Due to record snowfall, IVGID Golf team recently teamed up with Diamond Peak & Public Works to collaborate on snow removal on the golf course. Golf Grounds borrowed a snowcat from Diamond Peak, and Travis Riley, Mechanic II from Public Works, pushed snow off of some of the deeper greens and tees on the Championship Course. He cleared the snow down to about 1 ½ - 2 feet with the snowcat so the grounds crew could handle the rest of the snow removal with snow blowers. Jeff Clothier, Golf Superintendent, said they used the snowcat to track over the fairways in order to break up the snow layers and open up some air space to allow for quicker melting.
This is the first time the golf grounds crew has had to use the snowcat at the Championship golf course; however, it is commonly used equipment during normal snow years at the Mountain Course. Jeff said they will be using the snowcat up at the Mountain sometime very soon. This was a great collaboration between Departments (ski, fleet, golf) to coordinate the usage, transportation and operation of the machine.
Photos above were taken 4/17/17. Snowcat photo below taken 3/22/17 on Incline Village Championship Course's hole #3. Note the metal stake next to the cart path for snow depth comparison.
Over the course of four days in the first week of April, Diamond Peak made a snowcat available to the Golf staff to clear snow, this time at the Mountain Course. Encountering snow depths of nearly seven feet, Golf Course Mechanic Travis Riley operated the cat while Mountain Course Superintendent Shaun Riley checked the depth, ensuring that the machine left around 1 ½ - 2 feet to be removed with smaller blowers. All 19 greens and most of the tees were done, in addition to tracking on the fairways and roughs to help break up snow layers and to open up some air space to allow for quicker melting.
Following the snowcat, a tracked Bobcat with a snowblower was used to continue the process. This blower took the depths down to approximately 3 - 6”, and the rest was either removed by hand or melted with black sand applied over the top. Since the greens are the most important part of a golf course, it is imperative to get the turf exposed in time to allow it to breathe and resume the growing process well ahead of when they will be subjected to golfer traffic. Cart paths are also cleared on both courses using the trackless blower from Utilities.
In addition to the big machines, small blowers are also used to finish the process. Black sand is used extensively on the greens to melt snow both before and after the blowers, and black mulch is spread by hand over most of both golf courses to expedite the melting process. If all this work was not done, our opening dates would likely be sometime close to July this year! Big thanks again to Mike and Jay at Diamond Peak for allowing the usage of the snowcat, as well as the Fleet department for arranging for the transportation of the machine, and Travis for operating.