The Winter That Won't End

According to Drew Rogers, a golf course architect based in Toledo, Ohio, the effects of the winter just ending (we hope) won’t stop just because temperatures rise. “I think it’s safe to say the good men and women who tend to your favorite golf courses are experiencing trepidation toward spring that borders on dread, especially those with greens made up of predominantly poa annua (annual bluegrass) turf,” says Rogers. “Unlike most varieties of bentgrass, poa annua is hyper susceptible to extreme cold, long periods of snow cover, and ice. At way too many courses this spring, when the snow and ice finally fade, there is potential for some serious and widespread death—what we call ‘winter kill.’ Greens that are predominantly made up of bentgrass will better withstand the Winter of 2014, but there are more than a few courses out there with predominantly poa annua greens.  They tend to be the older, classic courses and are the ones where concern should be the greatest. So don’t be surprised if your club or favorite course limps its way into the upcoming season. I’m betting there will be plenty of greens showing the ill effects of ice. Please be patient and supportive of your course superintendent while greens are overseeded and nurtured back to health. Just like your local meteorologist, he/she can’t control the weather."




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