Yet again we have faced another wet winter with mild temperatures. From a greenkeeping perspective this can be a troublesome combination in these months for various reasons. Most of the country experienced the savage storms that tore through the UK, the North East being no exception. Many courses had long term closures throughout the Christmas period with flood damage to playing surfaces from persistent rainfall, some of which had been flooded for so long that areas have become bare where the grass has died off. Bunkers have been holding water or washing sand away and in some cases caused erosion and destroyed areas. On top of this the mild temperatures have meant that there is still growth on the playing surfaces and greenkeepers have had to go to extreme measures to control this growth by using hand mowing equipment where possible to compensate for the wet ground conditions.
Although the mild temperatures have kept the turf from going into dormancy, there has been little or no warmth to help dry out any excess water. The only salvation from this has been the repeatedly high winds and gales that we have also experienced, which although in their own way can be equally disruptive, have allowed courses to slowly dry out and reopen.
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