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Golf Courses Hit Hard By Snowy Winter

By Danielle Niles, WBZ Meteorologist
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WBZ-TV's Danielle Niles Danielle Niles
Danielle Niles is Weekend Morning Meteorologist (Sa., 5-8AM; Su.,...
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BOSTON (CBS) — The calendar says May now and golf season is in full swing, but many courses are feeling the effects of our bitterly cold and snow-filled winter season.

“I’ve never seen ice damage like this, not even close. A ding up here and there yes, but never to this extreme,” said Glenn MacDonald of Sandy Burr Country Club. He’s been in the business 25 years. “Mother Nature isn’t helping out too much lately.”

MacDonald says every superintendent in the area is dealing with the same problems. Early season snow is actually a good thing at golf courses because it helps insulate the grass. But it’s the melting and refreeze process that causes ice to develop and that’s when problems start.

“What happens is the ice just doesn’t allow any oxygen in and if there’s no oxygen, it almost suffocates the turf.”

Sandy Burr’s greens took the hardest hit since they are made most of Poa Annua, more commonly known as Bluegrass along with the sturdier Bentgrass. For now, the 9th green is closed while MacDonald nutures it back to health and both he and Director of Golf Brian Golden say it’s just a waiting game.

“All of the grounds crews in the areas, including Glenns’ staff here,  it’s trying to be as proactive as possible knowing that it’s a matter of time for the ground to get warmer, once the ground gets warmer everything will start growing.”

As temperatures continue to warm and grounds crews put in a lot of TLC, the condition of the greens will continue to improve in the weeks to come.

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