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Course Update 1st April 2022.

How was the winter?

It was horrible! An extremely tough winter regarding the weather. A very cold start (-20C) created a deep permafrost from early December. Following that, was an endless cycle of snow and rain, with temperature fluctuating from -5C to +5C causing melting and then reoccurring freezing. Resulting in ice build-up on all the playing surfaces.

Ice Prevention and Maintenance

Regular maintenance of ploughing, ice cracking and ice removal was undertaken to prevent the ice from getting too thick. But also, to create openings for gaseous exchange to allow the toxic gases to be released and allow oxygen into the surface.

A typical winter, the course staff may do this once, maybe twice on a bad year. This winter we did this five times.

A rule of thumb is that grass cannot survive under ice for more than 30 days. The health, species and environment of the turf will also play a role in the survival, for example creeping bent grass (krypven) survival is much better than Annual Meadow grass (vitgröe) under ice. Our 18 Hole Greens are about 60% Creeping Bent and 40% Annual Meadow Grass. Fortunately, our greens were very strong going into winter, hence our decent survival. Our 9 Hole Course is 100% Annual meadow Grass.

How does it look on the Courses?

I think the works we conducted were timed and executed very well. Resulting in good survival of most the turf. But to determine the grass condition now, it is still very difficult with the current temperatures of -9C at night and only touching +4C during the days this week.

Currently, the greens on the 18 Hole course appear to be in good condition, except for the high shade greens on hole 5 and 12. But again, it is still too early to fully determine how they will recover until temperatures increase. The new practice green on the driving range and the putting green also appears to be in good condition. You may have also seen that we are using covers on the greens, which are designed help protect the grass from wind and low temperatures. Time will tell and like always, patience is key in the spring in Scandinavia.

As for the 9 Hole course, all 9 of these greens are in poor conditions after the winter (to be expected every spring). With the icy winter and being open to play in minus weather there is not much hope for survival for the turf.

Plan for Recovery
A plan is in place to overseed the areas IF ice damage has occurred as soon as germinating temperatures are present of about 6 Degrees Celsius. The use of growth covers will also be used to regulate the temperatures.

But again, patience over the next 3-4 weeks is needed while the course staff prepare the course for opening.

Myself and my team are looking forward to an exciting season.

Thanks,

Luke Cassidy
Banchef
Ågesta Golfklubb

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