First, and foremost, I would like to extend a great deal of gratitude to all of Islington Golf Club’s members and the entire staff and management team. I’ve had remarkable support as I take on my new role as Superintendent. Over the past five years, I have worked tirelessly to provide a superior product that we can all be proud of. I am extremely excited to carry on with the goal of making Islington Golf Club one of the best-conditioned golf courses in Canada.
One of my main objectives is to continue to provide timely communications to our membership, informing them about our operation and any projects that are underway. I am always very happy and willing to take the time to help answer any questions you may have.
This winter has been fairly kind to us so far. Temperatures have been milder, and we haven’t had any constant snow cover. Some may have heard that this is bad for turf, but unless we would go an entire winter without any snow cover at all, it really poses no significant threats for the golf course. We did get ice formation on some fairway spots in early January after some rain, which is always a concern for winterkill on the poa. Poa does co-exist on many of our fairways, especially in high traffic locations and low-lying areas that can stay wet. (photo: below)
However, all of these spots have since thawed out and, at this point, it looks like the entire property will come out of the winter in very good condition. Especially our bentgrass greens, which look great (photo: below).
The milder conditions have also brought some challenges. It has made it quite difficult to do any work on the golf course because of the wet conditions. We have been working on a new restroom and shelter facility between #16 green and #17 tee, which is moving along nicely, but the muddy conditions around the area make it tricky (photo: below).
We have also been working on some tree pruning and removal. (photo: below) Tree pruning is really important as we can address many hazards caused by unhealthy trees, (silver maples especially), shade issues for turf, and overall health of our tree canopy and encourage the growth of all our newly planted trees. The wet conditions have also made this quite challenging. It is much more difficult to access some areas on the course for cutting, pruning and clean up without the risk of causing any turf damage. Therefore, we are being extremely selective on the days we go out there, and we may not get quite as much done as we had anticipated.
I hope that everyone has had a great winter so far, and spring is just around the corner.
Andre Aymar, Gold Course Superintendent