I get asked all the time on why here at Redlands Mesa Golf Club do we put down a heavy top-dress for winter time and other courses don’t? Utilizing a heavier than normal topdressing before winter can help in the protection of the greens, but it is not a one size fits all approach. All maintenance practices have advantages at different locations for different reasons. I cannot speak for the other golf courses in and around the valley on why they do it or why they don’t do it.
Here at Redlands Mesa, we believe that a heavy top-dress gives us the best chances of protecting our greens from exposure from wind, prone long periods of sun, and traffic. Areas of the region that are assured of adequate snow cover already have one of the best protection products going, snow. Our course does not always get snow in the winter time, which is the biggest factor on why we do it.
Being exposed to the elements of winter and still allowing the play of golf on our greens during this time is very stressful to leaf tissue and the crown of the plant. By putting down a blanket of sand to protect the turf increases the chances that our greens will have less damage next spring. The other added benefit to doing a heavy top-dress is that it will smooth out the greens and make for a better ball roll next season.
Final thought is that it is getting harder to predict what Mother Nature will do. The Redlands Mesa maintenance team is always fighting against her no matter what time of year it is. Our goal is always to make the golf course the best it can be during the warmer months when it’s the best time to play. Please keep this thought in mind when you are playing in 20 degree weather and you came up short on your putt because there is too much sand on the green. I promise you that won’t be a factor next spring.
Redlands Mesa G.C.