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Written by Chris Tritabaugh on Feb 22, 2016 1:46:55 PM

The soul of the Minnesota golfer has been stirred. Bare ground any time after Valentine’s Day always seems to elicit such a response and I can tell you this type of weather also causes a stirring somewhere inside Minnesota's golf course superintendents. I acted on this stirring today and took a walk around most of the golf course. I can report everything look excellent.

When Hazeltine made the decision to re-grass with bentgrass, the Club was in essence purchasing an insurance policy. Bentgrass turf is better able to handle Minnesota's increasingly variable winter weather, to say nothing of better performance during the golf season. Bentgrass turf does not guarantee we won’t see winterkill, but it makes it far less likely than if we still had a mix of bent/Poa surfaces. It is highly likely that no matter what kind of weather we experience between now and opening day, the golf course will remain in excellent condition.

A few photos from my walk today:

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At the clubhouse end of the course, most of the snow is gone. You can see a slight variation of color on the 9th green. When dormant and exposed to light, turf loses its green color very quickly. The greener area of the 9th was covered in snow last Friday, while the more brown area has been exposed for a few more days.

IMG_5213 At look at the 9th fairways shows the turf in excellent condition. Even when exposed like this, bentgrass turf is able to handle just about anything winter may yet turn up.

IMG_5214 Most of the putting surfaces have lost their snow cover. Here you get a good look at the surface on the 12th hole. All exposed surfaces are in excellent condition. With a few days of exposure to the sun, this surface will be much less green.

IMG_5218 This new view of the 16th hole never gets old. Next fall, this spot will be the location of very fine chalet. If I were shopping for a spot, this would be high on my list.