As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, golfers often find themselves lamenting the seasonal closure of golf courses. It might feel counterintuitive to close the courses when the weather forecast shows at least three more days of temperate golfing weather. However, there is an important reason behind the seasonal shutdown. Courses must be properly prepared for the Fargo winter to come, especially to combat snow mold.
Snow mold is a fungus that becomes active during the winter months when the grass is covered by a blanket of snow (for months on end here in Fargo). The fungus can wreak havoc on a golf course’s greens, fairways and tee-boxes, leading to dead patches and unsightly blemishes once the snow melts away in the spring.
To prevent this, course superintendents and maintenance staff work hard to take proactive measures to keep snow mold at bay through the application of a snow mold fungicide. However, for the treatment to be successful, a few very specific conditions must be met. It all boils down to a minimum of three consecutive days of temperatures above freezing, no precipitation, and wind speeds under 10 MPH. These conditions are crucial for several reasons:
- Drying time: the fungicide needs time to dry and adhere to the grass. Ideally, there can be no precipitation during this time so that it doesn’t wash away before it can do its job.
- Proper application: applying fungicide isn’t as simple as spraying and forgetting. Golf course professionals need favorable weather to properly and evenly apply the treatment. Winds below 10 MPH and mild temperatures make this process much more manageable.
- Maximum effectiveness: snow mold prevention relies on the fungicide forming a protective barrier on the grass. With the right conditions, the fungicide can effectively ward off the snow mold threat throughout the winter season, keeping the course pristine and healthy for next year.
While we understand that closures are disappointing, course superintendents and maintenance staff keep an incredibly close eye on the upcoming weather forecast and work hard to balance the longevity of the golf season with closure decisions. By preventing snow mold and other winter-related issues you can rest assured that come spring, you will be back enjoying our beautiful courses!
Thank you for another incredible golf season. We cannot wait to share the 2024 season with you!