Sunday, January 31, 2016

Battling the Blizzard of 2016

While the grounds staff may jokingly say, "If you can't mow it, we don't know it..." we actually are well-versed when it comes to snow removal.  However, despite years of experience, the Blizzard of 2016 proved to be quite the challenge for us.

With the Club closed Saturday because of the storm, we arrived before dawn Sunday morning to start the cleanup.  Meteorologists don't always get the forecast right, but when they said, "Expect blowing and drifting..." for this storm, they weren't kidding.  The first challenge we faced on Sunday was just getting to the maintenance building to access the snow removal equipment. 

None of our vehicles were going to make it down the driveway which parallels #16, so we had to park on the street and hoof it down through thigh deep snow, which had everyone huffing and puffing by the time they made it to the building.  Clearing the driveway to the point that we could make it out to Centerton Road took over an hour.
Some serious drifting on the right of #16.

Once we got to the Clubhouse, we were greeted by more unique snow and ice formations.
A large blob of snow hangs from the edge of the porte cochere.

On the golf course, the changing topography left us with wide-ranging amounts of snow.  From the front of #1 tee, things appeared to have cleared off quickly.

However, when standing behind the tee, it was a whole different picture, where two feet deep drifts remained mid-week.

People often ask how winter weather impacts the golf course.  In very general terms, we say that snow is good and ice is bad.  Therefore, with much of the snow starting to melt and compact this past week, now would not be a good time for a blast of cold weather, as it would likely lead to ice formation.

Fortunately, it looks like some very warm weather will stick around long enough to allow all of the snow to melt.  However, with frozen ground below, you can expect some soupy conditions, as the moisture won't be able to soak into the ground.

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