during the offseason keeping an eye on the greens, and the mechanic has been working away preparing our mowers for the upcoming season.
Some of the team even came in during a warm spell in February to get as much snow off of the greens as possible before it froze again. Unfortunately, we were not able to get all the snow off, but the first week of March we rented a plow to remove the snowcover.
Renting this plow was of great assistance. Using a snowblower like you have it home it can take us up to a week to get all 18 greens done, and sometimes the snowblower may not even work because the snow is too wet or icy. But using this plow we were able to get all the greens done in just over 2 days!
After the snow was gone we had to get the ice off as quickly as possible. Snow on greens is a good thing, but ice is bad. Snow protects the grass from the cold wind during the winter months, but ice on the greens slowly suffocates the grass. Our greens can survive almost 60 days under ice, and we got the ice off just in time. We used backpack blowers and specially made tools to break up the ice while doing minimal damage to the greens.
After the ice was broken up, we were very pleased with the quality of turf we saw underneath. There was some very minor scarring, but nothing we are concerned about. We have already started mowing and fertilizing the greens to help them recover as quickly as possible.
The Stone Course is open for play now and the greens are in good shape up there as well. At this early stage of the season when turf growth is minimal, please make sure to properly repair your pitch mark.
As for when we are opening the Sea Course, we are aiming for a middle-to-second half of April. The Sea Course is still extremely wet so we want to let it dry out a bit before we let the golfers out, and we also want to allow the grass to start growing a little bit.
We look forward to seeing you out on the Stone Course and enjoy that before the Sea Course opening because that will open before you know it!
See you out there!