As most of the valley is still on spring break, and JH Mountain Resort had closing weekend we began bringing on a few staff to start cleaning up around the shop and removing signage and snow stakes from around the property. Our summer staff is shaping up to be really solid again this year. We will be returning nearly half our staff from last year which is pretty significant for seasonal staffing operations in the valley. We are bringing back an irrigation tech, grounds foreman and assistant in training, as well as, several key operators. It's time for the Masters as well. This really does kick off the golf season for many of the northern tier areas of the country. For us this week usually denotes the beginning of the beginning as golf is still several weeks away. That being said please be respectful of the fact that the property is closed and there is still a lot of wildlife and many hazards out there that we can't control. The turf is starting to come out of dormancy and this is a crucial time to let it do it's thing without a lot of foot traffic creating compaction in areas that need to "breathe". The south side of Spring Gulch Rd. holes #9-11 is still off limits due to our NRO restrictions. The snow may be gone but the forage is still thin for the moose and they are still very vulnerable to added stresses this time of year.
Right now the course is 60% clear of snow and we are getting a good look at the what's underneath. All in all it's pretty good. The vole damage is not great, but could certainly be worse. We had a little pink snow mold breakthrough on some fairways but all that requires is warmer temps and sunshine to start recovering. The greens are looking great underneath the tarps so far and we will be pulling those starting next week and possibly getting ready for an early season aerification the week after that just prior to opening. As valley residents know April can be such a toss up with the weather, and our progress in getting the course in shape is so dependent on that as well. We've got some nice days ahead to start doing some general cleaning on the course; removing downed limbs, picking up trash and raking up vole damage around greens. Getting the shop area in order and organizing all of the equipment we will need to get started once all the snow is gone. This is the time of year that there are a million things to do with the time and resources to only chip away...so that's what we will be doing over the next couple of weeks. Management has told us to shoot for an April 23rd opening date so mark your calendar and be prepared to play the course in it's most "rustic" condition. More than likely bunkers will be ground under repair for opening as they sometimes are. Again, so much depends on the weather and the ability to get staff here early. Stay tuned for updates on opening and course conditions as we get to see the rest of the snow covered areas. Hard to see in the picture below, but this was the first Mountain Bluebird of the season I spotted the third week of March. There was even a female close by which is a little unusual that early as the males show up first to scope out a nest prior to the females arriving.
|Look close...March 20th...first Mtn Bluebird of the season?|