Ice Damage Prevention On Greens

Ice damage on the putting surfaces at the Seven Oaks Golf Club, owned by Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., is a thing of the past. Superintendent Jon McConville noticed that ice would disappear at a more rapid pace anywhere the greens were located under the groves of spruce trees. After occurring ice damage on some of the other greens in 2013, McConville had his staff cover the worst ice damage areas the following December with spruce tree cuttings. The entire greens were not covered, just the portion where the ice damage would likely occur such as bowls, depressions and collar dams. The 2014 spring produced no ice damage on the areas covered with the spruce cuttings, as the boughs did not allow the ice to form in a solid state because there were lots of air pockets. The spruce cuttings range from 2 to 4 feet long and they were spread out to not smother the surface – but they definitely overlap each other and sunlight could still reach the putting surfaces. They have 20 greens total and they started covering three greens and increased it to six greens that were in open areas. It took three employees one day collecting the cuttings, with two employees covering the greens in about two hours and it took about a day cleaning up the branches and needles in the spring. Nick Weaver, Brandon Frederic, Lucas Ryde and Doug Marcellus did a great job on this very successful project.

Memorial Bridge

The 20 feet by 8 feet “Jerry Brey Memorial Bridge” located adjacent to No. 18 tee was built in-house at the Cape Girardeau (Mo.) Country Club. It was built entirely by Brad Twidwell, superintendent. The main metal framework uses two 4-foot by 8-foot by ½-inch by 20-foot angle iron; three 1-inch by 4-inch by ½-inch by 20-foot flat bar; four 1-inch by 24-inch by 24-foot expanded metal; one 1 ½-inch by 1 ½-inch by ½-inch by 20-foot angle iron; three 3-inch by 3-inch by ½-inch by 20-foot flat steel all welded together. See-through type metal grating in four 2-foot by 8-foot by 1-inch sections is then installed and welded over the top of the framework, primed and painted medium black. The four stone columns were made using 200 7-inch by 10-inch by 4-inch Tumble Paver Stones that are held together using Liquid Nails in a caulking gun. There is a bronze plaque with laser-cut letters honoring Jerry Brey. It took approximately 70 hours to build at a cost of approximately $3,750.

Terry Buchen, CGCS, MG, is president of Golf Agronomy International. He’s a 41-year, life member of the GCSAA. He can be reached at 757-561-7777 or