Snowfall has finally commenced at Victory Ranch, blanketing our homes with that wonderful white hue we look forward to every winter. But, is this snow safe on every surface at the Ranch? We covet our immaculate Rees Jones Golf Course in the warmer months and, believe it or not, the snow is crucial for its maintenance.
Justin Jeffery, Director of Agronomy at Victory Ranch, says the snow acts as an essential blanket, protecting the turf from harsh variations in temperature wind desiccation and the hard freeze. Snow cover can lead to certain turf diseases when the proper mold preventative is not applied; however, you can rest assured that we took the proper measures in the fall with our application.
Throughout the winter, crown hydration of the grass is an extremely important part of the turf’s ability to pull through the winter and emerge healthy in the spring. Having a snow cover protects and insulates the crown: the area where the plant grows new leaf sheath. In years past, we have had to transport snow to areas to help protect it from desiccation and drying out, while also hand watering exposed areas. In doing so, we can ensure that the next season will reap the benefits of an added winter cover.
Additionally, with snow cover comes recreation. We designate certain areas to cross country ski, skate ski, snowmobile, snowshoe and sled. All of these activities can create ice layers in high traffic areas from compressing the snow, consequently damaging the turf. With that being said, we encourage everyone to adhere to the designated areas, cart path and fescue locations so that we do not damage playable surfaces on the course.
As such, not only is the snow great for skiing and the area’s economy, but it likewise elevates the snow pack and allows for much needed yearlong water and healthy river flows. So, until we’re able to hit the golf course again come spring, get out and enjoy some skiing and snowshoeing!