Digby golf course grounds crew snow blowing the greens

Jonathan
Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
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Published on March 30, 2015

Steve Thibault, mechanic at the Digby Pines golf course, clears snow from the Number One green on March 30.

Published on March 30, 2015

Steve Thibault, mechanic at the Digby Pines golf course, clears snow from the Number One green on March 30.

Published on March 30, 2015

Bill LeBlanc, superintendent at the Digby Pines golf course, tries to make a path to the Number One green so he can clear snow on March 30.

Published on March 30, 2015

Steve Thibault and Adam Wentzell drive through a tunnel of deep snow beside the seventeenth green.

Published on March 30, 2015

Assistant superintendent Adam Wentzell drives the snow blower to the next green for snow clearing.

Published on March 30, 2015

It took Steven Thibault two hours to clear this stretch of the cart path beside the seventeenth green.

Published on March 30, 2015

Bill LeBlanc, superintendent at the Digby Pines golf course, tries to make a path to the Number One green so he can clear snow on March 30.

Published on March 30, 2015

Bill LeBlanc, superintendent at the Digby Pines golf course, tries to make a path to the Number One green so he can clear snow on March 30.

Published on March 30, 2015

Assistant superintendent Adam Wentzell uses a shovel to loosen up the snow on the practice green so the snow blower can move it.

Published on March 30, 2015

Assistant superintendent Adam Wentzell uses a shovel to loosen up the snow on the practice green so the snow blower can move it.

Published on March 30, 2015

Bill LeBlanc, superintendent at the Digby Pines golf course, uses a snow blower on the practice green.

DIGBY – The grounds crew at the Digby Pines golf course are using snow blowers on the greens.

Head groundskeeper Bill LeBlanc says this is only the second time in his 25 years at the Pines that they have used snow blowers on the course.

[Video: Snowblowing the greens at the Digby Pines]

“Once 18 years ago, we had to snow blow a drift off the back corner of Number Two green,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve gone out to clear snow off them all.”

LeBlanc says they need to get rid of the snow to let the grass breathe.

“We’ve had a lot of snow this winter and there’s a layer of ice under that,” he said. “The greens are okay for 60 to 90 days, that’s when the poa annuas start dying off.

“We’re pushing 60 now, so we want to speed Mother Nature along a little bit.”

Poa is the type of grass, a bluegrass, used on the putting greens, which reseeds itself.

The grounds crew spent a few days last week just clearing the paths to reach the greens with a front end loader – it took over two hours to clear 150 metres of cart path beside Number 17 green, where the snow was about four metres deep.

After they reach the greens, LeBlanc figures they have a week or more of work to clear all 18 greens. Some they can do with the big snow blower on back of a tractor, and some, where the snow cover is lighter, they will attack with the walk-behind snow blower.

After the snowblowing they will go behind with shovels and ice picks to break up the ice by hand and free the grass.

LeBlanc says they will take samples of each green and test them to see how healthy they are.

They will warm the samples, put them in a bright spot and hope to see them grow.

“That way we’ll know what kind of spring to expect here,” he said.

LeBlanc says the Digby crew aren’t the only ones working in the snow today.

“Basically anyone who can snow blow is out on the greens today, and those who can’t were wishing they could.”

jriley@digbycourier.ca

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