Once the turf is in full dormancy and the water system shut down for the season, Los Alamos County Golf Course staff typically consider weekend, or Friday-Sunday golfing opportunities mid-December through February. Courtesy photo
Winter golf management and winter turf grass management is a fine balance for high elevation golf courses such as Los Alamos County Golf Course (LACGC).
While the professional staff at LACGC do advocate for opportunities to play the golf course in its dormancy months, they also must pay close attention to winter turf management as golf courses are extremely vulnerable to damage when the turf is dormant.
In November, available tee times are reduced to five days per week in efforts to reduce rounds played each week. The reduced schedule is implemented when the golf course turf enters its transition into dormancy, which is when soil temperatures are consistently under 45°F.
This schedule typically runs through the first or second week of December. Once the turf is in full dormancy and the water system shut down for the season, the Los Alamos County Golf Course staff typically consider weekend, or Friday through Sunday golfing opportunities mid-December through February.
It is important for spring turf revitalization to keep traffic on the golf course to a minimum during its full dormancy months. When managed incorrectly winter golfing can cause acute damage that appears immediately or cumulative damage that shows up over time.
Appropriate winter golf course management ensures minimal turf damage and promotes better year-round playing conditions. The goal for the Los Alamos County Golf Course is to prepare the course for winter in the best condition possible, manage some winter golfing, as it permits, and have quality turf as the season changes to spring.