Golf courses start the wintering process but keep the season going

Shannon Hanley participates in a round of end-of-season golf at the Steamboat Golf Club on Thursday night. The Steamboat Golf Club and the Haymaker Golf Course are in the process of preparing the courses for the winter and the following season.
Shelby Reardon / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Golf season at Steamboat Springs is short. Haymaker Superintendent Adam Sando said as he started to get the Greens into great shape it was time to start closing.

Two of the region’s four golf courses have already closed, but Haymaker and Steamboat Golf Club are extending the season as long as possible. In doing so, the two courses have started the process of closing the course and not only preparing it for winter, but also for next spring.

“At the end of the day, when you are done aeration, when you have applied applications to prevent snow mold on the greens, when you have blown the irrigation system, it helps you sleep on those nights of snow. winter knowing you’ve done all you can to prepare the golf course for the next year, ”Sando said.

Before the recent snowfall, field workers applied a chemical to greens to prevent snow mold, a fungus that can attack grass and create gray or brown patches of dead grass.

The courses were also aerated and at the Steamboat Golf Club General Manager Tom Taylor “covered” the greens with sand, keeping the greens uniform and filling in the holes.

“That sand and the drilling of the holes, it relieves the compaction of the greens,” Taylor said. “If you weren’t doing it regularly, your greens, the turf would be quite compacted and the roots wouldn’t grow so deep.”

They also applied fertilizer. In the spring, the weeds will be thwarted and the grass will be fed with the fertilizer applied in the fall. This is how golf courses get so green so early in the year.

The Steamboat Golf Club is open but looks pretty bare at the moment as the benches and panels with the length of the holes and tee locations have been removed, as have the 150 meter markers. The course has also already wintered its water pump.

The only steps left to close the course on the west side of Steamboat is blowing off the irrigation system, which will take place around the end of October, pulling out the pins and pins and filling the old holes with sand.

Snow atop the Steamboat Resort is visible from the Steamboat Golf Club, hinting at the impending closing date. The Steamboat Golf Club and the Haymaker Golf Course are the only courses open at Steamboat.
Shelby Reardon / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Getting all the maintenance needed while keeping golfers on the course as late as possible in the season is getting tough for Haymaker Head Pro Cody Hasten.

“The hardest thing for us is to manage the tee sheet so that the maintenance can do what they need, done before the snow blows away,” said Hasten. “Our goal at Haymaker is to stay open to residents for as long as possible until the snow stops us.”

Once Haymaker is closed, Hasten and Sando go around and mark future Nordic trails.

“We’re going to mark the trails on the golf course,” Hasten said. “We try to stay as close to the wagon paths as possible for some of these trails because this compaction damages the grass, so we don’t want those trails to come down the middle of the fairway.”

As for the clubhouse, it varies for each golf course. The Steamboat golf course is not open in winter, so the clubhouse remains as is. Taylor said they try to buy their inventory so that it pretty much sells out at the end of the season. They also try to plan accordingly with food and drink.

When the course closes, Haymaker keeps the pro’s store open for about a week to allow people to use their store credits they’ve earned throughout the year. Then they clean everything up and a private contractor walks in and fills the shelves with skis, poles, snowshoes, and other gear to supply Haymaker Nordic Center customers all winter long.

“It’s a great conversion,” Hasten said. “It’s a few weeks to move everything and bring everything back for skiing.”

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