We have now had a couple of light frosts so far this month even though our temps have been awesome so far. But, those light frosts are a sign of things to come. I am hearing forecasters predicting weather patterns that mimic last winter. We all remember the trouble that we had with the tees and fairways this spring, and we don't want a repeat of that scenario next year.
One of the things that I will be doing is reducing the amount of cart traffic that we will be allowing on the turf during dormant periods. We may even see some of the holes get restricted back to cart path only if the weather patterns get bad. I encourage some of our members to partner up on personal carts to decrease the amount of cart wear during the winter months. I know its nice having everything in your cart where you want it but may be pile in with your playing partner once in a while to help the course be better in the spring.
As you know, Hole #9 is now cart path only all of the time. I have had people comment to me lately "did you over seed that hole". The fairway on #9 looks so much better and greener because of the reduction in cart traffic, so the proof in in the pudding so to speak.
We have also fertilized much heavier in some of the areas that were hit hard last winter. The height of cut is currently up to 3/4" on the fairways and tees. 3/4" is our normal HOC in the fall. I just made sure that we got to it a little sooner this year. Both of these issues should help our chances of getting through the winter in a bad season.
In the end I have learned that it is my job to understand what Mother Nature is throwing at me and know how to react to the conditions. I cannot change the weather I can only react to it.
Just remember when it seems like its dry in the winter but its still "Path Only" that I am trying to protect the turf better than I did last year.