Lack of snow causes concern for area golf courses

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- While many Wisconsinites may welcome a snowless winter, for area golf courses, the state's lack of a winter wonderland of isn't so wonderful.

With warm January temperatures and little snow-cover on Wild Ridge Golf Course in Eau Claire, the links look like they're ready for some mid-winter play.

“Sometimes you've got to play the cards you're dealt by Mother Nature,” says GCSAA Superintendent, Adam Murphy.

In reality, all 18 holes are filled with ice and the practice green is basically an ice rink.

“You get this ice pack like this and it tends not be able to release the gases it need to in the winter to stay alive,” says Murphy.

Murphy has over 16 years of experience keeping course greens.

“When I was working in the cities, we had a similar situation,” he explains. “Five or six years ago in Eau Claire we had some winter kill from ice.”

He says all of the potentially damaging ice is attributed to the lack of snowfall, which, as Murphy explains, is actually good for golf courses.

“In the winter for turf managers like myself, whether it's golf courses, lawns, you name it, snow cover is like a nice warm blanket,” he says.

For Murphy, from now until the season begins, the game is to maintain.

“When you see stuff like this, you just hope for the best,” he says.

Murphy adds no delay to the start to the season is expected.