Can you believe it? Winter is in full swing and March has seen record snowfalls at many places throughout the Rockies, yet we are ready to dust of the clubs and head to the greens. Our team at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Golf Courses have been hard at work since January preparing the courses and ensuring that we have fantastic conditions to open on the planned date of March 30th.
Shane Wilkinson, a golf course employee, knows all there is to know about maintenance of the courses, so has been taking the necessary steps to ensure the greens are in fantastic condition even when piled high with snow. Early January, the greens are shoveled to test certain areas for snow mold, which is a fungal disease that appears as the snow melts. Two different types of snow mold can be found; pink mold, which infects the crown of the plant or gray mold, which only infects the leaf tissue. The damaged circular patches of dead and matted grass can be affected with either mold; however, the pink mold typically causes much more severe damage. This mold is either caused by an extended period of snow cover on the ground that is not completely frozen or badly timed fertilizer application in the fall. Our proactive team of turf pro’s at the golf courses test patches as early as January, so they can begin to expose any damaged areas and let them breathe to minimize or completely prevent damage from the mold.
The Columbia Valley is such a beautiful area with the opportunity to hike even in the winter time, but this can be quite harmful to the golf courses when people or even animals track across the snow. Footprints will often encourage snow mold underneath and leave nasty looking marks in early spring directly on the course. Our golf course crew try to minimize this damage done by animals or people walking across the courses by putting up metal fences. All this work done throughout the winter and early spring will pay off as guests, staff and locals love the conditions of our golf courses all spring, summer and fall.
Thanks to the hard-work and dedication from these employees our courses open early, so we can ski, soak and golf all in one day. Take in the sunshine on the slopes, slip into some shorts and head out on the golf course then relax after your busy day in the steamy hot springs.