Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Here at Briar Ridge, we are always open. We put temporary greens in place for you to come out and get your swing in working order. The part of the golf course that we do close is the regular putting surfaces (greens). We do not have a calendar date which we follow on when to open the greens. The decision to open the regular green to play is based on many factors both above and below the ground. For instance, we protect the most vital part of the plant form damage, the root zone. Quality putting surfaces that will survive our hot summers, need a deep and extensive system of roots to bring water and nutrients to the plants. By making sure that we can only access the greens when the root zone is completely thawed, we protect this vital lifeline to the plants. Early in the spring, the air temperatures will be mild and the soil will begin to thaw at the surface. Below the surface, the thawed soil water saturates a layer above frozen soil making a slippery upper layer that is free to slide about over a hard, frozen layer. The result of traffic of any sort in this situation is the cutting of the root right at the surface of the soil, this is known as root shear.
Many factors impact the depth of the frozen soil. Soil physical characteristics, percent saturation, sun angle, temperature, humidity, all influence the freezing and thawing of the putting surface root zone. We are fortunate that our physical characteristics are such that we can open as soon as we get some marginal nighttime lows (32 ish). The forecast is getting closer and we are eager for spring to arrive. We constantly strive to bring you greens at Briar Ridge that you can be proud of, and you find, are worth the wait.
We will monitor the forecast and keep you updated as we move closer and as the forecast changes (they always do!).
In the meantime, nine holes on temporaries is a good way to get your short game primed, and ease into the season to prevent injury.
Hope you have been stretching,
Ralphie really likes our new dirt pile.